Dismay over plans to scrap French nuclear monitoring commission

2:54 pm on 2 March 2020

Nuclear test veterans groups in French Polynesia have reacted with dismay at reports that Paris wants to abolish the National Commission for Monitoring the Consequences of Nuclear Tests.

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

Last week, the French publication Canard Enchaine reported that as part of administrative changes and cost-cutting measures, dozens of commissions would be disestablished.

The commission is the body bringing together state authorities, representatives of the French Polynesian government and veterans associations to work on the list of radiation-induced illnesses deemed to be relevant for compensation.

The head of the group Moruroa e tatou Hiro Tefaarere has told the broadcaster La Premiere the move was inadmissible yet not surprising for the Macron government.

He said the French president on one hand described colonialism as a crime against humanity and on the other everything was suppressed which would recognise the consequences of the tests.

France carried out more than 190 nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific and until 2010 maintained that they were clean and posed no threat to human health.

French Polynesia's president has reportedly raised his concerns in a letter to the French prime minister.

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