Algerian researcher reports on damage caused by French nuclear testing

by Osamu Kido, Staff Writer

An Algerian researcher, who has studied the damage caused by repeated nuclear tests by France in Algeria, visited Hiroshima for the first time on August 5 and reported the effects of this testing. The researcher, Ammar Mansouri, 52, also enjoyed a reunion with Sunao Tsuboi, 83, Chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, who described his experience of the A-bombing. Both Mr. Mansouri and Mr. Tsuboi reconfirmed the importance of networking efforts among A-bomb victims.

Mr. Mansouri is part of an Algerian research group studying the effects of nuclear testing, a government-affiliated organization, and Chairman of the Algerian Nuclear Technology Academy. Mr. Mansouri spoke at the World Conference against A & H Bombs hosted by the Japan Congress Against A-and H-Bombs.

France conducted a total of 17 underground and atmospheric nuclear tests in the Algerian Sahara in the 1960s. However, an investigation into the damage caused by this testing did not begin until the mid-1990s. It is now believed that residents living near the test site have experienced a higher incidence of cancer.

Mr. Tsuboi first met Mr. Mansouri at the International Conference for Nuclear Test Victims held in Algeria in February 2007. By taking part in the Hiroshima conference, he was able to reconnect with Mr. Mansouri. Both men expressed pleasure at the opportunity to meet again.

“I would like to hear all about your experience of campaigning for the A-bomb victims of Japan,” said Mr. Mansouri, extending his hand to Mr. Tsuboi. “Hiroshima and Algeria are friends fighting for the same cause.” To which Mr. Tsuboi remarked, offering his advice, “In seeking compensation from France for its nuclear testing, the crucial thing is solidarity among the victims.”

(Originally published on August 6, 2008)