Marches in Tahiti to mark nuclear weapons test legacy

A French atomic bomb test above the atoll of Mururoa in French Polynesia in 1971. Picture: RNZ

PAPE’ETE, 03 JULY 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – French Polynesia’s nuclear test veterans today mark the 53 anniversary of France’s first atomic weapons test in the Pacific.

The test was the first of 193 which were carried out over three decades until 1996.

The veterans’ groups as well as members of the Maohi Protestant church will march to the assembly and then to the French High Commission later today.

After changes to the French compensation law, the organisation Moruroa e Tatou wants it scrapped as it now compensates no-one.

The nuclear test veterans organisation Association 193’s misgivings about the compensation process are such that it will today officially withdraw from the project to build a memorial site in Papeete.

Apart from reparations for the victims, the organisation wants studies to be carried out into the genetic impact of radiation exposure.

Their representatives are expected to be met at the French High Commission.

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