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Marshall Islanders to seek nuclear damages from US
from Jang Group Online
Entered into the database on Friday, March 10th, 2006 @ 20:22:48 MST


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People from the Marshall Islands plan to seek one billion dollars in compensation this year for damage to their health and environment caused by 67 US nuclear tests during the Cold War.

The cases in the US courts are being brought by former inhabitants and their descendents from the evacuated central Pacific atolls of Bikini and Enewetak, where the tests were held between 1946 and 1958.

A third atoll Rongelap will also bring a suit as a consequence of being unexpectedly showered with massive nuclear fallout during the Bravo test, the world’s biggest ever nuclear explosion. Rongelap, about 160 km east of Bikini, also had to be evacuated and residents have not yet returned there or to Bikini.

The Marshall Islands, which is self-governing under a compact of free association with the United States, has made no progress with a petition filed six years ago to the US Congress seeking more compensation. This is prompting the atolls to take their cases back to the US court system.

Bikini Atoll will file a claim in the US courts this month, the 60th anniversary of their removal from the atoll by the US Navy to start the nuclear tests, according to Bikini Senator Tomaki Juda.