13 Nov 2006

Top French nuclear safety official due back in Tahiti

2:44 pm on 13 November 2006

A senior French official in charge of nuclear safety, Marcel Jurien de la Graviere, is due back in French Polynesia this week.

The French high commissioner in Papeete, Anne Boquet, says he will be back in Tahiti at her invitation - a month after his previous visit was overshadowed by acrimony which led to planned meetings with French Polynesian officials being called off.

The row centres on whether the more than 40 French atmospheric nuclear weapons tests produced fallout that damaged people's health.

In June, Mr de la Graviere said France did not tell a lie when it said that the tests were safe.

Mrs Boquet says she hopes Mr de la Graviere can meet relevant government ministers to discuss the tests' impact on the environment.