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Thread: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

  1. #21

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    As Japan struggles with the impact of a nuclear accident, South Australians are recalling the day radiation was felt across this state.

    Remembering SA's own nuclear fallout
    21 March, 2011 3:47PM ACDT By Fiona Churchman

    In 1956 a series of atomic tests were carried out in the far north of the state at Maralinga, including the dropping of a bomb from a plane on October 11th, with devastating impacts on nearby Aboriginal communities.

    Retired academic Roger Cross's book "Fallout" focuses on the drift of radiation many hundred kilometres south of the site to Adelaide.

    "Fortunately for South Australia it was rather a small bomb, but it was dropped from a Valiant Bomber and was designed to explode in the air which it did do," Mr Cross told Ian Henschke on 891 ABC Adelaide mornings.

    "Part of the cloud blew south towards Adelaide and the minor cloud then blew east as it was supposed to across largely uninhabitated areas towards the towns of Sydney and Brisbane and exit Australia between those two cities.

    "But the main part of the cloud actually blew down south towards Adelaide and there was great controversy about that," he said.

    Mr Cross says this wasn't admitted to at the time, causing great controversy.

    He says authorities didn't realise a man called Hedley Marston who was involved with the tests, checking thyroids of sheep and cattle around the area, also set up a secret experiment at the CSIRO building in Adelaide.

    Mr Marston recorded a level of 98 thousand counts per hundred seconds the day after the bomb had been dropped.

    "The average count in Adelaide at that time was between 40 and 60 counts per hundred seconds," said Mr Cross.

    Mr Marston also carried out some tests on sheep just south and north of Adelaide, finding elevated levels of radiation material in the sheep that were on pasture but not in others that had eaten hay cut the year before.

    "This was a very elegant experiment because by luck he had a control, he had this group of sheep that were penned under cover that were just eating hay from previous harvests."

    Mr Cross says Hedley Marston was concerned about strontium 90 in particular and it getting into milk and then being consumed by young children and pregnant women.

    Anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott entered medical school in Adelaide in 1956 and told Ian Henschke there was no mention of a possible health impact of the tests, and she is not aware of a study of the human population following that test.

    "We the population of Adelaide were kept in ignorance and for that I feel very bad about that as a doctor."

    She says you would have to test all the population exposed to radiation throughout their entire life and compare it to people who were not exposed to know if the incidence of cancer was high.

    "My prediction is definitely I'm sure it was but we don't have any evidence.

    "Adelaide got a hell of a fallout, and I must say as a young medical student not being taught about that I have deep resentment that the public was not informed about it," said Dr Caldicott.

    http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/...21/3169570.htm




    The scientist Hedly Marston is mentioned in the above report; a series of 5 Youtube video's are on the 1st page of this topic. Silent Storm (Documentary) - 1 to 5

    Last edited by 1938 Observer; 22nd March 2011 at 20:35. Reason: added video documentary information.

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  3. #22

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Some interesting comments on this issue on what is [or not] happening in the UK in this matter

    Nuclear Test Shame
    Honouring Britain's nuclear tests veterans, because the British Government won't.


    Robathan apologises…kind of

    Cameron: “Wait for the Supreme Court”


    Nuclear veterans make news across the UK…


    Ministerial botch

    Veterans Minister not interested in Veterans

    All these stories and more are at the link below

    http://nucleartestshame.wordpress.com/

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Nuclear tests ravage family's health
    10:30 AEST Sun Apr 24 2011 By ninemsn staff

    A Perth family has been plagued by serious illness and premature deaths for three generations, after inheriting damaged genes from a serviceman used as a human guinea pig for British nuclear tests in Australia more than half a century ago.

    The children of late RAAF serviceman Bob Williamson are now one of 250 Australian families joining British veterans to sue the UK's Ministry of Defence for the devastating atomic experiments in the 1950s.

    Their family has suffered cancers, tumours and illness across three generations, but they are not alone.

    Bob Williamson was among thousands of soldiers unwittingly exposed to dangerous amounts of radiation when they took part in the testing in remote parts of Australia.

    Then Prime Minister Robert Menzies gave Winston Churchill the go ahead to trial a total of 21 nuclear weapons on the country's soil.

    The radioactive fallout poisoned land at places like Maralinga in South Australia and the Monte Bello islands in Western Australia.

