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Thread: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

  1. #11

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly d View Post
    Gordon,

    Are there any charities set up for these victims and their families?
    Kelly,

    I believe the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (UK) have some scheme in operation .....there are some details on their website http://www.bntva.com/

    The main problems are both the British and Australian governments.......they have been sweeping the issue under the carpet for many years..........plus spending $millions in legal defence to avoid any responsibility...............there is a court case against the MOD (Ministry of Defence) under way in the UK at present, where they are once again trying to avoid the issue (the MOD)............so between the respective governments and civil serpents it is quite a vexing issue.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Here is some old research to give you some background...............

    Medical Research
    Published Data
    Mortality and Cancer Incidence 1952-1998 in UK Participants in the UK Atmospheric Nuclear Weapons Tests and Experimental Programme
    National Radiological Protection Board (February 2003)

    Non-technical summary
    Abstract
    The full document (PDF, 764 KB, 137 pages)


    Mortality and Morbidity of Members of the British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association and the New Zealand Nuclear Tests Veterans Association and their Families
    in Medicine, Conflict and Survival (Volume 15, Supplement 1, July-September 1999)
    http://www.bntva.com/health/health.htm

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  2. #12

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Aussies 'could miss-out' on radiation compo
    Source: ABC News
    Published: Saturday, June 6, 2009 7:19 AEST
    Expires: Friday, September 4, 2009 7:19 AEST

    Around 1,000 British servicemen who took part in atomic tests in the 1950s have won the right to sue the UK Government for health problems they blame on nuclear radiation, but there is concern that any flow-on will take too long for Australian survivors to benefit.



    Just go to the link to watch the short (1.30) ABV news video http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2009/06/06/2591371.htm

    The court case mentioned above which brought smiles to their faces is now underway..........BUT.........it could result in nothing happening.

  3. #13

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Thanks Gordon,

    I know nuclear poisoning is very serious. I do wish all the victims the best outcome possible. We can rant and rave but the brass tax will be the Government taking responsibility. We all know how that goes.....
    kellyd

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    This article does not refer to the core title of this thread but it serves to illustrate the various governmental attitudes and non-action when radiation induced illnesses rear their respective ugly heads.

    .................................................. .................................................. .

    Former Joliet chemical workers still waiting to be paid after exposure to high levels of radiation
    source Chicago Tribune.

    Fund created a decade ago to compensate Blockson Chemical employees, survivors

    Four years ago, then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama called them "veterans of the Cold War" and pledged to help them receive compensation.

    But today, many former workers at Blockson Chemical Co. in Joliet and their survivors still have not been paid from a fund created in 2000 to make amends for exposing the workers to high levels of radiation without telling them or providing adequate protection.


    Among them is Phyllis Keca, 84, whose husband, John, thought he was manufacturing laundry detergents during his 23 years working at Blockson. He wore only a paper mask while handling tanks that, unknown to him, were filled with uranium and radium to be used in the production of nuclear weapons.


    He was "always sick," his wife said, and would come home covered in dust that she now believes was toxic and contributed to his death in 1996 from colon cancer at age 80.

    "It's deceitful and it's deceiving because my husband went through so much," said Keca, who lives in Joliet just a few miles from where her husband once worked. "They made us feel like they were promising us something and then reneged."

    That could change in the coming weeks, however. By early September, federal officials are expected to decide on a special petition filed on behalf of former Blockson Chemical workers and their survivors who not only struggled with radiation-induced cancer but also with a complex federal bureaucracy.

    The petition would make it easier for Blockson employees to file claims by eliminating the requirement that they prove their illnesses were radiation-related.

    "These are situations involving people who have waited for years to get a fair shake by the system, and we want to do the best we can to make sure they get that," said Fred Blosser, a spokesman for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which helps administer the program.

    At stake are claims filed on behalf of former Blockson Chemical workers who helped build atomic weapons at the facility from March 1, 1951, to June 30, 1960.

    Blockson employees were among more than 600,000 industrial workers nationwide who helped build and test nuclear weapons for the federal government during and after World War II.

