French Polynesia nuke test veterans unhappy with new government documents | Pacific Beat

French Polynesia nuke test veterans unhappy with new government documents

French Polynesia nuke test veterans unhappy with new government documents

Updated 3 July 2013, 21:14 AEST

A French Polynesian nuclear test veterans association is planning to sue the French government over what it calls suppression of information.

The French Government has declassified more than 2000 documents but 114 of those pages remain secret.

The veterans organisation, Moruroa e Tatou, says they want access to all information relating to nuclear testing that took place form 1966-1974 at Moruroa Atoll.

Presenter: ABC intern Kristie-Lee Clifford

Speaker: Roland Oldham, President, Nuclear Test Victims Association, Moruroa e tatou, French Polynesia

OLDHAM: We've been battling for the past ten years to get those documents, because we put the French government into court for violation of the right of the victim and after ten years finally, they released the document not very long ago. Not all the documents. Fifty eight documents, that would be about 2,050 pages, but on the pages that have been released, 114 were blank, just mean were not released and in this document it is very clear that they have lied to us all the way through about the real fact of nuclear test. For example, they told us there was around 209 or 19 fallout over the islands in French Polynesia. But a matter of fact, according to the new document, there is more than 300, I mean 100 fallout that did not mention it before, so it is over 300 fallout. And some of the news in this document is that there have been 39 fallout in Tahiti and Tahiti is 1,400 kilometres from Moruroa, so imagine about the island that just run Mururoa. And in 1974, there is one fallout that is very, very dangerous with doses that maximum dose emit for a human body had been, how do you call it, 500 over the authorised doses.

So this is very sad for us, very scary, because all these thing has not been told. This fallout in Tahiti 500 time over the normal is a fallout of plutonium and we all know that plutonium take 1,000 and 1,000 of years before it goes away, before it dissolves. So which mean that a lot of our people in Tahiti have had a lot of attempts that come from this fallout.

Another news in this document, it says that 26 boat of the navy have been contaminated during the atmospheric explosion, which mean that a lot of people that have been on these boats today, we can say that all the health problems, especially cancer, is due to the fact that the boat is contaminated, no.

CLIFFORD: So you can statistically prove that these nuclear tests have had a health affect on a lot of people?

OLDHAM: When this document prove, this document have been released is written in this document, so to us, we think that most of the cancer here are due to the fact that these people have been on these boats, but on the other hand, there is a lot of things that does not stand up. For example, in this document, they did not talk about the pollution on the Moruroa, the fallout of the atmospheric tests on the lagoon of Moruroa, so there's still a lot of things that are being hidden to us. Our action is not to, how do you call, our action is recognition of the right of our people. We are not begging the French government for truth or for justice. It's a question of right and the most of all, it's a question of the future of our future generation and the future of the environment and the health of our people.

CLIFFORD: Now, you mentioned that there are 114 pages left blank. The French government are claiming they're defence secrets. Are you going to try and get access to those and do you accept that argument that they're defence secrets?

OLDHAM: Oh, we never believed the French government. They've been lying to us for all these many years. We're going to use the present document to sue the French government.

CLIFFORD: And the French government, do they accept the links between the illness and their testing and are they going to do anything about this?

OLDHAM: Well, about a few years ago, about three years ago, they talk about transparency, but there's no transparency. They talk about how do you call it, compensation, but there's no real compensation, only nine people have had compensation and the biggest problem also is that a lot of our former workers are ill and are dying and dying everyday. So which mean the French government delay, and delay in everything, so in five years time, or in ten years time, there will be no more former workers left, that's the big problem.

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