The French President, Francois Hollande, says the law on compensating victims of the French nuclear weapons tests should be fully implemented.
Mr Hollande made the comment during a visit in Algeria where the French military tested its weapons before continuing the practice in French Polynesia.
He says so far the law has certainly not been applied with the determination needed.
His comment comes only a week after the defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, praised the law which he said needed no change.
The minister reacted to a Paris meeting of the defence ministry's compensation commission which threw out all but nine of the 400 claims submitted to it.
Nuclear test veterans organisations have repeatedly expressed their dismay at the law, saying it is too restrictive.
Until 2008, France claimed that its tests were clean and caused no harm.
An estimated 150,000 military and civilian personnel were involved in the French military's nuclear weapons testing regime which lasted from 1960 to 1996.