8 Feb 2006

Ex-nuclear workers in French Polynesia scorn French invite to bomb site

4:09 pm on 8 February 2006

Former workers at nuclear test sites in French Polynesia have dismissed a French proposal to host a stakeholders' meeting on Mururoa Atoll.

The French defence minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, has reportedly invited French Polynesian MPs and organisations to meet in Mururoa to discuss the consequences of years of nuclear testing there.

Mururoa is still under army control.

The workers' association president Roland Oldham says independent scientists could come on the visit and take samples for research.

Otherwise, he says, the meeting will be a failure...

"...where they're going to invite everybody there like they did in 1995, where people are going to be swimming in the lagoon in Mururoa to show the whole world that the French nuclear tests is clean... if we are to go there to drink champagne and see how green Mururoa is, that's no interest for us."

The ministry of defence has refused to cooperate with the French Polynesian government's inquiry into nuclear testing, which will publish its report later this week.