17 Feb 2005

French court calls for report into alleged link between cancer death and Pacific nuclear tests

4:50 pm on 17 February 2005

A court in France has commissioned an expert report into the possible link between a man's death from cancer and his exposure to a French nuclear weapons test.

This follows a complaint by his widow, Victoire Le Souder, who said her husband died in 2000 of lung cancer which was the result of his exposure to radiation from the nuclear blast.

He was serving on an aircraft carrier near Moruroa in 1966 when the test took place.

The French defence ministry said appropriate measures were taken at the time to protect the people involved in the testing programme.

The court has asked two doctors in the French city of Rennes to prepare a report on the problem within the next eight months.