    The Australian soldiers taking part didn't stand a chance. Often wearing little more than shorts and shirts, they were simply told to turn their backs when the scientists detonated bombs.

    Many of the servicemen began dying of horrific cancers, while others, like Bob, passed their damaged genes onto their children.

    A 60 Minutes report airing tonight reveals how Bob's children, Susan, Ken and Jennifer continue to struggle with the devastating impact of the nuclear fallout.

    Ken has had prostate cancer and melanoma and Susan has had three bouts of breast cancer.

    But they were the lucky ones. They lost three siblings to cancers and tumours at a young age.

    "Whether the government pay any compensation or not is irrelevant to me. I want them to stand up and say, this is what we did, sorry," Ken told the Nine Network's 60 Minutes.

    "If they covered medical expenses and it wasn’t something that you had to sort of fork out every five minutes, yes, that would be good.

    "At least they’re saying, you know, we’re able and quite willing to help you get through this.
    Catch the full 60 Minutes report at 7.30pm tonight on Nine.



    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/...familys-health

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Britain urged to settle nuclear payout for veterans

    The Times July 04, 2011 10:00AM

    THE British government was under pressure last night to settle a multimillion-pound fight with more than 1000 veterans of nuclear tests in Australia and the Pacific or risk wasting even more money on a "morally unjustifiable" legal battle that could drag on for years.


    Supporters of the pensioners, who participated in Britain's atomic bomb trials in the Pacific in the 1950s, said that it was time for the Ministry of Defence to follow the world's four other main nuclear powers and pay compensation.

    A group of veterans who are dying of cancer and other conditions at a rate of about three a month will this month go to the Supreme Court to challenge an attempt by the MoD to have their landmark case thrown out.

    Several more former servicemen are being forced to tackle the department at a pensions tribunal next week, where the same government lawyers are trying to block access to a payment scheme reserved for veterans who became ill in the line of duty.

    Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North, urged both sides to reach an agreement out of court. "Financially and morally it is the right thing to do to settle now," he said. "MoD civil servants are extremely unsympathetic and using every move in the book to avoid paying out. There is absolutely no justification for that... Ministers need to exercise their authority and sort this out."

    The MoD has already spent about £6.5 million defending compensation claims, while the veterans' fight - funded by a law firm whose costs will be covered by the department if they win - has reached up to £13 million.



    Neil Sampson, a senior partner at Rosenblatt, the firm representing the veterans, said: "When we eventually win there is a risk that the total legal costs will exceed the damages that they would pay. Because of the technical arguments raised by the MoD no court has yet considered the real issues in the claim."



    Mr Sampson wants the g overnment to set up a compensation fund worth about £30 million that would give one-off payments to eligible veterans or their dependents.

    The MoD, however, maintains that there is no evidence that any sickness affecting the veterans was linked to their participation in the atomic experiments, on the Australian mainland, Montebello Islands and Christmas Island. The trials, between 1952 and 1958, were critical in the development of Britain's nuclear warheads, the cornerstone of the country's defence.

    The United States, France, Russia and China, which conducted similar trials, have each set up funds to award their atomic veterans.



    Terry Bambridge, 75, suffered infertility and bone problems after spending almost a year at Maralinga, southern Australia, from July 1956.

    Several of his friends who were also there have since died of cancer.

    "There is no doubt that they were affected by the explosions," he said. "Britain ought to act like the other governments. They have to recognise that people have suffered. We were used as guinea pigs. I would like an apology."

    Britain's nuclear veterans became aware in the 1980s of the possibility that their presence at the atomic trials had affected their health.

    A seemingly disproportionate number of the 26,000 servicemen, also from Australia, Fiji and New Zealand, sent to the sites had died prematurely of a range of illnesses including cancer and heart disease. Complaints of skin disease and infertility were common, while many offspring were sickly.



    Jeff Liddiatt, 71, vice-chairman of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association, a charity, was one of the first people to think about litigation.

    Mr Liddiatt, who served with the RAF in Maralinga from 1959 to 1960, was relatively healthy until he reached 50. "Then the problems started like an avalanche. I have had seven operations on my back and am suffering with heart disease."

    In early 2000, Mr Liddiatt and his colleagues were granted legal aid to explore the options for suing the government. That support was suddenly withdrawn in 2005, so Rosenblatt took up the increasingly toxic and costly battle.

