28 Mar 2017

Tahiti test veterans say 'new generation' has to take over job one day

1:38 pm on 28 March 2017

French Polynesia's Nuclear Workers' Association, Mururoa e Tatou, says it's important younger generations get involved in the battle for justice over nuclear testing in the Pacific.

That follows the death of French nuclear weapons test expert Bruno Barrillot, who died in Tahiti, aged 77.

The Association said Mr Barrillot's death was a huge loss as he had a vast knowledge of all the nuclear experiments in the region and worked tirelessly in the fight for compensation for victims.

Its president, Roland Oldham, said the group was trying to encourage young people to engage in the issue as the job wasn't over yet.

"We are all going to pass away one day," Mr Oldham said.

"John Doom has passed away, one of the leaders of our organisation, and Bruno Barrillot has just gone, and one day I'll be gone," he said.

Mr Oldham said research suggests that the negative health effects of nuclear exposure can be passed through generations.

Roland Oldham, head of Mururoa e Tatou

Roland Oldham, head of Mururoa e Tatou Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel