10 Jan 2005

Bush administration rejects Marshalls compensation request

11:25 am on 10 January 2005

The Bush Administration has told the U.S. Congress that it should not give more nuclear test money to the Marshall Islands.

The Marshall Islands has been wanting the Congress to pay 3 billion US dollars in extra compensation for islanders affected by 67 nuclear weapons tests conducted in the central Pacific nation between 1946 and 1958.

These tests included the largest United States nuclear weapons test ever, which took place there on March 1, 1954.

The State Department's undersecretary for political affairs, Marc Grossman, says in a letter to Senator Jeff Bingaman there is no legal basis for considering additional payments.

The Bush Administration report says that the Congress should reject any consideration of additional funding beyond the 150 million US dollar fund provided as part of a final settlement agreed to in 1983.

This included separate resettlement funds set up specifically for nuclear test-affected islanders from Bikini, Enewetak and Rongelap atolls.