30,000 signature in French Polynesia anti-nuclear petition

4:31 pm on 11 February 2016
View of the advanced recording base PEA "Denise" on Moruroa atoll, where French forces have conducted nuclear weapon tests until 1996.

Remnants of the testing infrastructure on Moruroa atoll Photo: AFP

More than 30,000 people in French Polynesia have signed a petition urging a local referendum on French nuclear weapon tests carried out in the South Pacific between 1966 and 1996.

The petition is being organised by the head French Polynesia Nuclear Workers' Association, or Mururoa e Tatou, Roland Oldham, and the Association 193.

Mr Oldham said the groups would keep collecting signatures until 2 July, which would be the 50th anniversary of the first French atmospheric nuclear weapons test in Mururoa.

He said the petition would then be presented to the territorial assembly, so that a local referendum could be organised.

"The petition is asking the people if the 193 bombs here in our country is a good thing, and the second question is does the French government have to do reparation. For us, this is to force the French government to assume its responsibility, also our local government."

Although France conceded in a 2010 law that the tests had a negative effect on human health, practically all requests for compensation have been rejected.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs