French Polynesia's Top Nuclear Testing Expert Dies In Tahiti

Former priest Bruno Barrillot worked to rehabilitate testing areas, amend French compensation laws

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 27, 2017) – French Polynesia's foremost expert on the French nuclear weapons tests Bruno Barrillot has died in Tahiti, aged 77.

Last year, the government reinstated him - three years after the previous government, led by Gaston Flosse, had sacked him as the head of the territory's body concerned with the aftermath of the French nuclear weapons tests.

Mr Barrillot's duties included work on the rehabilitation of the former test-related military sites on Moruroa and Hao as well as assisting in efforts to amend the French nuclear testing compensation law.

In 1984, Mr Barrillot, a French-born priest, founded the NGO Arms Observatory and after the French sinking of the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior in 1985 he focussed on the damage caused by the nuclear tests in the Pacific.

He was also the co-founder of French Polynesia's nuclear test veteran organisations.

Bruno Barrillot will be buried in Tahiti.

Radio New Zealand International
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