10 Mar 2006

French opposition senators want nuclear weapons test inquiry

3:14 pm on 10 March 2006

Reports from Tahiti says some French opposition senators have asked for a Senate inquiry into the nuclear weapons tests which France carried out in the South Pacific.

According to press reports in Papeete, the request has been made by Socialist and Green senators after the government's repeated refusal to grant access to the test veterans' medical records despite their apparent sickness.

The senators say a rapid establishment of such an inquiry would send a signal to French Polynesia's people whose confidence in France has waned.

The move follows only weeks after the French Polynesian assembly released a report into the atmospheric tests which was compiled amid a refusal by French government and the French Polynesian opposition to co-operate.

The ruling UMP party in France is expected to block the bid to probe the testing legacy.