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Vice Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative
October 20, 2014
France Agrees to Declassify Radiation Data on Pacific Nuclear Tests

Arms Control NOW

The Advisory Committee of the Confidentiality of National Defense has approved the declassification of 58 documents related to radiation levels in French Polynesia during and after French nuclear test explosions.

France conducted 4 atmospheric and 13 underground nuclear tests in Algeria and 46 atmospheric and 147 underground nuclear tests at the Mururoa and Fangataufa Atolls in the Pacific.

French nuclear test veterans have long struggled to obtain compensation from their government for ailments that they believe resulted from exposure to radioactive fallout. Access to the nuclear testing-related documents may bolster their case for compensation. Additionally, the local Polynesian population believes that residual radiation levels are higher than the French government acknowledges and hopes to use this data to confirm that suspicion.

The advisory committee also announced that they would keep several documents classified, including data about the first French thermonuclear test.

For more information, see: http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/le-secret-defense-leve-sur-les-essais-nucleaires-19-01-2013-2494747.php (in French).