A Convey of ships and extra military aircraft have arrived in Tahiti as France prepares for her next round of nuclear tests.
GV Tahitian islands and carved images
GV Looking out to sea at Murorea (3 shots)
GV ZOOM TO Sign at Harbour entrance
GV PAN OVER French ships in harbour (3 shots)
GV PAN OVER French naval ships (2 shots)
SV Men refuelling ship
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Background: A Convey of ships and extra military aircraft have arrived in Tahiti as France prepares for her next round of nuclear tests.
In the past the tests have aroused widespread protests from South Pacific nations. Australia, New Zealand and Fiji sought international support to have the tests stopped. Australia even went as far as taking France to the World Court, but France has refused to recognise the decision handed down there.
The last series of tests on the site at Muroroa and Rangatopa Atolls were held in June and for the first time they were underground. Some observers say the French bowed to international pressure to shift them from the atmosphere to underground sites. But France said the shift was not more than a natural progression as they strive to develop new and better nuclear warheads for missiles.
The two atolls lie 1200 kms (7,500 miles) south of Tahiti, the French islands used as a base for the tests. Several France ships are lying in Tahiti harbour taking on supplies before sailing to the test zone.
France will not say when the tests will begin, but it is expected to be several weeks. The first indication will come with a warning for shipping and aircraft to stay out of the area.