French minister says nuclear comp needs revisiting

3:06 pm on 13 March 2015

The French overseas minister, George Pau-Langevin says the 2010 nuclear compensation law needs to be revisited in view of the large number of claims.

The minister made the comment in Tahiti at the end of her official visit.

The law has been widely decried as being too restrictive because only about a dozen claims have been deemed acceptable although thousands of people say they have suffered serious health problem from the weapons test fallout.

Mrs Pau-Langevin says France owes a moral debt to French Polynesia because the weapons tests made it possible for France to attain its greatness.

Nuclear testing

Photo: AFP

She has also spoken out in favour of the French state returning land still held by the military if there are projects of general interest in those zones.

Last year, the French Polynesian assembly passed a resolution demanding that France pay compensation for the environmental damage caused by the tests.

Between 1966 and 1996 France carried out almost 200 nuclear weapons tests in French Polynesia.