Servicemen who took part in the British government’s nuclear tests during the 1950s have won the right to sue the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for injury compensation.
The High Court ruling could mean the MoD faces injury compensation claims totalling millions of pounds.
More than 1,000 ex-serviceman believe that they and their families suffered health problems in the years following the tests, which took place in the South Pacific.
Cancer, skin defects and problems with fertility have all been reported by those who took part.
Presiding judge Mr Justice Foskett said any veteran who has reputable scientific grounds to assert he has an illness, disability or injury attributable to the nuclear tests should be entitled to seek a compensation claim.
The decision follows reports last month that the MoD is facing a flood of compensation claims from the families of servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan after a legal ruling that the soldiers were covered by human rights laws.