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A Comment on "The Nuclear Issue in the South Pacific"

A Comment on "The Nuclear Issue in the South Pacific" A Comment on “The Nuclear Issue in the South Pacific” Stewart Firth For fifty years, from 1946 to the last French test in 1996, nuclear bombs exploded in pristine Pacific environments, in the atmosphere, underwater, and even in space, leaving behind radioactive contamination of islands, reefs, and sea, and stimulating powerful anti-nuclear sentiment in the region. Observers of the South Pacific scene should be pleased to have a French perspective on the history of this issue. As Regnault rightly points out, France’s decision to begin nuclear test- ing in the Pacific in the 1960s could only be met by a hostile reaction. After all, the threat of nuclear contamination from atmospheric testing and fall- out had been recognized by the nuclear powers of the time, so much so that the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom agreed not to test in the atmosphere, underwater, or in space as early as 1963, leaving underground as the sole environment where testing was permitted. Yet Paris was to begin testing three years later in the very environment now considered too dangerous for human populations by Washington, Moscow, and London— the atmosphere. And that atmosphere, in terms of local fallout, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

A Comment on "The Nuclear Issue in the South Pacific"

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 17 (2) – Jul 29, 2005

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464

Abstract

A Comment on “The Nuclear Issue in the South Pacific” Stewart Firth For fifty years, from 1946 to the last French test in 1996, nuclear bombs exploded in pristine Pacific environments, in the atmosphere, underwater, and even in space, leaving behind radioactive contamination of islands, reefs, and sea, and stimulating powerful anti-nuclear sentiment in the region. Observers of the South Pacific scene should be pleased to have a French perspective on the history of this issue. As Regnault rightly points out, France’s decision to begin nuclear test- ing in the Pacific in the 1960s could only be met by a hostile reaction. After all, the threat of nuclear contamination from atmospheric testing and fall- out had been recognized by the nuclear powers of the time, so much so that the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom agreed not to test in the atmosphere, underwater, or in space as early as 1963, leaving underground as the sole environment where testing was permitted. Yet Paris was to begin testing three years later in the very environment now considered too dangerous for human populations by Washington, Moscow, and London— the atmosphere. And that atmosphere, in terms of local fallout,

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 29, 2005

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