3 Dec 2013

Tahiti nuclear test veterans unimpressed with French move

4:27 pm on 3 December 2013

French Polynesia's nuclear test veterans organisation says it finds it difficult to see any substantive advance in France extending the nuclear fallout zone eligible to file compensation claims.

The National Assembly in Paris changed the area from which claims can be lodged to cover all of French Polynesia - in a move coinciding with last week's ministerial visit to Tahiti.

Moruroa e tatou says although Paris knew about the consequences of its nuclear weapons tests all along, it chose to withhold vital information.

Its head, Roland Oldham, says the latest announcement may just be political manipulation as hundreds of people have cases pending.

"When you see the number of people compensated, something like 12. This comes to like one person a year, which is a real disaster. If there is one compensation does that mean do we have to fight for the next 900 years?"

Roland Oldham says extending the zone may have been prompted by a bid to silence critics ahead of next year's municipal elections.