The effects of French nuclear testing in the Pacific are still reverberating via Noted

Bill Ralston talks to military man who spent time in the Pacific where France tested nuclear weapons.

Denis had a problem. We were sitting talking in a cafe in Collioure, a gorgeous coastal village on the Mediterranean’s Côte Vermeille, about as far south as you can go in France. The next stop is the Pyrenees and Spain.

Once his coughing was under control, Denis mentioned his problem. He said his chest and knees were affected by radiation from those tests.

Thousands of French former servicemen and their families have been clamouring for compensation from the 193 nuclear tests that were performed in the Pacific. Only 11 are reported to have received a payout.

Documents that surfaced in 2013 showed that in 1974, one test exposed Tahiti and a vast area of the Pacific to 500 times the maximum allowable level of plutonium fallout.






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