Leaked report raised fears of radioactive tsunami if Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia collapses

Leaked report raised fears of radioactive tsunami if Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia collapses

A leaked report has raised new fears that Mururoa Atoll, the site of French nuclear testing in the Pacific, is in danger of collapsing. The French government, since 2010, has kept secret that Mururoa Atoll, the site of French nuclear testing in the Pacific, is in danger of collapsing, according to Mururoa e Tatou (MET), the Nuclear Association in French Polynesia.

The Nuclear Association’s president, Roland Oldham, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program that radioactive material could be released into the Pacific Ocean if the atoll were to collapse. (Listen to the report here.) French nuclear safety official, Marcel Jurien de la Graviere, suggested that people on nearby Tureia Atoll could be exposed to radiation 300 times the level in France. If the atoll collapses there could be international ramifications.



 

Officially, France has conducted 181 nuclear test explosions in Mururoa. There are about 150 holes containing very dangerous levels of radioactivity. The Nuclear Association stated if the atoll were to collapse it could also trigger a 15 meter-high tsunami. The association wants independent experts to be allowed to conduct a study to provide more information about the danger of the atoll collapsing.

Mr. Oldham says the report doesn't properly emphasise the serious threat posed by the buried radioactive material.

"We have to warn everybody because the problem will not only concern some of the atolls that are only 100 km from Mururoa. But I think it will be a really big problem to the environment if this nuclear radioactivity is to be diluted in the ocean and from there we have no control over what would happen." Roland Oldham


After intense world pressure for nuclear free Pacific, shafts were drilled deep into the volcanic rocks underlying the atolls where nuclear devices were detonated. This practice created much controversy as cracking of the atolls was discovered, resulting in fears that the radioactive material trapped under the atolls would eventually escape and contaminate the surrounding ocean and neighboring atolls.

A major accident occurred on July 25, 1979 when a test was conducted at half the usual depth because the nuclear device got stuck half way down the 800 metre shaft. It was detonated and caused a large submarine landslide on the southwest rim of the atoll, causing a significant chunk of the outer slope of the atoll to break loose and causing a huge tsunami. The blast caused a 2 kilometre long and 40 cm wide crack to appear on the atoll.
"If you go onto the atolls, Mururoa, which we did about six months ago, you're going to find out that one big part of the atoll when you take the road that goes around the island, one big part of the atoll is under the water. The road you can only drive to a certain limit and the road's in some places is two metres under the water. And you can see when you look over the sea you can see all these cracks in the coral for a few metres. And we imagine that under the water it will be worse. So that's what we have seen. And we cannot even take one little spore, one coral from Mururoa because the authorities do not permit that. So to us we already knew that from the very beginning when some of the scientists had done some research here. Jacques Cousteau already in those days, we're talking about gas leaking, and we're talking about a crack in the ocean, in the atoll. We have been coming out with those elements all the time, and the French authorities has been saying to us for many years that you should not worry about it, that we are looking after the atoll and everything is alright. But we find out that they have been lying to us for that many years..." (Mr. Oldham in an interview to Radio Australia on March 15, 2011- link here)

Weather disturbances

Professional and amateur meteorologists have noted unusual weather patterns several days after each test. Most suspect these irregularities may have been caused by evaporation of surrounding sea water during the tests. Irregularities have been seen and endured across the Pacific, particularly in New Zealand, eastern Australia, and other island groups in the south-west pacific. The disturbances are not consistent with any pre-existing weather patterns.

A recent report suggests that only 11 of the 20 monitoring system sensors are actually functional which could mean the atoll could potentially collapse without forewarning of the monitoring system.

Moruroa nuclear testing history



Moruroa is an atoll which forms part of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is located about 1,250 kilometres (780 miles) southeast of Tahiti.

Mururoa, and its sister atoll Fangataufa, were the site of extensive nuclear testing by France between 1966 and 1996, as well as the site of numerous protests by various vessels, including the Rainbow Warrior. The atoll was officially established as a nuclear test site by France on September 21, 1962. The atoll of Hao, 245 nautical miles (450 km) to the north-west of Mururoa, was chosen as a support base for the nuclear tests and other operations.