    Mr Sampson now represents 1011 veterans or their surviving family members.

    "Every step of the way there has been procedural argument and difficulty," he said. "The government is playing here with people's lives. We are not talking about hundreds of millions of pounds. We are talking about a little compensation for a few elderly and sick people and an apology."

    The test case of 10 veterans brought against the MoD had a setback last year when the Court of Appeal ruled that all but one member of the group was time-barred from bringing a claim.

    Determined to pursue every avenue, the nine losing veterans will ask the Supreme Court on July 28 for permission to appeal against the judgment. If they are successful, the appeal will probably be heard within a year.

    In any event, Mr Sampson is preparing to push forward with the one successful test claim and those of the other 1001 veterans still outstanding


    The MoD said that it has "tremendous sympathy" for any veteran who was ill, but a spokesman highlighted the appeal court ruling that "the claimants had produced no evidence to link illnesses with attendance at the nuclear tests".




    The ministry advises veterans of the tests to apply for a war pension, but MoD lawyers are fighting 16 such attempts because the link between ill-health and the trials is disputed.

    A pensions appeals tribunal is due to decide tomorrow whether to start a series of hearings on the issue from July 11 or delay until September.

    THE TIMES

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1226086973472

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  7. #25

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Gordon, I do not know if the following covers ALL victims, or only the UK forces personnel:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14320465

    It has just been released on the BBC site.

    Ranald

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Gordon, I do not know if the following covers ALL victims, or only the UK forces personnel:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14320465

    It has just been released on the BBC site.

    Ranald
    There is some Australian participation in the proceedings, mainly because Australian governments over decades have kept their collective heads in the sand regarding this predicament.

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  10. #27

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    The disappearance of files suggests an awareness of criminality! Thanks Gordon.

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Promises have been made/broken over the past 50 years...........I wonder if pigs really do fly

    Bill offers support to more nuclear veterans
    Liz Hobday reported this story on Thursday, September 22, 2011 12:38:08



    ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Government is planning to compensate more people who were affected by the British Nuclear testing program at Maralinga more than half a century ago.

    It introduced a bill into Parliament this morning that will extend entitlements to more defence personnel who were involved in the program but who haven't yet claimed compensation in part because the program was so secret, as Liz Hobday reports.

    LIZ HOBDAY: It's been more than 50 years since the last atomic bomb was detonated at Maralinga in South Australia.

    Avon Hudson was a 23-year-old RAAF leading aircraftsman when he worked at Maralinga, not knowing that nuclear bombs had already been tested there.

    He says he wasn't told of the dangers of the trials he worked on.

    AVON HUDSON: The nuclear veterans who took part in all the bomb tests at the three main sites in Australia, Montebello, Maralinga and Emu, have had a litany of ailments, illnesses and cancers included and other psychological problems for more than 50 years and we get very little support. The only thing we get treated for free through the veterans’ entitlements is cancer.

    LIZ HOBDAY: The Minister for Veterans Affairs, Warren Snowdon, has promised a new bill introduced to Parliament, will improve access to compensation and health care for nuclear veterans.

    WARREN SNOWDON: The bill will benefit Australian personnel who participated in the British nuclear test program and their dependents by enabling compensation and health care to be provided with a minimum of delay. These amendments are a demonstration of the Government's commitment to continually improve the services and support we provide our current and former military personnel.

    LIZ HOBDAY: More than 10,000 servicemen took part in the nuclear testing program, but many nuclear veterans never received the entitlements given to other servicemen, because they didn't serve in a theatre of war.

    Warren Snowdon says he's heard from some of those who've been left out.

    WARREN SNOWDON: The personnel were involved in the maintenance, transporting or decontamination of aircraft used in the British nuclear test program outside the current legislated British nuclear test areas or time periods. These amendments Mr Speaker will facilitate and streamline access to compensation and health care for these Australian personnel.

    LIZ HOBDAY: He says the bill also recognises that entitlements may need to be extended even further.

    WARREN SNOWDON: The quality of the records from the test period and the secrecy surrounding the operation means that it is impossible to rule out the likelihood that new information may come to light which warrants further extension of coverage to additional groups of participants.

    LIZ HOBDAY: Avon Hudson has been fighting for recognition for these servicemen since the 1980s.

    AVON HUDSON: We want full benefits under the Veterans Entitlement Act and a gold card and we should probably also get compensation for the crimes perpetrated against us with radiation illnesses.

