14 Jun 2010

France publishes nuclear compensation decree

2:20 pm on 14 June 2010

France has published the official decree to compensate the victims of its nuclear weapons tests carried out between 1960 and 1996.

The decree had been issued in January after the legislature approved the measure but its application has only now been put on the official record.

The scheme applies to former soldiers and civilians who developed cancers and other illnesses after exposure to radiation from nuclear tests carried out in Algeria and French Polynesia.

The French defence ministry says about 150,000 civil and military workers took part in the tests.

Residents living near the test sites will also be eligible to apply for compensation.

In French Polynesia, veterans, the churches and political parties consider the law to be inadequate in part because the zones eligible for compensation are too small.