6 Jul 2011

Massive French Polynesia health claim planned

1:40 pm on 6 July 2011

Reports from French Polynesia say the territory's Social Security Fund plans to take legal action against the French state for it to pay compensation to nuclear weapons test victims.

The planned move was announced by an assembly vice-president, Hiro Tefaarere, after it became known that France has so far only accepted one case for compensation.

He says the Fund's board wants to hire international lawyers to pursue its claim.

The Fund, which covers health care costs, is reported to have paid for the care of more than 5,000 former test site workers.

According to Mr Tefaarere, the sum disbursed is more than 320 million US dollars over nearly 30 years, which is seen as an advance paid by the Fund on behalf of the French state.

Two years ago, France for the first time acknowledged that the weapons tests weren't clean and opened a legal avenue for compensation claims.