5 Nov 2009

Compo unlikely for Bikini Islanders, fears lawyer

5:58 pm on 5 November 2009

The lawyer acting for Bikini Islanders says there is little hope their case will go to the US Supreme Court as they seek compensation for the 23 US nuclear weapons tests carried on their atoll.

The Bikinians filed suit in the US Federal Court of Claims in 2006 after a Nuclear Claims Tribunal issued a 563 million US dollar damage award in their favour but did not have the money to pay it.

The Bikinians contend that the US Congress cannot take away their US Constitution Fifth Amendment protections for just compensation payments for

damage the nuclear tests did to their islands.

But the US Justice Department said in earlier court hearings that the US Congress provided a full and final settlement through a 150 million US dollar compensation fund in a Compact of Free Association approved by the US and Marshall Islands governments in 1986.

The Tribunal proved incapable of paying even one percent of the compensation.

The atoll is still uninhabited because of radiation contamination.