14 Apr 2005

French tribunal wants study into possible link of cancer case to atomic tests

5:54 pm on 14 April 2005

A tribunal in France has ordered a medical expert report after a former member of the French military demanded an invalid's pension for cancer he says is the result of exposure to the nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific.

Reports say the pension tribunal wants the report following claims by a 69-year old man that his skin cancer was caused by him serving with the navy during four years in the 1960's when France tested its weapons in Mururoa and Fangataufa.

The tribunal has accepted the claim on the basis that a medical expert establishes such a link.

However, it rejected a similar claim by another former serviceman who was in French Polynesia at the same time, saying his cancer is not so severe to make him eligible for a disability benefit.

Two months ago, another tribunal in France ordered a study after the widow of a serviceman lodged a complaint, saying her husband died of cancer as a result of his time at the test sites.