5 Oct 2006

French secrecy about atomic tests disappoints

2:48 pm on 5 October 2006

There is disappointment in French Polynesia over the continued refusal by France to release records about the nuclear weapons tests.

The French defence ministry's representative for nuclear safety, Marcel Jurien de la Graviere, has returned to the territory for a series of meetings and is maintaining that France's tests have been clean.

Many doubt this and a government MP, Myron Mataoa, says information is being withheld.

"We are disappointed on his declaration. We think about him and the delegation that came and said 'you are her just here to tell us that everything is all right. But we don't have the details on what really happened in those thirty years'. All we've asked, they told us it's secret defence."

Mr de la Graviere has now flown to the outer islands.

Meanwhile, the health minister says she has just obtained a letter written in June confirming that France registered nuclear fallout on Tahiti.

But she says two days ago the very same doctor who had signed the letter told people in Tahiti that there was no fallout.