22 Dec 2009

French official says Tahiti fallout overstated

9:19 pm on 22 December 2009

The French nuclear safety expert visiting French Polynesia says claims of fallout in Tahiti from French weapons tests are massively overstated.

Marcel Jurien de la Graviere has told Tahitipresse that the interpretation of an official document about readings in Taaone amounts to a colossal error.

He says this mistake has meant that the fallout has been overstated by a factor of 2,000.

Mr de la Graviere and a defence ministry team has been in the territory as the French legislature is about to approve a compensation law for test victims which veterans, the churches and political parties consider to be inadequate.

The team has visited Moruroa and Hao atoll where 100 million US dollars are to be spent to clean up the environment.

France stopped its nuclear testing regime in the South Pacific in 1996.