28 Jun 2006

French nuclear safety claim labelled a stunt

7:14 pm on 28 June 2006

A French Polynesian MP, Tea Hirshon, says last week's claim by France that the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific produced no harmful fall-out was part of a diplomatic game.

Last week, a top safety official said the French state did not tell a lie when it said that the tests were safe and that there was no need for shelters even by today's standards.

Ms Hirshon says she believes the statement was aimed at quashing concern about the tests by Pacific countries who had opposed the French weapons tests.

"It's a diplomatic game, the France/Oceania summit was to be held. We all know nuclear testing was a subject of discord among the Oceanic states and France."

Tea Hirshon also says that at least now the French state has begun to have a dialogue about the test legacy.