Page 5 of 8 FirstFirst ... 34567 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 77

Thread: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

  1. #41

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Southeast Wyoming
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    It is a pity that the staff of government departments who authorise such testing, do not join those who have no right to say NO.

    A sad situation, but is not the only situation, from which governments have not accepted any liability.

    I wonder if the lawyers could publish all the names of goverment personnel, who suggested and/or authorised such testing? It might make those in power today and in the future, think twice ?


    One has to wonder if there is a democracy there anymore where civil servants and elected officials lack accountability for their actions. It appears that the pendulum has swung backwards 500 years for the average individual. No protection from harmful decisions.

  2. Like 1938 Observer liked this post.
  3. #42

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Penguin. Tasmania.
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    18th August 2012.

    Dear XXXXXXX
    RE: Class Action for Nuclear Veterans
    In our letter to you'of 16 May 2012" we; informedyou that"the recent decision of the UK Supreme Court had effectively put a stop to our hopes of filing a case on behalf of Australian veterans affected by the British nuclear testing.
    Since then we have been investigating other possibilities to highlight the plight of nuclear test participants and their families. Although taking action in the courts no longer appears possible, we still wanted to see if something could be done to put pressure on the Commonwealth government to do something more for you.
    Stacks/Goudkamp believes that it may be possible to make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission (HRC). The HRC's role is not to make a decision about your complaint but it tries to get all sides together to discuss potential solutions to the complaint. Although it is unlikely to result in the Commonwealth agreeing to provide compensation, it will at least result in more attention being drawn to your matter and may lead to some form of recognition of the dangers faced by test participants.
    We are considering making a complaint to the HRC on behalf of everyone on our list. To do this we need your authority. It will not cost you anything to participate. However, it is also unlikely that you will receive any compensation even if the HRC agrees to investigate the matter. We are doing this primarily in an attempt to obtain more recognition for you and maybe motivate the government to reconsider extending veteran entitlements or other Commonwealth benefits to nuclear test participants

    Our experience with those on our list has been that almost everyone is interested in doing what is necessary to promote the cause of nuclear test veterans. Therefore rather than get each person on our list to grant authority, we will proceed on your behalf unless we receive specific instructions from you NOT to participate in a complaint to the Human Rights Commission within 30 days from the date of this letter. If you agree to participate, you do not have to respond.
    If you provide us with notice that you have decided not to participate, then we will remove your name from our list and you will not receive anything further from us. If you agree to participate, we will provide you with updates on the progress of the matter with the HRC.
    Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation STACKS/GOUDKAMP P/L ABN 88 104 796 394
    Regardless of your decision, we thank you for your contribution and patience in this matter. Yours faithfully,
    Last edited by 1938 Observer; 12th September 2012 at 23:23. Reason: text amendment

  4. Thanks Alastair, Ranald thanked for this post.
  5. #43

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Penguin. Tasmania.
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    This will probably be the 'Last Hurrah" as all other attempts to obtain recognition have failed, Governments seem to have a bottomless pit of funds to defend these claims.


    Maralinga veterans in last-ditch bid for compensation
    PM By Rebecca Brice
    ABC News..Australia.

    [B]Almost 300 Australian veterans of British nuclear testing are making a last-ditch attempt to win compensation.

    They want the Human Rights Commission to find that the Australian Government knowingly exposed them to harmful radiation by ordering them to take part in the tests in the SA outback.

    While any recommendation from that action will not be binding, they are hoping to embarrass the Government into compensating them and providing medical treatment.

    Many of the surviving personnel, ordered to take part in the tests at Maralinga in the 1950s and '60s, blame their medical conditions on exposure to nuclear radiation.

    Stacks Goudkamp lawyer Joshua Dale says given the advanced age of the group, it is very much a case of now or never.

    "This submission is really the end of the line," he said.

    "It's the last opportunity that we have to try and get some kind of recourse from the Australian Government.

    Audio: Veterans final bid for radiation compensation (PM)
    "It essentially says that the Australian governments have breached the human rights of the veterans and this is for a number of reasons.

    "The nuclear veterans were essentially used as guinea pigs during the nuclear testing.

    "There's evidence that has revealed that the veterans were sent in after testing had taken place to see what the type of effect radiation would have on the human body, and there's various articles under the universal declaration that specifically go to a right to life and obviously the right to a standard of living as well."

    The veterans' decision to take their case to the Human Rights Commission follows a UK court's ruling that the link between the tests and the veterans' health problems could not be proven.