Despite objections from some 30 members of the Polynesian Territorial Assembly, the first nuclear test was conducted on July 2, 1966, code-named Aldebaran, when a plutonium fission bomb was exploded in the lagoon. Greenpeace stated that it sucked all the water from the lagoon, "raining dead fish and mollusks down on the atoll", and it spread contamination across the Pacific as far as Peru and New Zealand. Most of these tests were conducted on the western end of the atoll designated as Dindon. Smaller shots were fired on the northern end of the atoll designated as Denise. Three nuclear devices were detonated on barges, three were air dropped from bombers, and the rest were suspended from helium filled balloons. A total of 41 atmospheric nuclear tests were conducted at Mururoa between 1966 and 1974.



The test site at Mururoa was dismantled following France’s last nuclear test to date, detonated on January 27, 1996, but the atoll is still guarded by the French Forces.

Sources: RadioAustralia, EneNews, Wikipedia, IAEA, TheWeek

Featured image credit: (Pierre J. / CC BY NC SA)

Comments

Gazelle Moto 5 years ago

What are the Froggies doing with Nuclear weapons just 20 years after the war in which they were just a German occupation zone, the french were total pussies during the war rolling over for the nazi's serving them champagne and creampuffs while our forces (U.S. Britain even the Soviets) were bombing and shooting them into submission. We proved we can handle the responsibility of nukes, not the french, they can't fight, except for bullying there little colony natives around in polynesia, ooh! Big Frog Man. We should take those nukes from those little cowards before they hurt somebody!

Michelle 6 years ago

Yes destroyers of the earth ! Why in heavens name are u testing nuclear bombs, what the hell for, does it make u a better person, in gods name why , why ,why

katesisco 6 years ago

Especially dangerous now that the heliospheric compression is approaching its greatest. I include a link to a current paper identifying increases in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's due to the alpha emitters in RADON GAS for which the US holds no limits or standards. The alphas come from PLUTONIUM. Link: http://state-radon.info/news/article_1718.html

Evelyn 6 years ago

Yes it does make you sick to your stomach & soul...to see them treat Earth and all the living things in the Ocean and land in this manner :( for no cause other than feed their ego's$$$!!! I cried when I read this story >>that has been kept from me and many many others before the internet. We were not taught how to care for the earth and the creatures, and if you tried or try they the "destroyers of the earth" call you a tree hugger! Well from seeing all the suffering the animals we keep in cages for our entertainment, and blow up & wound our earth kill all the fish & life in our oceans...as they cry out for us to please stop this madness...I will fight for them until death takes me...why? because I cannot sit back and watch the evil destroy everything!! may peace and love guide us into a better world.

Michelle 6 years ago

My heart bleeds whilst reading this story what a beautiful place blue ocean , life. Why is man so Stupid hey, you people are digusting wanting to destroy something so beautiful.you all make me vomit with uther shame of being human. Man not all man because there are men take do care. But u stupid war hungry stupid people"..

Petra 6 years ago

Anybody that uses our planet with the intent to harm life in any way should be imprisoned, or worse! This has got to stop. All this warring, is killing all of us and our planet directly and indirectly. When will we learn? Sending love and blessing to the world. <3

Evelyn (@Petra) 6 years ago

That was my thought as well...they want laws then lets give them some...against the law to fish the oceans/seas unless it's regulated in some fashion. People that live near the waters making a living off that food source {move}, but apparently their are no rules! as we can see! It's not the ocean fault they decided to live there. "Water" our most needed resource, yet they have no regard for it. Not to mention all the new studies done on water and how it responds to humans, music, etc. cannot we not have compassion/see life for what it really is? they say if we had to sum up the amount of time "man" has been on he earth ... 1/2 minute! Wow look what we did in half a minute?? I'm ashamed to be a human sometimes...

adexter 6 years ago

I guess there are no logical reasons to protect our Oceans.

Carolyn Rose 6 years ago

any word on how many islands are sinking and how populated they are?

Evelyn (@Carolyn Rose) 6 years ago

I think few, but when you dig deep into this site you can more info than you may think. They say the sea is rising and the methane is melting, and thats what is going on with these earthquakes. Man made sites are caving in and others cracks are being found...just like BP told the world they plugged that hole...or sure you did!! you can't fix the earths cracks that deep with methane pushing on them...and now dead fish, bird, what next humans? this is all a bunch of bs and we all need to fix it...stop letting them run the world. the earth and animals are calling for us to help them!

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