8 Jun 2009

Nearly two hundred former Fiji servicemen to seek compensation over British nuke tests fallout

3:54 pm on 8 June 2009

Almost two hundred former Fiji nuclear test workers, or their families, are expected to take legal action against the British government following a UK High Court ruling.

The ruling allows ex-servicemen who took part in the tests off Australia and Christmas Island in the 1950s to sue the British government for compensation.

289 Fijians took part in the tests, but only about 100 are still alive.

The Fiji Nuclear Test Veterans Association's president, Jone Tabaiwalu, says the ruling is an important step.

"We are very grateful, really delighted to hear the decision. So we are preparing to hear from our solicitor what steps to take. The number [of people] included in the claimant trial is 189."

Jone Tabaiwalu says they now have to prove that radiation exposure has caused ill-health, including cancer and skin disease.