11 Oct 2006

France may yet release secret nuke test files - Defence Minister

2:10 pm on 11 October 2006

The French defence minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, has not ruled out that the government will give access to secret files about its nuclear weapons test programme in the South Pacific.

The minister made the comment in the senate in response to a question by Helene Luc who asked about the possibility of a independent study of the effects of the tests.

Mrs Alliot-Marie says France has nothing to fear from transparency and may open its files to researchers.

This comes amid a war of words in French Polynesia between a French defence ministry safety official and a group following up the tests over the level of exposure from the atmospheric tests carried out between 1966 and 1974.