    LIZ HOBDAY: He says he wants to see the substance of the latest bill.

    AVON HUDSON: Until I've read the fine print of that I can't be sure what they're on about but to extend it further to other nuclear veterans that weren't eligible, I'm not complaining about that, if that's what they want to do they should all be brought under same entitlements.

    ELEANOR HALL: That's veteran Avon Hudson ending that report by Liz Hobday.

    Other background stories at the link http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/con...1/s3323473.htm


    I wonder how long we should hold our collective beaths for????

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  13. #29

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    British Nuclear Test "Buffalo Round 1"

    Detonated 27th September 1956 55 Years ago.


    A short clip of the British nuclear test "Buffalo Round 1"

    The first test of Operation Buffalo was conducted at the One Tree site at the test range. It was a test of the Red Beard tactical bomb and yielded 15 kilotons, the largest nuclear test fired during Buffalo. While the AWRE had predicted the cloud to reach a height of 27,900 feet, it reached an altitude of 37,500 feet.

    The shot was fired at a time when fallout was predicted to violate the safe firing criteria proposed by the safety committee. Failure to postpone the test due to unfavorable meteorological conditions resulted in higher then predicted fallout to be measured off site, at distances up to 180 miles.

    An AWRE report defined two levels of radiation exposure for the Buffalo trials,Level A; level which will not give rise to any observable effects on the body, and Level B; level which could cause a small observable effect such as slight temporary sickness in a few people who had a low threshold to radiation exposure. The Safety Committee stated that aborigines were to be protected to Level A standards. Rain criteria were also established to prevent rain or mist contamination. These safe firing conditions were established to ensure the protection of the environment and people.

    Following the Round 1 explosion, measurements confirmed that fallout levels exceeded Level A at locations beyond Coober Pedy, and exceeded Level B for nomadic people where aborigines could be expected to be living.







    Major tests at Maralinga[16] Name Date[17] Location[6] Yield[6][17] Type
    Operation Buffalo
    One tree 27 Sep 1956 17:00 29°52′12″S 131°39′29″E / 29.87°S 131.658°E / -29.87; 131.658 (One tree) 12.9 kT Tower
    Marcoo 4 Oct 1956 16:30 29°52′59″S 131°37′23″E / 29.883°S 131.623°E / -29.883; 131.623 (Marcoo) 1.4 kT Ground-level
    Kite 11 Oct 1956 14:27 28°53′24″S 131°38′53″E / 28.89°S 131.648°E / -28.89; 131.648 (Kite) 2.9 kT Airdrop
    Breakaway 22 Oct 1956 00:05 29°53′42″S 131°36′14″E / 29.895°S 131.604°E / -29.895; 131.604 (Breakaway) 10.8 kT Tower
    Operation Antler
    Tadje 14 Sep 1957 14:35 29°53′28″S 131°38′42″E / 29.891°S 131.645°E / -29.891; 131.645 (Tadje) 0.93 kT Tower
    Biak 25 Sep 1957 10:00 29°53′38″S 131°36′58″E / 29.894°S 131.616°E / -29.894; 131.616 (Biak) 5.67 kT Tower
    Taranaki 9 Oct 1957 16:15 29°53′46″S 131°33′36″E / 29.896°S 131.56°E / -29.896; 131.56 (Taranaki) 26.6 kT Balloon
    Last edited by 1938 Observer; 28th September 2011 at 00:19. Reason: additional information

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  15. #30

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    MOD spends £5m fighting atomic test cases
    4 October 2011 | UK


    The Ministry of Defence has spent nearly £5 million fighting the compensation case brought by atomic test veterans.

    Junior Defence Minister Lord Astor of Hever says the latest estimate up to April this year for defending the litigation was £4,937,615.

    The costs include all the work required for the High Court hearing in 2009, the subsequent Court of Appeal hearing in 2010 and some preparatory work for the Supreme Court hearing of the veterans' application to appeal in July.

    At the July hearing, veterans involved in Britain's nuclear weapons tests between 1952 and 1958 were granted leave to appeal in their fight for compensation.

    More than 1,000 ex-servicemen say exposure to radiation has led to ill health, such as cancer. The MOD maintains no "causal" link can be proved.

    http://www.bfbs.com/news/uk/mod-spen...ses-52196.html

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