The unexpected rejection of compensation cases in French Polynesia has again thrown the spotlight on the apparent impasse over the legacy of France's nuclear weapons testing.
A legal expert in Tahiti established last month that 10 of the 12 compensation cases before the court would be rejected.
The reason is a clause quietly introduced in a French finance act late last year which defines the minimum level of exposure of an area for a claimant to be eligible for compensation.
The head of the test veterans organisation Association 193 Father Auguste Uebe Carlson told Radio 1 in Tahiti this is a serious setback.
"Now we have gone back five years. The so-called suppression of negligible risk is a lie and that has to be said clearly," he said.
France's reluctance to repair the damage caused by the weapons tests had been festering until a decade ago when Paris for the first time acknowledged that the tests had caused illnesses.
But compensation claims under the a new law, which was named after the then defence minister Herve Morin, were mostly thrown out because the criteria were very restrictive.
To give the law some meaning the onus of proof was to be done away with and give claimants a chance to win reparations.
Yet, to comply with the French health act, a minimum exposure level was slipped back into a finance act.
For Father Uebe-Carlson, this change means that compensation claims will now fail.
"The majority of cases are rejected with this famous amendment of Lana Tetuanui," he said.
When she last year appeared on television after meeting the French prime minister, she couldn't give a figure on how many more cases would succeed.
She was hopeful for broader recognition.
"I'm also confident that the important issue of diseases passed down through the generations is also being raised with the recommendations in our report," she said.
Last year, there was alarm over suggestions that the weapons tests had caused genetic mutations.
Yet, independent studies on the impact in French Polynesia are still pending.
Now, Mrs Tetuanui's involvement with the commission last year is being criticised.
The French Polynesian government has however rallied to her defence, saying it regrets that some organisations call into question the law adopted by both the French National Assembly and Senate.
Mrs Tetuanui has issued a statement, saying the French government was being destabilised by the possibility of a flood of claims by anyone suffering from cancer.
She drew a link to smoking.
She said if people know the risk posed by tobacco it is not up to the French state to compensate smokers who get cancer in French Polynesia or who have been to French Polynesia.
The Greens leader in Tahiti Jacky Bryant told local radio he was aghast at her stance.
"This resembles talk that is almost diabolical - and the health minister could have explained to her that she should stop saying silly things because it is grotesque," he said.
About 150,000 personnel served the French military's nuclear testing programme which ran over almost four decades in first Algeria and French Polynesia.
It's not known how many people suffer from cancer as a result of radiation exposure.
Father Maxime Chan of the Association 193 said trying to save money might be a motivation for the French government to hold back with compensation.
"I think the authorities of the French state have to be told there is nothing to fear. There is such great pressure on people. They are extremely hesitant to ask to be compensated," he said.
The claimants still left keep fighting for their cause although both Paris and the current French Polynesian government want to close the chapter of the nuclear testing.
Plans exist for a memorial site in Tahiti.
While the case is unlikely to succeed, it shows the frustration by many over the drawn-out process.
The government in French Polynesia is keen to be seen as the defender of the test victims but its leader has a credibility problem.
Last year, President Edouard Fritch told the assembly that he and fellow politicians had lied about the tests for 30 years.
France's role remains controversial but on a formal level a settlement has been reached with last month's adoption of a new autonomy statute.
Mr Fritch said the main point of it was to calm domestic and international opinion about the weapons test legacy.
In the revised text Paris acknowledged French Polynesia's role in helping France develop its nuclear deterrent.
The text only passed when it was clarified that French Polynesia's role wasn't voluntary.