20 Jan 2012

Tahiti veterans expect Paris to stop Moruroa restitution

1:54 pm on 20 January 2012

French Polynesia's nuclear test veterans organisation says it expects France's centre-right majority in the National Assembly to block a bill seeking the return of the nuclear weapons tests sites to French Polynesia.

The leftist majority in the French senate approved the bill by Richard Tuheiava who wants Paris to return Moruroa and Fangataufa in 2014 in line with an undertaking that France would only keep the atolls for the duration of the tests.

However, the French government claims confidential defence issues remain.

The head of Moruroa e tatou veterans group, Roland Oldham, says this prevents an independent assessment of the atolls which are feared to collapse with the release of radioactive plutonium.

"For Moruroa e tatou it is very important. In fact right now Moruroa and Fangataufa are forbidden places for the public; it is a military place. And because it is a military place we don't have much information about the situation of Moruroa."

Roland Oldham says he expects the ruling UMP to block the bill once it gets to the French National Assembly.