24 Jun 2014

Tahiti nuclear memorial protest draws crowds

4:14 am on 24 June 2014

French Polynesia's nuclear test veterans organisation says close to 400 people turned out on Sunday at a protest against a plan to remove a memorial site for victims in Tahiti.

The French Polynesian President, Gaston Flosse has directed that the present memorial on the beach be removed and a new one set up elsewhere at a later date.

A satellite image of Mururoa atoll, French Polynesia

A satellite image of Mururoa atoll, French Polynesia Photo: NASA

But the head of Mururoa e Tatou, Roland Oldham, has accused Mr Flosse of trying to move the memorial to a less prominent location to erase the nuclear testing era from French Polynesian history.

Mr Oldham says hundreds of people turned out today, and not just test veterans.

"Which is encouraging for us because for many, many years the former workers have been alone in this battle and especially now that a lot them are sick and a lot of them are dying of cancer it is very good to have another generation taking on the battle."

Roland Oldham of Mururoa e Tatou.