    In 2010 the Government allocated $24 million towards service pensions and healthcare cards for the veterans and their widows.

    Entitlements disputes

    Video: Maralinga veterans appeal to HRC for justice (7pm TV News NSW)

    A spokeswoman for Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon says eligible veterans have access to a broad range of compensation and health treatment already.

    But Mr Dale says many are caught up in disputes over the entitlements.

    "The problem is these administrative disputes are largely being viciously defended by the Government," he said.

    "In a lot of the cases they're unsuccessful because of the time that has lapsed and due to the secrecy of the type of testing that was taking place.

    We were never given any briefing as to what we were doing, what the dangers were, what risks were involved or what precautions had to be taken.
    Avon Hudson, veteran Australian service personnel
    "A lot of the records don't even show what type of levels of radiation they were exposed to, which means there's very little evidence to prove that they were exposed to harmful levels and whether or not those levels could have potentially caused their illnesses.

    "One of the veterans that we represent, he suffers from leukaemia, and they've said that he was too far away from the testing to be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

    "He's really left high and dry at the moment with this horrific illness."

    Avon Hudson, 76, is one of 8,000 Australian service personnel that took part in the tests.

    He has echoed Mr Dale's sentiments on how urgent the case is.

    "If we don't get what we're entitled to now, well I suppose all we can do is throw our hands in the air and wait for the end to come, because we're all getting too old," Mr Hudson said.

    "We won't be here in five years.

    "Every year that goes by it's less likely you'll be able to cope with these things.

    "We were never given any briefing as to what we were doing, what the dangers were, what risks were involved or what precautions had to be taken..

    Go to the link below to view videos or listen to audio.

  6. Thanks miolchu, Alastair, Ranald thanked for this post.
    Like albalad liked this post.
  7. #44

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Penguin. Tasmania.
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Maralinga nuclear tests case rejected by Human Rights Commission

    Commission says it does not have jurisdiction to hear case of veterans exposed to radiation from British nuclear testing

    Tuesday 10 December 2013 17.22 AEST The Guardian.

    [B]Australian veterans deliberately exposed to British nuclear bomb testing have had their case rejected by Australia's Human Rights Commission, which says it does not have the jurisdiction to hear their complaint.

    The ruling was the last legal avenue available to the surviving 300 veterans, who argued the Menzies government violated their human rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by exposing them to harmful radiation from nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s at Maralinga, South Australia.

    “This decision marks the end of the road for our nuclear veterans, and I would say that the only recourse they have available to them now is a plea for an act of grace by the Australian government to take responsibility for the events involving nuclear testing on Australian soil,” said Joshua Dale, a human rights law specialist from the law firm Stacks/Goudkamp, which represented the veterans.

    He said the decision was a failure to recognise the rights of military veterans.

    “Sir Robert Menzies proclaimed Australia’s signature on the declaration indicated to the world that ‘we stand for justice’. He then allowed the British to conduct nuclear tests on Australian soil. The nuclear veterans have been denied justice, they have been denied rights to compensation, and ultimately they have been deprived of their dignity and recognition by the government who wronged them,” he said.

    The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, wrote in her decision: “I am of the opinion that the commission does not have jurisdiction to enquire into alleged acts or practices that occurred during the period 1952 to 1963, whether under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or under any international human rights instrument scheduled to or declared for the purposes of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act.”

    Veterans who were present at the nuclear testing at Maralinga have higher rates of cancer than the general population. The tests led to widespread contamination of the surrounding land.

    Australian serviceman, as well as Indigenous people who lived near the test sites, have been pressing the UK and Australian governments for compensation for their injuries. The British supreme court found in 2012 that 1,000 British veterans who joined together to make a claim could not succeed because too much time had passed since the tests.

    Dale has called on the government to examine veterans’ affairs legislation and allow the serviceman to be able to gain compensation.

    “What needs to happen now is that a genuine discussion be had between all members of parliament to address the inadequacies that exist in relation to veterans’ affairs legislation directly affecting the nuclear veterans.

    “These men deserve the peace of mind to know that the government that wronged them will now finally look after them.”

  8. #45

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Penguin. Tasmania.
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Blow for nuclear veterans as Human Rights Commission rejects complaint

    Australian servicemen deliberately exposed to nuclear bomb testing at Maralinga have been dealt a final blow in their long fight for justice.

