France Denies 'State Cover Up' of 20th Century Nuclear Tests' Fallout
18:04 GMT 03.07.2021 (Updated: 18:05 GMT 03.07.2021)
An investigative website previously claimed that "French authorities have concealed the true impact of nuclear testing on the health of Polynesians for more than 50 years."
The French government has denied allegations of a cover-up related to the impact of nuclear tests the country conducted in the Pacific between 1966 and 1996.
The development comes following a two-day meeting that was called by French President Emmanuel Macron amid discussions about the aforementioned nuclear tests causing “hidden atmospheric and ground radiation,” as AFP put it.
"There was no state cover-up," said Genevieve Darrieussecq, a junior defence minister, with the media outlet noting that she also "ruled out any official apology from France."
The roundtable discussions were attended by Macron himself, with the President of French Polynesia Edouard Fritch saying that the French head of state promised to open up the military archives so documents about the tests could be accessed, with AFP noting that only records that "could lead to nuclear proliferation" would remain secret.
Earlier this year, an investigative website called Disclose announced that it had analysed 2,000 pages of declassified French military documents related to nearly 200 tests conducted around French Polynesia, and concluded that "French authorities have concealed the true impact of nuclear testing on the health of Polynesians for more than 50 years."
Some 193 nuclear tests were conducted by France in French Polynesia, until the programme was shut down in 1996.