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Moruroa nuke report attacks France

Published: 7:24PM Friday February 10, 2006 Source: One News

A new report into the impact of nuclear testing in French Polynesia is expected to open the floodgates for compensation claims against the Paris government.

The six month investigation looked at the impact of almost 200 French atomic explosions on Moruroa Atoll.

While the French government denies that there is any proven link between its 30 years of nuclear testing and cancer cases, a Tahitian committee of inquiry claims there is.

The Tahitian report accuses the French of covering up the effects of its nuclear tests and concludes that even the Tahitian capital of Papeete, 1,200 kilometres from the test site, would have suffered from fallout.

"France will never pay enough for what they have done in our country," says the president of Tahiti, Oscar Temaru.

French Polynesia has one of the highest thyroid cancer rates in the world, and the inquiry calls for more medical research as the French military continues to refuse access to nuclear test documents and records.

"We would certainly hope that the government of French Polynesia and the government of France could work together to do what is necessary to put those concerns to rest," says New Zealand Trade Minister Phil Goff.

The latest Tahiti report is expected to trigger a raft of compensation claims. The head of the Moruroa Cancer Victims Group is due to fly to Paris shortly.

The victims are seeking a French government inquiry and an admission of a link between its testing and their suffering.