The French government is to release 10 million euros to compensate victims of nuclear tests carried out in the Sahara and Polynesia.
Around 150,000 individuals, both military and civilian, are involved excluding the indigenious populations. French Defence Minister Hervé Morin announced the u-turn. Previously the French government refused to formally recognise any health problems related to the tests. An independent commission made up of doctors and chaired by a magistrate will examine complaints on a case by case basis. If the applications are accepted the victims will receive compensation. France launched around 210 nuclear tests in the Sahara and Algeria between 1960 and 1966 and French Polynesia from 1966 up to 1996. The resulting health problems include a variety of cancers. The government says the 10 million euros will be made available on an annual basis.