    In 2000, Congress established a fund to give $150,000 plus medical benefits to workers who got certain cancers caused by handling radioactive materials. In cases where the workers had died, the money would be paid to their survivors.

    But the pace of payouts has been slow and the burden of proof has been high. Of 363 claims filed on behalf of Blockson workers or their relatives, 102 have been paid thus far, according to Department of Labor statistics.

    Of 5,170 claims filed on behalf of former workers at 29 eligible facilities in Illinois, 1,250 have been paid by the fund, known as the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program.

    Under the petition filed on behalf of Blockson employees, former workers need a doctor's report verifying they had one of several specific types of cancers — including colon cancer — but they do not need to prove that the illness was radiation-related.

    That would allow petitioners to circumvent the time-consuming process known as "dose reconstruction" — a complex formula used by federal officials in most compensation cases, including many Blockson claims, to estimate the type and level of radiation exposure to each of the workers' organs affected by cancer.

    Former Blockson workers have argued that dose reconstruction is impossible because neither the government nor the chemical company adequately monitored the facility for radiation levels.

    Dose reconstruction is largely why former workers have become frustrated by the compensation program, said Dennis J. Kellogg, a Chicago attorney who represented more than 20 Blockson workers.

    "I think the intention (of the compensation program) was great, but the bureaucracy took over and the intent got buried in the details," he said.

    In addition, many former workers and their families have been kept in the dark about the status of their claims, according to a Government Accountability Office report released in March.

    "As a result of the many years of secrecy, the lack of information, and the years of denial that their conditions were related to exposure, many claimants find it difficult today to trust that the federal government is fairly evaluating their claims," the report said.

    In the 1950s, the nation's nuclear program was kept top-secret because of national security concerns. Workers were given little, if any, information about the radioactive materials they handled and its potential hazards.

    After the fund was established, Phyllis Keca filed a claim, beginning a nine-year correspondence with the federal government that she keeps in a 4-inch-thick binder. After each letter she sent, the government responded with a letter requesting more health records from when her husband worked at Blockson, she said.

    "Trying to go back that far to get any kind of information is hopeless," Keca said. "That's what they want you to do. They want you to try to get something that is hopeless."

    In 2006, then-Sen. Obama held a meeting in Naperville with former Blockson workers and their families to hear their frustrations and publicly urge the federal advisory board deciding their petition to expedite the process.

    "It's important, from my perspective, to light a fire under (the board) and let them know we expect them to provide a just decision and do it quickly," Obama said at the time.

    Last year, after becoming president, Obama appointed four new members to the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health. In July, the board broke its long deadlock on the Blockson petition and recommended its approval to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. If approved by the secretary, former Blockson workers or their survivors could receive compensation by this fall, federal officials say.

    There are 27 other sites where former workers have filed petitions that are still pending.

    "We expect a significant number of Blockson workers or their survivors to be able to now get compensation once the petition is fully approved," said James Melius, chairman of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health.

    Tony D'Atri, 86, worked at Blockson from 1947 to 1968 and for a short time at Argonne National Laboratory, where federal officials say employees were at risk of beryllium exposure.

    D'Atri later lost a 12-inch section of his colon to cancer. He walks with a cane around his small house in Elwood, just a few miles south of the former Blockson plant. He receives an annual colonoscopy. His medical bills have been paid either out of pocket or through his insurance company, he said.

    D'Atri said his claim for compensation has been evaluated three times. The last evaluation determined he was just shy of the amount of radiation exposure needed to receive payment, he said.

    If he gets paid by the federal government, he will turn over the money to his kids because he is too old and frail to use it himself, he said.

    "I don't care so much about the money," D'Atri said. "I just want to be recognized for what I did."

    After 10 years of waiting, Keca is skeptical that the federal government will finally pay her. But if the money does arrive, "it would make life a little more pleasant," she said.

    "I could stop counting pennies," she said.

    gfsmith@tribune.com

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...rce=feedburner

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    Like Kelly d liked this post.
  6. #15

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Explosive new images unearthed of British nuclear bomb testing

    Article location: Daily Mail Newspaper
    By Daily Mail Reporter
    Last updated at 2:57 PM on 14th August 2010

    Never-before-seen images of nuclear tests undertaken in Australia in the 1950s have been revealed.

