25 Mar 2010

French nuclear test veterans challenge Paris over compensation law

2:57 pm on 25 March 2010

The French nuclear test veterans organisation, AVEN, has written an open letter to the French defence minister to denounce the government's stance on compensating test victims.

AVEN says the law, which was passed last December, is inadequate because the geographic zone in French Polynesia set out for compensation claims is too limited and that too few cancers are listed for compensation.

Although the law has been voted on, Paris is yet to issue a decree for its application.

It says the minister, Herve Morin, has failed to keep his commitments made to the veterans and the nation.

AVEN went on to question whether it needs to harden its campaign to prompt Paris to broaden the eligibility criteria for those seeking compensation.

France tested more than 200 nuclear weapons between 1960 and 1996.