5 Jul 2014

Tahiti nuclear test victims remembered

9:17 am on 5 July 2014

French Polynesia's nuclear test veterans organisation says a ceremony to remember victims on Thursday should show the government how important its memorial site in Papeete is to many.

The head of Mururoa e tatou, Roland Oldham, says up to 400 people gathered at the memorial to mark 48 years since the first French nuclear test on July the 2nd, 1966.

Roland Oldham, head of Mururoa e Tatou

Roland Oldham, head of Mururoa e Tatou Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel

Mr Oldham says two stones from the Fukushima nuclear disaster site in Japan were added to the memorial.

About two weeks ago, the President, Gaston Flosse, said the memorial would be removed from its spot on the beach to a roundabout on the other side of the city.

Mr Oldham says the memorial site is sacred, and there is widespread opposition to it being moved.

"The ceremony was very full of emotion because of this threat of the government to destroy this place. The people answered to our call, and we hope that the government will come to a bit of wisdom not to destroy that place."

Roland Oldham says the government is playing games and undermining the rights of nuclear test victims.

A nuclear explosion from an atomic bomb test, mushroom cloud.

A nuclear explosion from an atomic bomb test Photo: Supplied