France Hid Extent Of Chernobyl Contamination: Report

PARIS, France -- French authorities deliberately suppressed information about the spread of radioactive fallout from the May 1986 Chernobyl disaster over France, according to details of an experts’ report leaked on Thursday.

Radioactive cloud from Chernobyl explosion

Two independent physicists say in the report that the state-run Central Service for Protection against Radioactive Rays (SCPRI) knew of high levels of contamination in Corsica and southeastern France but kept the details under wraps.

The study was commissioned by magistrate Marie-Odile Bertella-Geffroy, who since 2001 has been examining allegations that the atomic cloud from Chernobyl caused a surge in cases of thyroid cancer in parts of France.

This week Bertella-Geffroy handed over the report -- originally completed in March -- to civil plaintiffs in the case, who passed details to AFP.

“Now we have proof that there was a breakdown in the system. So now the judicial case will succeed -- I can’t see how it can do otherwise,” said Chantal Hoir, president of the French Association of Victims of Thyroid Cancer.

Source: AFP