    The survivors of those who worked in the radiation were told on Tuesday the Australian Human Rights Commission would not hear their claim that the Menzies government breached their human rights by using them as virtual guinea pigs in the tests conducted by the British at Maralinga, Emu Field and Monte Bello Islands in the 1950s and '60s.

    This was the last possible legal avenue they could have pursued in Australia.

    Alan Batchelor in 1957. Photo: Supplied
    Independent senator Nick Xenophon said he would introduce amendments to allow Australian veterans of the British nuclear testing to receive assistance. "These Australian veterans were treated as human guinea pigs by the British government," he said.

    Advertisement The commission rejected the complaint alleging a breach of human rights, saying what happened to the servicemen at the nuclear tests was outside its jurisdiction.

    Joshua Dale, a human rights law specialist at Stacks/Goudkamp in Sydney, said the decision marked a sad day for human rights in Australia. ''This decision marks the end of the road for our nuclear veterans and I would say that the only recourse they have … now is a plea for an act of grace by the Australian government to take responsibility for the events involving nuclear testing on Australian soil.''

    Canberra resident Alan Batchelor, who spent six months at Maralinga during the testing, called for a change to the legislation that prevented the commission from hearing the claim. "I think the whole thing is a political cover-up,'' he said.

    ''The reason for this is that Australia was used as a laboratory during the tests. They collected bones from dead people and assessed the amount of strontium 90 that was in the bones. However the legislation that exists at the moment prevents any real investigation.''

    Mr Batchelor was second in charge of a group of 68 engineers at Maralinga in South Australia. They were sent to recover instruments from a shelter about 50 metres from the blast site, just out of reach of the fireball.

    "They wanted immediate readings and I, with about six engineers and scientists, went there within an hour of the bomb exploding,'' he said.

    "Now there are only a few of these engineers left, I know of only two others, out of the total of 68.''

    A 2006 report commissioned by the Australian government showed those working at the Maralinga and Emu Field testing sites were 23 per cent more likely to develop cancer, and 18 per cent more likely to die from cancer, than the general population. However, in a blow to the men's claims for compensation, it concluded it was impossible to say whether that was due to the men's exposure to radiation. Before his posting to Maralinga, Mr Batchelor and his wife had a healthy child. A year after he returned, his wife miscarried a badly deformed foetus, his submission to the commission states. He has since developed myasthenia gravis, an auto-immune disorder.

    Read more:

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

    Just to refresh memories, this is an interesting scenario...............

    Did fallout from nuclear testing contaminate Australia's milk supply? From 1957 to 1978, scientists secretly removed bone samples from over 21,000 dead Australians as they searched for evidence of the deadly poison, Strontium 90 - a by-product of nuclear testing. Silent Storm reveals the story behind this astonishing case of officially sanctioned 'body-snatching'. Set against a backdrop of the Cold War, the saga follows celebrated scientist, Hedley Marston, as he attempts to blow the whistle on radioactive contamination and challenge official claims that British atomic tests posed no threat to the Australian people. Marston's findings are not only disputed, he is targeted as 'a scientist of counter-espionage interest'. Now, questions are being raised about the health repercussions for generations of Australians.

    Silent Storm (Documentary) - 1 of 5 .

  9. Like albalad liked this post.
  10. #46

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Penguin. Tasmania.
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    As a little extra "Homework"

    Some of the text below is extracted from a report on Strontium 90.

