15 Jul 2005

Rongelap people in Marshall Islands put hope in nuclear test compensation bid

10:19 am on 15 July 2005

There's renewed hope for the people of Rongelap who were affected by radioactive fallout from the United States' first hydrogen bomb test in 1954.

The islanders were forced to evacuate the atoll when an unexpected windshift dumped radioactive fallout on their home.

In 1966 the United States government signed a 45 million US dollar agreement to ensure their safe return to Rongelap.

However, Rongelap Senator, Abacca Anjain--Maddision says new radiation-related cases have appeared, and there are issues still unresolved which include proper medical care.

She says a petition sent to the US Congress in May to revisit the compensation issue has had a positive impact.

"And we're all very very happy to see that, and as we speak we are also getting ready to appear in the hearing the Senate hearing on the 19th July."