Ile Longue nuclear military base:

France making a mockery of its NPT commitments

Press release - May 15, 2005
Crew aboard the Greenpeace ship Artic Sunrise were today arrested after its inflatable zodiac boat entered the Ile Longue military zone in France today to make a citizens’ inspection of the Ile Longue nuclear military base. A flotilla of some 40 boats had accompanied the Arctic Sunrise to the edge of the military zone.

A flotilla of around 30 boats sailing alongside the Greenpeace ship MY Arctic Sunrise. The protest denounces the French move to increase their nuclear arsenal at Ile Longue despite their commitment to disarm under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT.

"French moves to increase their nuclear arsenal at Ile Longue flies in the face

of their commitment to disarm under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT),"

said Greenpeace International's Disarmament specialist William Peden, who is

currently attending the NPT Review conference in New York.

"The majority of States present at the current Review Conference have once again pleaded for the nuclear weapon states to meet their commitments on disarmament and non-proliferation.(1)

"France is violating its commitment to the NPT. Greenpeace calls on the French

government to stop the development and production of new M-51 missiles and to wind down the 288 nuclear warheads at its military base at Ile Longue.

"At a time of growing global insecurity it is of deep concern that a nuclear

base of this kind, with a total destructive power 2000 times more powerful than

that used in Hiroshima is in fact increasing rather than decreasing its capability," Peden said.

France currently assigns some three billion euros per annum to its military

nuclear complex. Its moves to develop new atomic weapons, along with steps by

other nuclear weapon states including the US, which is  upgrading its Nevada

nuclear test site in preparation for a resumption of nuclear testing, is

driving a new global arms race that ultimately is placing great strains on the

survival of the NPT.

"North Korea is on the way to becoming a nuclear power and more than forty other countries have the capacity to follow their example within a few months," said Yannick Jadot, Greenpeace France Campaign Director, on board the Arctic Sunrise at Ile Longue.

"Greenpeace calls on France to publicly confirm its 35 year-old NPT obligation

to achieve unambiguous and complete abolition of their nuclear arsenals and to

immediately halt any further development of new nuclear weapons. France must

also call for an immediate adoption of a moratorium on the production,

transport and the use of nuclear materials if a world free of nuclear weapons

is to be achieved," Jadot concluded.

Other contacts: William Peden, Greenpeace International Disarmament specialist + 1 6462 474 017Pascal Husting, Greenpeace France Executive Director + 33 673 892 319Nicky Davies, Greenpeace International, Disarmament Campaigner +31 646 197 330

VVPR info: William Peden, Greenpeace International Disarmament specialist + 1 6462 474 017Michael Kessler, Greenpeace International Media Officer +34 660 637 053Pascal Husting, Greenpeace France Executive Director + 33 673 892 319Nicky Davies, Greenpeace International, Disarmament Campaigner +31 646 197 330

Notes: (1) Article VI of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty stipulates: " Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an earlydate and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.