5 May 2008

French Polynesian nuclear test veterans consider hunger strike in push for compensation

3:13 pm on 5 May 2008

French Polynesian veterans of the French nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific say they may have to take new action amid frustration at getting their claims for compensation recognised.

France has said its atmospheric tests were clean, and its government refuses to accept a link between the blasts and the health problems experienced by those who worked at the test sites.

The defence ministry has been challenging both the expertise and appealed rulings, prompting the head of the Moruroa o Tatou veterans' organisation, Roland Oldham, to consider a change in its campaign.

Mr Oldham says they may have to stage a hunger strike in Paris to be heard.

"We can not go on like that for ten years in front of the tribunals because then we'll have no former workers left from the nuclear experimentation."

Roland Oldham