The French army deliberately exposed its own soldiers to nuclear tests to see the effects on the human body. That is the verdict of researchers quoting a copy of confidential military documents.
Soldiers were asked to perform manoeuvres shortly after the explosion of an atom bomb 800 metres away in the Sahara desert in 1961.
“We were all together on a platform next to the mountain and we watched the show.”
“It was violent. That’s when we heard the ‘run for your life.’ Then there was general panic. We were used as Guinea pigs because no-one told us anything. We knew there was a risk, the authorities knew there was a risk but they didn’t tell us anything.”
The French government has only recently taken responsibility for health concerns suffered by soldiers since and a bill to compensate them was passed last month.
But amid the suggestion that the testing was done intentionally, the fallout may be much greater.