25 May 2009

French Polynesian nuclear test veteran has case thrown out by French court

6:29 am on 25 May 2009

The French nuclear tests veterans organisation, Aven, says it is angered at a court of appeal ruling in Paris throwing out compensation claims by 12 former members of the military over procedural matters.

This comes just days before the French government is due to adopt a law accepting for the first time a link between France's 210 nuclear weapons tests and illnesses by some of those exposed to radiation.

The court found that the case of a veteran from the French Polynesian tests should not have been filed with the compensation commission, known as Civi, but should have gone to the body dealing with work accidents.

The other 11 cases were thrown out because the veterans' exposure predates 1976 when the Civi agency was set up.

Of the dozen complaints, only five still relate to living persons, as

seven of them have died from cancer.

The head of Aven, Michel Verger has labelled the ruling as scandalous.

Apart from civilian populations, about 150,000 French and local military personnel were exposed to the French nuclear weapns testing regime.