Keyword: fallout

The enduring fallout of nuclear tests on French Polynesia

By
Marguerite Taputu, from the island of Taha’a in French Polynesia, who has suffered thyroid and breast cancer, has never blamed France nor sought compensation for her suffering. © JS Marguerite Taputu, from the island of Taha’a in French Polynesia, who has suffered thyroid and breast cancer, has never blamed France nor sought compensation for her suffering. © JS

Over a period of three decades beginning in 1966, France detonated 193 nuclear bombs in atmospheric and undergound tests in its overseas territory of French Polynesia in the South Pacific. The vast fallout from the explosions caused tens of thousands of cancers among the local population according to victims’ associations, although the true, and possibly much larger, toll remains unknown. Meanwhile, the French and local authorities continue to dismiss evidence of the transmission of illnesses to the children of those directly exposed to the nuclear tests. Julien Sartre reports from French Polynesia.

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