3 Mar 2012

Marshalls US nuclear legacy prompts fresh call for compensation

10:31 am on 3 March 2012

A Marshall Islander says cancers, birth anomalies and other radiogenic diseases make a compelling argument for the United States to reopen the nuclear issue.

Charles Domnick, who was 12 and living about 600 kilometres downwind when the US detonated its Bravo hydrogen bomb, says today they are witnessing an exploding epidemic of cancer cases.

The claim was made on Thursday as the country marked a national holiday with a candlelight vigil for those who suffered and died as a result of the 67 US tests at Bikini and Enewetak.

The foreign minister Phillip Muller has called on the US to pay the more than two billion in unpaid awards made by a Nuclear Claims Tribunal that exhausted its US government-provided funding.

The US Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, Martha Campbell, has told the event in Majuro that the United States has provided nearly 600 million US dollars in compensation and assistance to help the affected communities overcome the effects of nuclear testing.

She has also noted that in 1983 the US and Marshall Islands governments agreed to a full and final settlement of all nuclear-related claims.