3 Aug 2006

Veterans group says French nuke test stance untenable

1:40 pm on 3 August 2006

A French nuclear test veterans group says the government's refusal to compensate test victims for their poor health is no longer sustainable.

The group, AVEN, made the statement after a letter by a top medical researcher to a French safety official was made public in French Polynesia last week.

A copy of the letter was presented to the assembly in Tahiti, detailing thyroid cancer cases linked to exposure to the French atomic weapons tests in the South Pacific.

AVEN says this shows that the government's claim of the tests being clean cannot be sustained.

France has so far refused to acknowledge a link between the tests and failing health.

In contrast, the US recognises 31 diseases, including 25 types of cancer, as the possible result of exposure to nuclear tests.