2 Jul 2013

Tahiti nuclear fallout worse than previously admitted

3:24 pm on 2 July 2013

Declassified French documents show that the fallout from the nuclear weapons tests in French Polynesia was far greater than previously admitted by Paris.

Following the release of more than 2,000 documents about the atmospheric tests of 1966-1974, the test veterans group says the French authorities measured a plutonium concentration in Tahiti of 500 times the safety limit.

Tahiti is about 1,400 kilometres from Moruroa but under current French law it's outside the zone where compensation claims for poor health can be lodged.

The documents, which include 114 blank pages, confirm that the fallout from the tests affected all areas and not only the 21 atolls, which the French military had listed so far.

The documents also reveal that a total of 26 navy vessels were contaminated.

The Moruroa e tatou test veterans group has called on France to let it know the full truth about the tests' impact.

The latest batch of documents was released on a court order amid a warning by the veterans that they would be taking France to the European Human Rights Court.