27 Sep 2018

French group to visit French Polynesia nuclear sites

3:55 pm on 27 September 2018

A French government commission is about to visit French Polynesia's nuclear weapons test sites to help modify the French compensation law.

View of the advanced recording base PEA "Denise" on Moruroa atoll, where French forces have conducted nuclear weapon tests until 1996.

Remnants of the testing infrastructure on Moruroa atoll Photo: AFP

The 12-member commission includes three of French Polynesia's parliamentarians in Paris as well as representatives of ministries such as defence, health and justice.

The group is due to visit Moruroa, Rikitea and Tureia over the next week to hear testimony of how the weapons tests, which were carried out from 1966, affected people on the atolls.

The commission's head Lana Tetuanui has told local media their visit may be seen as late but as the heirs of the bomb, they will do their part.

During the week-long visit, the group will meet local representatives as well as test veterans groups.

The commission is expected to report to the French prime minister Edouard Philippe before the end of the year.

The compensation law, known as the loi Morin, is widely seen as too restrictive as most compensation applications have been thrown out.

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