13 May 2011

Moruroa veterans claim nuclear racism in Hao clean-up

1:33 pm on 13 May 2011

The French Polynesian nuclear test veterans organisation, Moruroa e tatou, has accused France of nuclear racism for hiring local civilians to clean up parts of Hao atoll used as part of France's nuclear weapons testing regime.

The organisation's head, Roland Oldham, says it has documents showing that the area in question is highly contaminated because it was used to clean equipment from the test site.

Mr Oldham says it has emerged that 29 locals have been hired for work which he says should be done by specialists.

"This is typical of the nuclear racism. They use the local people to do that. So we don't agree with that. We want our local government to react and we also call on the French government to stop all this work and have the examination first of this soil about the radioactivity level."

Roland Oldham