HIGH levels of radioactive contamination are being discovered in French Polynesia nearly a decade after nuclear testing ended on Mururoa Atoll. Up to five people a day are being set to private hospitals in Auckland for diagnosis and treatment for what may be radiation related illnesses, officials say.
The territory's President Oscar Temaru has accused the French Government of a continuing, high-level cover-up over the health and environmental consequences of the testing. "We have a lot of health problems," he told the Dominion Post newspaper.
France conducted 41 nuclear tests over the Tuamotu atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa between 1966 and 1974. It followed these up with 134 underground nuclear tests between 1975 and 1991, with eight more tests in 1995 and 1996.