12 Dec 2012

France to compensate five Tahiti nuclear test victims

6:48 pm on 12 December 2012

France has agreed to compensate five French Polynesians for the damage caused to their health by its nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.

The Nouvelles de Tahiti says this was announced after a meeting of the compensation committee at the defence ministry in Paris.

In July, France had deemed that only four of the 720 applications were eligible for any compensation under a law passed three years ago.

Veterans organisations have strongly criticised the law for being far too restrictive, but the new defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, says any change to it is not on the agenda.

Until 2008, France claimed that its nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific were clean and had caused no harm.