Call to open former French nuclear test site

Picture taken in 1971, showing a nuclear explosion in Mururoa atoll. Photo: AFP

RNZ – THERE has been a call to open the former French nuclear weapons test site in French Polynesia to the public.

A French delegation, led by a French Polynesian member of the French Senate, has completed a tour of Tuamotus, including Moruroa, where France detonated 193 atomic weapons.

Although France stopped its weapons tests in 1996, it has refused to return the excised atoll to French Polynesia and declared it a no-go zone.

The head of the delegation Lana Tetuanui has told local television that while French Polynesian children are being taught about the testing legacy, school classes should be taken to Moruroa for learn about the history.

The delegation is expected to report to the French prime minister on proposed changes to the compensation law for test victims.

It also reiterated earlier calls, including the need to study whether the tests caused genetic mutations.

Last year, the president Edouard Fritch accused a French child psychiatrist of causing panic for suggesting the tests contributed to pervasive developmental disorders in children.

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