16 Aug 2004

More nuclear compensation claims lodged in Marshalls ahead of deadline

6:55 am on 16 August 2004

A raft of fresh nuclear compensation claims has been building up in the Marshall Islands.

Islanders have until the end of the month to file claims seeking compensation for damage caused by 67 American nuclear weapons test at Bikini and Enewetak atolls in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Nuclear Claims Tribunal has set the deadline of August the 31st in a bid to wind up its activities after 15 years.

But,the cut-off date has sparked a flood of responses, including from islands that had not previously filed claims.

The Nuclear Claims Tribunal has already awarded more than a billion U.S. dollars to Bikini and Enewetak islanders.

But, the tribunal's inability to pay the awards are the basis for a petition the Marshall Islands government has lodged with the US Congress.