17 May 2018

More needs to be done to help those affected by nuclear testing - academic

From , 3:03 pm on 17 May 2018

An academic who was part of a Nobel Prize-winning campaign for a treaty against nuclear weapons says more needs to be done to help those dealing with the lingering effects of nuclear weapons testing.

Matthew Bolton, who is the director of the International Disarmament Institute at New York's Pace University, says the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons requires rehabilitation and support for those affected.

The treaty was signed by 122 countries last year, but none of the nuclear countries - including those who tested in the Pacific - have joined the treaty.

Dr Bolton recently traveled to Kiritimati Island, where the British tested nuclear weapons, and says people are dealing with health and psychological effects from the tests - but have received little support.

He told Jamie Tahana that with the countries that dropped the bombs doing nothing, other countries should fill the void.

The Bravo hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954 was the largest U.S. nuclear weapons test ever conducted. The 15 megaton blast exposed thousands of Marshall Islanders and Americans to radioactive fallout.

The Bravo hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954 was the largest U.S. nuclear weapons test ever conducted. The 15 megaton blast exposed thousands of Marshall Islanders and Americans to radioactive fallout. Photo: RNZI/Giff Johnson