FORMER FRENCH PACIFIC NUCLEAR WORKERS DEMAND MEDICAL INQUIRY

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PAPE'ETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia (August 21, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Former French Pacific nuclear test site workers are demanding a thorough medical follow up -- and possible compensation -- after the release of a report showing higher rates of cancer among the group.

In the 30 years until testing was halted in 1996, France exploded nearly 200 nuclear devices at Moruroa and nearby Fangataufa atolls in French Polynesia.

A group, which says it represents more than a thousand former workers at the sites, called "Moruroa E Tatou", says it will present its demands to French Minister for Overseas Territories Brigitte Girardin when she makes her first visit to French Polynesia this week.

The group says a study by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research shows the cancer rate in the two atolls is 34 percent, twice the French national average.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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