France details nuclear compensation efforts

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The French nuclear compensation commission, CIVEN, claims to have paid $ 30 million to victims of France’s nuclear weapons tests since 2010.

The explosion of a French nuclear test at Mururoa in French Polynesia. France carried out 193 tests between 1966 and 1996.
Photo: AFP

In a report, the agency said the money had been paid to a total of 362 people for health problems caused by weapons testing in Algeria and French Polynesia.

In 2019, 96 other people in French Polynesia requested compensation, bringing the total to nearly 1,600.

Last year, CIVEN accepted 62 claims for compensation lodged in French Polynesia while over the period 2010-2017, only 11 were accepted.

France said its tests were clean and caused no damage until 2010, when a compensation law was passed.

However, after a high rejection rate, the compensation criteria were relaxed in 2017 but tightened again in a reform approved last month.

France tested its atomic weapons in French Polynesia from 1966 to 1996.

50 years after the first nuclear test and 20 years after the last.  The Mururoa atoll in French Polynesia is still largely a no-go zone.

Mururoa atoll still bears the marks of nuclear tests
Photo: AFP

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