2 Jul 2008

French Polynesian veterans angered by French denial of nuclear fall-out

6:36 pm on 2 July 2008

French Polynesia's Nuclear Workers' Association says it will no longer deal with the French nuclear safety official after he said that the fallout from the nuclear weapons tests was not the cause of illnesses.

The Association Moruroa o Tatou says the comments made by Marcel Jurien de la Graviere are lies as official documents recorded the contamination of water, fish and vegetables in the French Polynesian test zone.

The Association's president, Roland Oldham, says Mr de la Graviere keeps denying the situation despite the evidence and the 16 court cases in France which established a link between the blasts and the poor health or deaths of those exposed to the fallout.

During a visit to French Polynesia last week, Mr de la Graviere told reporters that the only recognised conditions concerned thyroid problems of people who were under the age of 15 at the time.

This week marks the 42nd anniversary of the first French nuclear weapons test in the Pacific.

The last of the nearly 190 French tests was carried out in 1996.