19 Jul 2012

French nuke test link findings welcomed by Tahiti veterans' group

3:12 pm on 19 July 2012

French Polynesia's nuclear test veterans association has welcomed a scientific report which says there is a probable link between the weapons test and the ill-health of those exposed to fall-out.

France's national institute of health and medical research has found such a link in six of the 15 cases studied.

For the veterans of Moruroa e tatou the finding has raised hopes that test victims have a better chance of getting compensation.

Of the 720 applications submitted under the latest scheme, only four have been deemed eligible.

About 150,000 people have taken part in the French nuclear weapons programme which involved more than 200 tests over 36 years, mainly in French Polynesia but also in Algeria.

Moruroa e tatou says the institute had already carried out a study on the subject but it was blocked by the defence ministry.