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    France: Radiation Exposure | European Journal

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    DW (English)

    von DW (English)

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    In April 1961, France tested an atomic bomb in the Sahara desert. French army recruits were intentionally exposed to the radiation in an experiment to test how it would affect humans.After completing their army service in Germany, 300 French soldiers were sent to the Sahara in early 1961. Their mission was to serve as human guinea pigs. After an atomic bomb was detonated, they had to march towards ground zero. The aim of the experiment was to examine how the soldiers' combat capability would suffer in the event of a nuclear war. The soldiers were commanded to silence. Many later fell severely ill and spoke out about their experience. For years the French government contested any compensation claim. Now it has ser aside a 100 million euros for the victims.