5 thoughts on “French nuclear tests’ victims

  1. Algerians mull French nuclear test compensation

    By Alfred De Montesquiou, Associated Press Writer – Tue Mar 24, 12:45 pm ET

    ALGIERS, Algeria – Algerian officials and activists said they hoped France’s pledge Tuesday to compensate victims of its nuclear tests in the Sahara Desert would be a first step toward broader atonement and reparation.

    French Defense Minister Herve Morin said the draft law he presented provides for euro10 million ($13.5 million) in compensation for the first year and targets people with health problems linked to nuclear tests — including Algerians.

    The proposal for compensation over the tests in Algeria and the South Pacific is a first by France, nearly 50 years after the country conducted its first atomic tests.

    “It’s a good first step but I’m not satisfied, because we’ve suffered so much that money can’t compensate all,” said Abderahmane Laksassi, head of Algeria’s “February 13, 1960″ association — named after the date of the first French military nuclear test in the Sahara.

    “A little pension for victims isn’t what we seek,” Laksassi said. “We want France to build a hospital,” and conduct de-pollution efforts to make sure the tests’ side-effects end for good, he said.

    The Algerian Foreign Ministry declined immediate comment. An official said the ministry wanted to first make sure the bill would significantly compensate Algerians.

    France tested dozens of bombs near the Sahara Desert town of Reggane in Algeria, both before and after the former French colony won independence in 1962. Other tests followed in the Pacific Ocean atolls of French Polynesia.

    There are no official tallies of the number of Algerian victims of the tests.

    Laksassi said that even now an average of 50 people die each year of cancer because they were exposed to radiation. He estimated that 10,000 people have suffered disease or material losses because of the tests — including tribes of nomads whose herds could have been exposed for years.

    France’s defense minister, however, said only a few hundred people who had health problems linked to atomic tests would likely be eligible for the compensation.

  2. Tuesday 28 April 2009

    NUCLEAR test veterans whose lives have been blighted by those bomb trials must receive the public apology that they are owed.

    The compensation they are being offered is too little too late. The illnesses suffered by test veterans and their families won’t be solved by money alone.

    The Ministry of Defence should be renamed the Ministry of Deceit for its cowardly attempts to avoid paying these veterans their dues.

    OLIVER HEALEY
    Hadley [Britain]

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/letters/test_veterans_case_goes_on

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