11 Oct 2004

Nuke compensation payments in Marshalls this week

4:38 pm on 11 October 2004

The Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal will issue its smallest payment ever later this month because the compensation fund is nearly exhausted.

The more than 1,700 Marshall Islanders with radiation-related health illnesses will begin receiving partial payments in just over a week's time.

Nearly 15 million US dollars is owed on these personal injury awards, but the balance in the fund is only about 5 million.

The fund was established by the US government in 1986.

At that time the US provided 150 million US dollars as full and final compensation for the 67 nuclear weapons tests that it conducted at Bikini and Enewetak atolls.

Because it has lacked funds to pay off all nuclear claims in full, the Tribunal has made annual pro-rata payments since the early 1990s.