Within 30 years France conducted 193 nuclear weapons tests in French Polynesia, including 41 atmospheric tests that exposed humans to high levels of radiation. Recently the French defence ministry declassified the documents about these tests, and researchers have been studying them, as well as interviewing people about the tests. A Princeton University team has concluded that the impact of the Aldébaran, Encelade and Centaure tests of 1966, 1971 and 1974 was far greater than officially acknowledged. Another study concludes that France had underestimated the contamination on Tahiti by as much as 40 percent. Some districts of Papeete were two or three times higher than reported by France’s Atomic Energy Commission. This revelation may allow tens of thousands more people to be officially recognised as test victims and receive compensation.
Source: Jon Henley, The Guardian, March 9, 2021.
Peace Magazine April-June 2021, page 2. Some rights reserved.
Search for other articles by Jon Henley here