    They were taken by a Tyneside member of the RAF and amateur photographer John Alfred Milsom.

    The striking images have been stored for decades among the possessions of the late Sgt Milsom, who witnessed the moment the bombs were detonated.



    To view the photographs and read the remainder of the article just go to the following link.....

    http://www.maralingaclassaction.com....ticle/news/699

  7. Thanks Kelly d thanked for this post.
  8. #16

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Thank you Gordon,

    Another good read! :)
    kellyd

  9. #17

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    We need Buddies to back our fight

    Paisley Daily Express...Scotland Sep 10 2010 By Lynn Jolly

    A CAMPAIGNING pensioner is stepping up his fight to win compensation for veterans who were involved in nuclear testing back in the 1950s.

    Last year, the Paisley Daily Express told how jubilant veterans from Renfrewshire had won a David and Goliath legal battle for the right to sue the Ministry of Defence for compensation over the tests, which they claimed involved using young soldiers as guinea pigs.

    The MoD launched an appeal against that court decision, sparking a new round of legal arguments, and the lengthy and costly legal case continues to rumble on.

    Now it has been announced that the veterans may have to wait until October for a decision to be made by the Court of Appeal.

    But campaigners - led by Johnstone man Ken McGinley - are refusing to take this lying down and, last night, they urged members of the public to back their fight by writing to their local politicians.

    More than 1,000 former British soldiers claim they - and many of their children - were left with cancer and deformities as a result of severe radiation exposure in the Pacific over half a century ago.

    Evidence given by 72-year-old Mr McGinley during the historic case at the High Court in London helped to clinch the result he has been chasing for years on behalf of 21 former soldiers from Renfrewshire and their dependants.

    London-based legal firm Rosenblatt Solicitors has been representing the veterans every step of the way.

    Now Mr McGinley is hoping that voters can help his cause by writing to MPs and MSPs to ask for support in the effort to establish a compensation scheme similar to those set up for nuclear test veterans from other nations.

    He said: "If people could write to their MP or MSP, that would be fantastic. It would be great if lots of people in Renfrewshire put pen to paper to show their support for us.

    "I get great support from people who meet me in the street and say that they think what the government is doing to us is terrible. Ordinary people believe this dispute should have been settled a long time ago."

    Thousands of soldiers were stationed on Christmas Island half a century ago as Britain and America carried out a series of nuclear tests.

    Between 1957 and 1962, the former British colony in the equatorial Pacific played host to 30 nuclear explosions conducted by the British and US militaries.

    Codenamed Operation Grapple, Britain's tests at Christmas Island - also known as Kiritimati - and neighbouring Malden Island ranged from a 3,000-kiloton explosion carried out 8,200 feet in the air and far out to sea to a 24-kiloton balloon-suspended in air and burst over land.

    By comparison, the bomb dropped at Hiroshima during the Second World War had about a 15-kiloton yield.

    Britain carried out a number of atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons in the Pacific Ocean and at Maralinga, Australia, during the late 1950s and early 1960s, with more than 20,000 servicemen involved.

    Among these tests were the Grapple Y and Grapple Z series of six detonations at Christmas Island.

    Research carried out in 1999 showed that, of 2,500 British servicemen involved, 30 per cent of them had died, mostly aged in their 50s.

    In their grandchildren, spina bifida rates are more than five times the normal for live births in the UK.

    More than 200 skeletal abnormalities were reported and over 100 veterans' children reported reproductive difficulties.

    Mr McGinley has fought a long battle for compensation on behalf of the families of men who, like himself, looked on aghast as huge mushroom-shaped clouds billowed into the sky.

    He remembers seeing the bones through his skin as he raised his hands to protect his eyes from the dazzling glare of the blast.

    Mr McGinley, former chairman of the British Nuclear Veterans' Association, also suffered burns to his face, neck and chest which required hospital treatment on his return to Britain.

