French President Francois Hollande has acknowledged that nuclear weapons tests carried out in French territories in the South Pacific had consequences for the environment and the health of residents.

Hollande, visiting French Polynesia, praised the region's contribution to France's role as one of the world's few nuclear powers. His remarks were aired on French television Tuesday.

He pledged to review efforts to compensate people who suffered because of the tests.

Bowing to decades of pressure, the government offered millions of euros in 2010 in compensation for the government's 201 nuclear tests in the South Pacific and Algeria from 1960-1996. But the process is painstaking and many have still not received compensation.

Victims groups welcomed Hollande's statements but said it remains unclear what that will mean in practice.