[JURIST] A French pensions court Thursday awarded disability benefits for a non-cancer illness contracted by soldier who participated in French nuclear testing [Wikipedia backgrounder] over 40 years ago in the Sahara desert. The ruling marked the first example in Feench law of testing compensation for diseases other than cancer, and opens the door for others to make similar claims. Andre Mezieres, 65, was stationed about 25 miles from "ground zero" and handled rock samples afterwards without any form of radiation protection. Five years ago he developed a degenerative muscle condition. The US government provides soldiers, other personnel and surviving beneficiaries with compensation for certain "cancers and other serious diseases" [official website] sustained during US nuclear testing [backgrounder] under the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act [claims under the act]. The New Zealand Herald has more.