19 Jan 2012

French senate approves bill to return French Polynesian atolls

8:14 am on 19 January 2012

The Senate has passed a bill that would return atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa to French Polynesia.

The two atolls Moruroa and Fangataufa were ceded to France at no cost in 1964 to allow its military to begin atmospheric and then underground nuclear tests.

AFP reports the bill, introduced by Senator Richard Tuheiava was passed, will now go to the assembly.

The bill provides for the two atolls to be returned to French Polynesia on the first of January 2014, but france will continue to provide security and radiological monitoring and geo-mechanics.

However, the French Defence minister, Gerard Longuet, that France has a duty to safeguard the information contained in the atolls, to prevent nuclear proliferation.

He says it is best that the atolls remain under the supervision of the French State.