    He has since been plagued by illnesses such as skin growths and blood disorders following his service in the Pacific.

    Anyone who would like to support his campaign can visit the website at www.theyworkforyou.com, where they will find a list of politicians they can write to in the hope the MoD will apologise to veterans and offer them a compensation scheme.


    http://www.paisleydailyexpress.co.uk...7085-27241531/

  10. #18

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia




    South Australians join class action blaming Maralinga nuclear testing for deaths



    SECRET records detailing the fate of dozens of babies born in the shadow of Maralinga's nuclear testing hold the key to a case that is building as South Australia's largest class action.

    More than 100 South Australians have joined a class action against the British Ministry of Defence over deaths and disabilities they believe were caused by nuclear testing at Maralinga more than 50 years ago.

    Among them are families of the Woomera babies - more than 60 lives lost, many without explanation, during the decade of nuclear testing, up to 600km away.

    Lawyers running the case say it is "just the tip of the iceberg". They have heard only from people who are "very confident" they have a case for compensation



    Already, families of some of the stillborn children, hours-old babies and toddlers who account for more than half the plots in Woomera Cemetery for the 1950s and 1960s, have come forward.

    Edith Hiskins, 79, of Willaston, gave birth to a stillborn daughter, Helene Michelle, in March 1963, and still is not satisfied with the reason given for her baby's death.

    Mrs Hiskins, and her husband John, a serviceman at Woomera, were told the baby girl was stillborn due to "mild toxemia" - a cause not given until years after her death and only after they pushed authorities for a death certificate.

    The parents never saw their daughter , who was buried in the cemetery the next day, and they have never seen her medical records. "I would like some answers as to why that happened, because the answers given on her death certificate, I do not find sufficient," Mrs Hiskins said.

    "As far as I know, her records were sealed. It was years before we even got a death certificate."

    Mrs Hiskins said she, or her family, are likely to join the class action. "There are still questions to be answered and reasons to be given," she said.



    In all, the Woomera Cemetery contains 23 graves for stillborn babies born in the hospital between December 1953 and September 1968, and a further 46 graves for other children who died around that period. Autopsies were not always conducted and it is understood the medical records of those 23 stillborn babies remain sealed and held by the National Archives of Australia.





    Now, as British lawyers search for others to join the class action against the British Ministry of Defence, they will also push for the secrets of the Woomera baby graves to be revealed.

    Hickman & Rose partners Anna Mazzola and Beth Handley, working with the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement in Adelaide, have collected more than 100 names of people who believe they could join a class action for compensation from the British Government.

    They will apply for the records of the Woomera babies to be made public.

    Secrecy surrounding the disturbing rate of baby deaths and research suggesting fallout from tests blanketed the town despite being more than 600km from the Maralinga testing sites, warrants those families investigating claims as part of the class act, Ms Mazzola says.



    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/sout...#ixzz0zy2Jcmx6

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Victims test justice system
    The Independent Weekly. South Australia.

    MELISSA MACK
    30 Oct, 2010 04:00 AM


    Aboriginal victims of nuclear testing in the 1950s are likely to be denied the chance to claim millions of dollars in compensation, with the State Government refusing to help fund their legal fight.

    A motion to help fund the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (ALRM) case was passed by the Legislative Council late Wednesday night without Labor support, making it unlikely to pass the Lower House.


    Service personnel, public servants and indigenous residents suffered side-effects including cancer, birth defects and immediate loss of eyesight following exposure to radiation from the British nuclear tests near Maralinga.


    Following a landmark ruling in the British courts last year, British ex-servicemen and their widows won the right to take the UK Ministry of Defence to court in a class action suit.


    That case is currently under appeal. If the victims are successful, a similar case will be launched by Australian veterans with the support of Sydney law firm Stacks Goudkamp.


    ALRM is also hoping to launch a suit to claim compensation for the Aboriginal victims who lived on the land.


    Greens MLC Tammy Franks put forward the motion, which asked the Government to contribute to legal costs “so that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal South Australians can have the opportunity to seek redress for injuries suffered by them during the British atomic testing in South Australia”.


