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French Polynesia to demand $1 billion from Paris over tests

Staff writer ▼ | November 26, 2014
French Polynesia, an overseas territory governed by France, is to ask Paris for nearly $1 billion in compensation for damage caused by nuclear weapons tests carried out by France in the South Pacific between 1966 and 1996.
French Polynesia
Nuclear site   193 tests carried out by France
The Assembly of French Polynesia has prepared a demand for $930 million over major pollution caused by the 193 tests carried out by France for 30 years, La Depeche de Tahiti reported. On top of this, the proposed resolution seeks an additional $132 million for the continued occupation of the Fangataufa and Mururoa atolls, used for nuclear testing.

The conservative Tahoera'a Huiraatira party committee has been acting independently of Polynesian President Edouard Fritch, who said he was "sorry" for the motion "written without consulting him," local press reported.

Meanwhile, the text of the resolution, set for approval by the Assembly, highlights a "very poor situation of the atolls," and a clean-up "impossible in the current state of scientific knowledge," Tahiti Infos reported. They write that French Polynesia has been "too long sidelined" from decisions on "waste conservation and monitoring modes whatever their nature as well as the rehabilitation options of the atolls."

France began its last series of nuclear tests in the South Pacific in 1995. It conducted its final nuclear test in January 1996 and then permanently dismantled its nuclear test sites.