The French president Francois Hollande has publicly acknowledged French Polynesia's contribution to France being a nuclear power.
In an address in Tahiti, Mr Hollande acknowledged that the weapons tests had an environmental impact with consequences for people's health.
He promised to revisit the way compensation claims are being treated because in the past few years, just about all applications have been thrown out.
Between 1966 and 1996, the French military tested 193 nuclear weapons in Moruroa and Fangataufa - two atolls excised from French Polynesia for the tests.
Until 2009 France insisted that its tests were clean and had caused no adverse effects.
During his visit to French Polynesia, the French president will also visit Raiatea.
Mr Hollande will continue his trip tonight with one-day stops in Peru, Argentina and Uruguay.