22 Sep 2014

New French decree for Pacific nuclear test victims

8:43 am on 22 September 2014

The French government has changed the process of compensating victims of French nuclear weapons testing in French Polynesia.

A nuclear explosion from an atomic bomb test, mushroom cloud.

A nuclear explosion from an atomic bomb test Photo: Supplied

It means victims will no longer take their claims through the French Ministry of Defense, but through the Ministry of Health.

The French government has also asked the French Association of Veterans of Nuclear Tests to appoint a doctor to help with compensation claims.

The head of the nuclear test veterans organisation in French Polynesia Mururoa e tatou, Roland Oldham, is skeptical the changes will make any difference for victims.

"This doctor of this committee, that's only one voice, like a drop in the ocean. This committee are the people that are nominated by the French government and all the experts that are called round this committee, their position on the nuclear weapons is that nuclear tests have done no damage."

Roland Oldham says of the 900 files it has presented to the Compensation Committee, only 12 have been successful so far.