11 February 2014

France fails to act on legislation to return islands it used in French Polynesia for nuclear testing

Radio New Zealand International

A French Polynesian member of the French Senate says the National Assembly in Paris is yet to debate the planned return of the two nuclear weapons test sites to French Polynesia.

60 years ago, the assembly in Tahiti ceded the two atolls Moruroa and Fangataufa to France for free to allow the military to test its weapons.

The atolls were expected to be returned last month.

Walter Zweifel reports.

(Senator) "Richard Tuheiava says the French Senate approved a law change he sponsored two years ago which provided for the return of the atolls on January the first this year. He says to date, the National Assembly has not put the bill on its agenda which he says has stalled aspects of the law providing compensation to those claiming to have suffered poor health. The compensation law was adopted four years ago but is seen as too restrictive, with compensation bids usually being dismissed. Although the last nuclear weapons test was carried out in 1996, the atolls have remained a military no-go zone."