    The involvement of Australian pathologists and other medical researchers in Project Sunshine can be dated
    back to a letter 22 at Series A1209/23 Item 1957/6061 of National Archives of Australia (Canberra)
    dated 7 November 1957 from the Department of External Affairs, Canberra to the Secretary of the National
    Radiation Advisory Committee in Melbourne asking for advice "concerning the question of Australian
    participation in the Standardisation Programme of the Measurements of Strontium-90, which was prepared
    by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation." The letter notes that the
    matter was discussed at the second meeting of the NRAC "and that it was resolved that Australia should
    participate in the programme and that the Commonwealth x-ray and Radium Laboratory and the Australian
    Atomic Energy Commission should carry out the necessary work."
    The impact of the early results of the studies of Strontium 90 in human bone was evident in a memo 33 at
    Series A4940/1 Item C2067 of National Archives of Australia (Canberra) to the Australian Prime Minister
    dated 23 March 1959 (signature of sender unclear) reported a story 44 at same location as above in the
    Daily Mirror of the same date which in turn reported disclosures made by the US Joint Congressional Atomic
    Commission on the presence of Strontium 90 in a fallout band predominantly in the south-eastern portion of
    Australia in a line below 35 degrees latitude, stretching from Adelaide in South Australia to Jervis Bay in
    New South Wales. While the measurements of Strontium 90 in the atmosphere were lower than those in
    both the USA and UK they caused the head of the School of Chemistry at the NSW University of
    Technology, Professor D P Mellor to say (as quoted in the Daily Mirror): "This report has come as quite a
    shock. It is quite obvious not enough measurements have been taken here and not enough money and time
    and scientific effort have been put into this important research. According to this report the danger in
    Australia is much higher than was thought. It is even further increased by the discovery that Strontium 90 is
    not remaining in the stratosphere (sic) as long as was predicted."
    Under a paragraph heading Freak Births the Daily Mirror stated: "Australian experiments by CSIRO experts
    have shown that effects of radiation produces freak babies and horrific abnormalities to future generations.
    In overseas countries - in less danger than Australia, according to the U.S. report - freak animals have been
    born, cattle have died mysteriously and weird (sic) plant life has appeared following radiation contamination."
    The 1959 memo to the Prime Minister advises him: "If you propose to make any public comment I think the
    most important aspect is that Strontium 90 does not result from atom bomb tests and
    therefore has no relevance to the testing of weapons in Australia."
    This is in error since Strontium 90 is a fission product from atoms bombs such as were being tested in
    Australia at Monte Bello, Emu and Maralinga in the 1950s. (It is also a fission product of H-bombs such as
    the UK subsequently developed at Christmas Island since H-bombs used A bombs as triggers. It is also a
    fission product of nuclear reactors such as the Australian installation at Lucas Heights, which became
    operational in 1958.55 Alan Parkinson

    Taken from......................... PROJECT SUNSHINE AND THE SLIPPERY SLOPE
    Sue Rabbitt Roff
    Cookson Senior Research Fellow
    Centre for Medical Education
    Dundee University Medical School

  11. Thanks miolchu thanked for this post.
  12. #47

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Penguin. Tasmania.
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Maralinga whistle blower joins tour - 23-Apr-2014

    As the world watched in wonder as man began early space exploration during the late 1960s, Avon Hudson was sitting in an operations office on Island Lagoon - helping put Apollo 13 into the space race.
    But that history making mission was not the most defining chapter of his life.
    Mr Hudson was one of the thousands of army personnel posted to Maralinga during the atomic weapon trials.
    He was part of the Vixon Three project – a group of weapons testers who helped experiment weapon capability in the remote South Australian desert in the 1950s and 60s.
    He arrived in Maralinga in 1960 and his experiences and eye witness account of atomic weaponry and destruction are why he is an anti-nuclear campaigner to this day.
    From 1960 to 62 Mr Hudson worked on this Maralinga mission, before being transferred to Woomera to test other military weaponry, working on secret projects like the Black Night missile launches.
    After two years Mr Hudson refused to be involved with the weaponry testing division any further. It was a choice that landed him on the Apollo 13 space mission … And one that changed his life.
    The now 78-year-old has spent much of his life campaigning against the British Government’s Maralinga experiments – and the rest of his time educating whoever will listen about nuclear disarmament.
    He conceded there were some real world uses for uranium – particularly for radiation treatment for cancer patients. He himself has benefited from the use of radioactive isotopes as part of his own personal cancer journey only a few years ago.
    But he believes that technology has now advanced enough to make alternative energy supply a real reality to power today’s global community, and that there was no room for excuses when it came to Australian uranium being used by other countries to develop nuclear grade weapons.
    The risks to humanity were just too great and the real benefit to the Australian export dollar was minimal compared to other commodities, he said.
    “We sell more cheese around the world than we do uranium,” Mr Hudson said.
    “Hundreds of millions of dollars more cheese, than we do uranium
    “It represents a small amount of our economy,”
    “It’s not worth it.”
    Mr Hudson said he would never forget the effects the experimental bombings had on the landscape at Maralinga.
    “No-one is ever prepared, in any way, mentally or physically for what we were about to encounter,” Mr Hudson said
    “We once gave the British our uranium, and we got it back in the form of bombs,” he said.
    “One day, who knows? China might deliver bombs back here made out of our uranium.
    “The future generations will reap the bitter fruits of what we do today.”
    He said Australia should be learning from it’s mistakes.
    “You look at history, and try not to repeat it,” Mr Hudson said.
    “Well we are repeating it – and repeating it very frequently.
    “While money is very important and we’ve got to have an economy, and we’ve got to provide – these are the things that are providing not much, if anything, to the Australian economy.
    “Even this place here (Olympic Dam), is mainly copper…there’s more bloody gold that goes out of here than uranium. Let’s face it – if they just extracted the uranium out of it and put it there in a dump and put a bloody wall around it, kept it and never sold it they would be no worse off.
    “It costs an awful amount – it’s a terrible cost to business to refine it into yellow cake. I don’t know why any company would do it.
    “The little bit of money that’s involved is peanuts.
    “You’ve got to look at the science, and science has been my life. There’s no-one with any scientific knowledge that doesn’t recognise the facts relating to the nuclear industry.
    “It’s just not an industry that we should be supporting.
    “We can’t even solve the problem of the nuclear waste after it has been used in a power station.”
    “We’ve bitten off something we can’t chew. We’ve lost the plot – and that is around the world … every country in the world has a nuclear waste problem.
    “It’s not a matter of saying ‘you’re wrong, and I’m right’. I’m only looking at the technology .. the facts, as we know it, over the past 60 years.
    “In my lifetime I’ve seen the nuclear industry from the bombing of Hiroshima to the present day. We are going to be the victims one day – we won’t always be the top dog.”

