24 Jan 2011

AVEN criticises lack of French nuclear test compensation

7:35 am on 24 January 2011

The French nuclear test veterans organisation, AVEN, says it is indignant that promised compensation has not been given to those who fell ill because of the French weapons tests between 1960 and 1996.

AVEN says the former defence minister, Herve Morin, had promised that by the end of last year, disbursements were expected in line with the new law adopted last year that for the first time acknowledged that the French tests were not clean.

AVEN says last year 45 more veterans died and 800 more became ill in France, which it says is the figure on the eve of the 15th anniversary of the last test in the South Pacific.

It also calls for a commission to be put in place to look at the testing aftermath as promised in the new law.

The law has been widely criticised in French Polynesia as being too restrictive.