21 Jun 2004

Compensation campaigner, Nathan Note, dies in Marshall Islands

7:34 am on 21 June 2004

The Bikini Islander who led a campaign that won multi-million dollar nuclear test compensation trust funds from the United States government, died in the Marshall Islands on Saturday night.

Nathan Note, whose age was estimated at 85, died of natural causes at his home in Majuro.

He was described as a sceptic who refused to believe U.S. government scientists when, in the early 1970s, they told the Bikinians that the former nuclear test site was safe for resettlement.

Mr Note convinced most of his people not to believe these American government pronouncements of safety, so only a small percentage of islanders returned home in 1971.

Jack Neidenthal, an American who has worked for the Bikini Council since the late 1980s, says Nathan Note didn¹t believe a word the U.S. was saying about Bikini being safe.

In I978, he was proved right when the approximately 100 Bikinians living on the atoll had to be evacuated after ingesting the largest amount of radioactive cesium of any human population.