    “This is a great moral victory,” Ms Franks said of the win in the Legislative Council.


    “I am hopeful this vote will force Mike Rann to reconsider his position and at last put his money where his mouth was on Maralinga.”


    Ms Franks said it was disappointing the Government did not vote in favour of the motion. She accused Labor of abandoning its social justice principles.


    Labor MLC Bernard Finnigan last night said the testing was “very regrettable”.


    But he said the Government “does not support funding the ALRM for the purposes of running a case in the UK with respect to nuclear testing by the British Government in South Australia”.



    ALRM chief executive Neil Gillespie has slammed the federal and state governments, saying they cannot deny justice for Aboriginal people.


    “The Government is abdicating its responsibility to the Aboriginal people and one would expect the Prime Minister to rectify that.


    “It’s an opportunity to do what is right and assist ALRM to help the innocent victims.”


    Mr Gillespie said he expected the state and federal governments to provide a dollar-for-dollar commitment to support the case on the basis that it would be returned if the case was won.


    The funding would provide support to the UK lawyers in gathering information and research so they can mount a case.


    Both the ALRM and veterans’ cases are likely to need significant funding help, with the UK case reportedly already costing £18 million ($A29 million).


    Stacks Goudkamp solicitor Michael Giles is working on the veterans case on a “no-win, no-fee” basis. He said it was unlikely the Federal Government would help fund any of the compensation claims.


    In 1993, the British Government paid £20 million ($A32.4 million) to the Australian Government as a compensation fund for the clean-up of the nuclear testing sites.


    Mr Giles said if the veterans’ case was successful, there would probably be another legal battle between Britain and Australia as to where that compensation money should come from.


    But he said the veterans’ case and the ALRM case were different.


    “The way the exposure took place is different, which plays a big role legally in determining negligence. There’s a difference between being told to work there and it happening at the place where you go about your daily business.”


    http://www.independentweekly.com.au/...px?storypage=1

  12. #20

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Nuclear Veterans Take Claim To Supreme Court
    UK.
    3:21pm UK, Monday November 22, 2010

    Miranda Richardson, Sky News Online



    British veterans involved in nuclear tests in the 1950s will take their case for compensation to the Supreme Court after the Ministry of Defence won the bulk of its appeal against their claims for damages.

    The Court of Appeal ruled that nine out of 10 test cases could not continue, while the tenth, that of the late Bert Sinfield, could proceed to trial.



    The servicemen blame their ill-health, including cancer, skin defects and fertility problems, on involvement in Britain's nuclear tests on the Australian mainland, Monte Bello islands and Christmas Island between 1952 and 1958.

    The MoD acknowledges its "debt of gratitude" but denies negligence and fought the cases on the point that they were all launched outside the legal time limit.

    In June 2009, High Court judge Mr Justice Foskett ruled that 10 test cases out of 1,011 claims could proceed to full trial.

    But today Lady Justice Smith, Lord Justice Leveson and Sir Mark Waller said only one could continue.

    The judges said there was no evidence by which the veterans could hope to prove that their illnesses had probably been caused by radiation exposure.

    The veterans' solicitor Neil Sampson said: "The court has decided that one lead claimant can proceed to trial but nine cannot.

    "We are digesting the full judgment and anticipate making an application to the Supreme Court to overturn today's decision."

    Mr Sinfield was 20 when he saw four nuclear explosions and joined scientists testing fish for radiation.

    He was diagnosed with rare non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 40 years later.

    Doctors said it was likely to be linked to radiation, but the Government threw out the claim.

    Mr Sinfield died in 2007 aged 69. His widow, Jean, is fighting his case.

    Mrs Sinfield said: "I'm disappointed for all the other cases that lost. This is a setback but it has strengthened us as a group and as a result of this, we resolve to fight on."

    But Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, welcomed the judgment.

    "While I have tremendous sympathy with anyone who is ill, the court accepted arguments that the general merits of the claims were extremely weak and said that the claimants had produced no evidence to link illnesses with attendance at the nuclear tests," he said.

    It's Called "British Justice"


    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-...oD_Wins_Appeal

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