9 Jun 2005

French Polynesia's nuclear test veterans association welcomes French court ruling

10:47 am on 9 June 2005

French Polynesia's nuclear test veterans association, Moruroa e Tatou, has welcomed a landmark French court ruling on the consequences of weapons tests.

A court in France has awarded, for the first time, a life-time invalid's pension to a former member of the military for health problems caused by exposure to a weapons test in the 1960s.

The ruling says the effects of the tests can be felt many years after the exposure to radiation.

Moruroa e Tatou President Roland Oldham says they have been making such claims for years in French Polynesia, and have met with no response by the French government.

But this latest ruling, and the recent leak of classified documents about a 1966 atmospheric test at Mururoa, means their cause has taken a new step.

"When last week we talk about the people in Mangareva not having protection, and another truth has come up - even the military don't have protection and in Mangareva the same thing has happened. To us the victory in court, it is one step forward."