France holds discussion on nuclear testing in French Polynesia over declassified report

WION Web Team
Polynesia Published: Jul 02, 2021, 06:05 PM(IST)

A picture in 1985 shows Atoll of Mururoa in the Indian Ocean Tuamotu archipelago of the French Polynesia overseas territory where is installed the French nuclear testing site Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

According to the report, the Polynesian population was badly hit by the radiation caused by the Centaure bomb testing in July 1974 with almost the entire population badly hit.

After a declassified French defence report indicated the government hidden impact of nuclear testing in French Polynesia between 1966-1996, the French government held a round table meeting to discuss the issue.

A report by an online site Disclose revealed that radiation levels were allegedly two to ten times higher than estimated by France’s Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in 2006 as it studied the radiation effects in Aldébaran in 1966, Encelade in 1971 and Centaure in 1974.

Watch:

According to the report, the Polynesian population was badly hit by the radiation caused by the Centaure bomb testing in July 1974 with almost the entire population badly hit.

According to Disclose, at least 63 Polynesian civilians have received compensation for the radiation exposure.

The meeting was attended by French President Emmanuel Macron. The French president called for a frank discussion on the subject amid allegations by Disclose. However, MP Moetai Brotherson who represents Polynesia refused to attend the event unless the government apologised.

The head of the region Edouard Fritch however welcomed Macron's move.

Disclose in its report had said that at least 11,000 victims allegedly received radiation doses in excess of 5 millisieverts which included 600 children under the age of 15 in Tahiti, Tureia and Gambier Islands.

France had reportedly carried out 193 nuclear tests between 1960 and 1996 on the atolls of Fangataufa and Mururoa.

The "Moruroa files" which was compiled in a two year-long investigation after interviewing several people in France and French Polynesia found that the military did not take preventive evacuation while conducting the tests, according to the declassified report 

The investigation revealed that people living in Mangareva island in the Gambier archipelago had developed breast and thyroid cancer after the tests were conducted.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Read in App