AW: [ RadSafe ] query

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at
Wed Mar 25 17:25:17 CDT 2009


>From what I understand from the mass media this compensation is rather for
those people, who participated in the nuclear tests in Algeria. According to
these press media no native inhabitants are eligible (hardly to believe).
Similar compensations have been granted to the employees of establishments
in the USA working in weapons manufacturing. It is only a political
question, whether it might be justified by scientific evidence or not. 

After Algeria gained independance from France nuclear testing was moved to
the two atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa in French Polynesia. The first
atmospheric test was conducted on July 2nd, 1966 on Mururoa. Altogether 46
tests in the atmosphere have been conducted on both atolls, the last one on
14 September 1974. They were tests on barges, devices suspended on balloons,
air drops and a few safety tests. The largest test was a 2.6 Mt
thermonuclear device exloded over the Fangataufa lagoon in 1968. (Compare
this to the US tests in the Marshal Islands!)

Underground testing was introduced in 1975 and continued until January 1996.
Their number was 137 nuclear tests and 10 underground safety tests. 

This clearly shows, that the last atmospheric test on the atolls was
conducted 35 years ago. I have worked on the IAEA-project as head of the
terrestrial working group and been in the area for three weeks, sampling and
measuring. What I was told there - and I believe it - was that in the case
of atmospheric, but even underground tests the Mururoa atoll was evacuated
on boats to the sea. Fangataufa was as well as Mururoa never inhabited by
native inhabitants, nor were there any housings of military personnel there.
As mentioned above the compensation seems not to apply to staff at Mururoa
or Fangataufa. 

I hope that this sheds a little more light on the question of French nuclear
testing and the precautions undertaken at least on Mururoa and Fangataufa. 


Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
MinRat i.R.
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Wien/Vienna

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag
von Bernard L. Cohen
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 25. März 2009 15:58
An: RadiatSafety
Betreff: [ RadSafe ] query

Does anyone know what is behind the recent French decision to compensate 
people exposed to the Mururoa tests 10 years ago? Is there any evidence 
for health impacts from those tests?

Bernard L. Cohen
Physics Dept., University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Tel: (412)624-9245  Fax: (412)624-9163
e-mail: blc at  web site:

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