3 Jul 2017

French Polynesia marks 51 years since first nuclear test

From , 5:03 am on 3 July 2017

For French Polynesia, today marks the 51st anniversary of the first French nuclear test in the Pacific, an event which will be marked with marches and remembrance.

In 1966, the French Polynesian atoll of Moruroa was struck by the first of France's 193 nuclear tests in the South Pacific, which has had lasting effects on the region.

Roland Oldham, the head of French Polynesia's nuclear veterans organisation Mururoa e Tatou, recently returned from the UN Conference on a Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons where he shared his experiences as a victim.

Mr Oldham told Mackenzie Smith that 51 years on from the first test in Moruroa, the catastrophic event was no less significant.

Screenshot of declassified footage of nuclear testing during the Cold War.

Photo: screenshot / Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory