French Nuclear Bombs Contaminated 110,000 — Study
France conducted 193 nuclear tests not far from Tahiti, exposing the local population and French soldiers to high levels of radiation.
TAHITI, FRENCH POLYNESIA — This is the Pacific paradise of Tahiti. France used the surrounding region in the sixties to test its nuclear bombs, and now it seems that radioactive fallout on islands like Tahiti had been much worse than France estimated. Here are the details:
The Guardian reports that France has greatly underestimated the impact of its nuclear tests in French Polynesia in the 1960s and 70s, according to new research that could allow more than 100,000 people to claim compensation for cancer.
France conducted 193 nuclear tests around atolls in French Polynesia, including 41 atmospheric tests that exposed the local population and French soldiers to high levels of radiation.
The new study's modelling of the fallout from the Centaure bomb alone was quite shocking. Centaure was the last atmospheric detonation before the tests moved underground.
Using meteorological data and data on the size of the bomb's mushroom cloud, the team plotted the radioactive cloud's movement.
The cloud was predicted to head north, but never reached the predicted height of 9,000 meter, instead staying at about 5,200 meter.
There it was blown westward, passing over Tahiti, where no precautions had been taken to protect the population.
The study suggests Paris had underestimated contamination on Tahiti by as much as 40%.
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