France to pay nuclear test compensation
Nearly 40 years after the first of its 210 nuclear tests, France is preparing to compensate people affected by the fallout. The move leaves the UK isolated in its policy of rejecting liability for illnesses suffered by test participants, reports Aidan Lewis.
Early in the morning of 13 February, 1960, several thousand French servicemen gathered in the Algerian Sahara to witness "Gerboise Bleue" or "Blue Desert Rat", an atmospheric nuclear explosion four times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
But the test programme it launched also exposed participants and local populations to potentially lethal radiation.
Both groups claim that they have been plagued by health problems, from aggressive cancers to minor cardio-vascular complaints.
Only now, with many of the veterans dead or dying, is the French government drawing up a bill that starts to satisfy their demands.
The High Court in London ruled on Friday that a group of more than 1,000 veterans has the right to sue the Ministry of Defence for compensation, but the case is likely to take years to reach any conclusion.
comments powered by Disqus
- Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed Race, Not Black
- New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail
- History textbooks in crosshairs of Australia's curriculum wars
- Archaeologists' findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
- 150 years of medical journals to go online
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!
- UW Professor Stephanie Camp, 46, feminist historian, dies
- Italian forces in WW2 were not soft and Mussolini wasn't a clown, British historian claims