11 Feb 2005

US Congressman wants French nuclear test legacy re-examined

5:30 am on 11 February 2005

A member of the US Congress has called for the legacy of the French nuclear weapons testing programme in the Pacific to be re-examined.

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has written to the IAEA director, Mohammed El Baradei, after veterans from the test sites at Mururoa and Fangataufa failed to get records from the French authorities.

Faleomavaega also says the nuclear issue should be taken up the Pacific Islands Forum.

"We need to re-open this matter as I have also made a request to the prime minister of Western Samoa who currently serves as the chairman of the Forum of Pacific nations that they are to take this issue up seriously at the next Forum meeting and petition the United Nations to re-examine this issue again."