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The French nuclear compensation commission CIVEN says that last year it paid out US$16.6 million to victims of France’s nuclear weapons tests.

France tested 193 atomic weapons in French Polynesia over three decades from 1966 to 1996 after abandoning its testing regime in Algeria.

In its report for 2021, the commission said it had processed 199 applications of which 46 percent were found to be eligible for compensation.

It said a further 217 compensation claims were filed last year, which was an increase of 79 over 2020.

Until 2010 when a compensation law was passed, France had claimed that its weapons tests were clean and caused no harm to human health.

The provisions of the law have been controversial because of the large number of rejected claims, which led to amendments.

In 2020, CIVEN said it had paid out US$30m to victims of France’s nuclear weapons test since 2010.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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