Roland Oldham, President of Moruroa e Tatou (MET), Tahiti
Moruroa e Tatou (MET) is an organization working to secure restitution for victims of French nuclear testing in Tahiti. Between 1966 and 1996, France conducted over 190 nuclear tests in it overseas territory in the South Pacific. Moruroa and other atolls were the scene of atomic explosions up to 170 times stronger than that used in the bombing of Hiroshima. While the French government maintained that the nuclear tests were “clean”, MET contends that the adverse effects of radiation on the island are undeniable.
The organization was founded in 2001 to seek compensation for victims of radiation – many of whom have developed cancers and other serious illnesses. Its over 4000 members are comprised of former military officers, test site workers and their spouses and children. Forty-three years have passed since the first nuclear bomb exploded over the islands. Illness and old age have claimed the lives of many Tahitians exposed to atomic radiation. MET is working to preserve the testimonies of the remaining witnesses and victims. MET has also spent the last 8 years appealing for access to French military and medical records about the nuclear tests. These records remain closed.
Breaking the Nuclear Chain is a new campaign to inform, motivate and activate people to prevent the looming humanitarian catastrophe represented by nuclear energy in all its forms, it is an initiative of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), IKV Pax Christi and Peace Boat.