Two experts to help with Tahiti nuke claim backlog

50 years after the first nuclear test, and 20 years after the last. The French Polynesia atoll of Mururoa is still largely a no-go zone. Photo: AFP

Two French medical experts will be in Tahiti this week to help vet compensation claims of victims of France’s nuclear weapons tests.

The French Polynesian government said two physicians would spend five days in Tahiti to assess about 30 claimants and to determine how much compensation they should be paid.

It said the two doctors were being brought in because there were not enough experts in French Polynesia.

Between 1966 and 1996, France carried out 193 nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.

More than 100,000 military personnel and civilians were involved in the tests and reports say since 1992 about 10,000 people have developed radiation-related conditions or illnesses which might be eligible for compensation.

Until 2009, France claimed that its weapons tests were clean but since 2010 it has accepted a few dozens complaints from French Polynesians.

Churches and the pro-independence opposition have labelled the tests a crime against humanity and this month lodged a case against all living French presidents with the International Criminal Court.

More Stories