28 Nov 2014

Tahiti asks France for nuclear compensation

4:49 pm on 28 November 2014

The French Polynesia assembly has adopted a resolution asking France to pay compensation for the environmental damage caused by its nuclear weapons tests.

A nuclear explosion from an atomic bomb test, mushroom cloud.

A nuclear explosion from an atomic bomb test Photo: Supplied

The resolution was tabled by the ruling anti-independence Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party and adopted by 36 of the assembly's 57 members.

It demands that an independent commission determine the extent of the damage and that France pay annually for the use and occupation of Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls which Paris excised to use as weapons testing sites.

The resolution was drawn up without the knowledge or approval of the President, Edouard Fritch, who is also a senior Tahoeraa member.

Before being amended today, the resolution demanded that France pay almost one billion US dollars in compensation for the 193 tests carried out over a 30-year period.

The pro-indepedence opposition leader, Oscar Temaru, says what France has done is a crime against humanity, adding that it has to be stated that the people of French Polynesia are humans and not animals or guinea pigs.

Mr Temaru says he will take the resolution to the United Nations in New York, viewing the nuclear issue as part of the colonial legacy.