  13. #48

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Penguin. Tasmania.
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Lingering impact of British nuclear tests in the Australian outback

    31 December 2014 Last updated at 07:11 BBC News Australia.

    It seems remarkable today but less than 60 years ago, Britain was exploding nuclear bombs in the middle of Australia.

    In the mid-1950s, seven bombs were tested at Maralinga in the south-west Australian outback.

    The combined force of the weapons doubled that of the bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in World War Two.

    In archive video footage, British and Australian soldiers can be seen looking on, wearing short sleeves and shorts and doing little to protect themselves other than turning their backs and covering their eyes with their hands.

    Some reported the flashes of the blasts being so bright that they could see the bones of their fingers, like x-rays as they pressed against their faces.

    Full story and photographs are at the link.

  14. Thanks albalad thanked for this post.
  15. #49

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Penguin. Tasmania.
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Hawke government schemed to stymie Maralinga nuclear test compensation, cabinet documents reveal

    National News. Courier Mail, Australia. PETER JEAN POLITICAL REPORTER From: The Advertiser December 31, 2014 11:30PM.

    THE statute of limitations was invoked by the Hawke Government to prevent hundreds of compensation actions being pursued in court by veterans of British nuclear tests in Australia.
    Government documents from 1988 and 1989 released by the National Archives of Australia reveal that cabinet decided to try and invoke time-limit rules to fight court compensation actions launched after 1988.

    But cabinet did agree to voluntarily compensate people with leukaemia or multiple myeloma that could be linked to the tests in the 1950s and 60s.

    The tests were conducted at Emu Field and Maralinga in South Australia and the Monte Bello Islands in Western Australia.

    The government decided in 1984 not to use the statute of limitations to try and prevent people from suing but later changed its mind.

    In a cabinet submission, Primary Industries and Energy Minister John Kerin said it had been estimated that paying $870,000 each in compensation to about 50 people suffering from cancer would cost $43 million.

    He successfully recommended that the government fight court cases lodged after 1988 but offer to pay compensation in cases assessed as genuine.

    “Where a claim is not considered to have merit (either because it is fraudulent or the plaintiff’s illness could not have resulted from participation in the tests) then no settlement would be offered and the claim would be defended,’’ Mr Kerin said in a cabinet briefing.

    More than 60 years after the nuclear testing program began, hundreds of veterans are still fighting for what they consider to be adequate compensation.

    Cabinet documents from 1989 also reveal steps taken by the Australian Government to ensure that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s administration could not downplay the environmental impact of the nuclear tests.

    A cabinet memo said it was crucial that the UK Government remained “locked in’’ to environmental studies so that approaches could be made to if for compensation.

    “The identification of reputable UK firms, agencies and experts with the study program, UK Government support for the program and the pre-eminence of the (Technical Expert Group) membership ensure that the UK cannot distance itself from the outcome,” the memo said.

    View the cabinet documents from 1988 and 1989 at

    Originally published as Maralinga nuclear compensation cases blocked

  16. Thanks albalad, sandyc, Alastair, Ranald thanked for this post.
  17. #50

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Penguin. Tasmania.
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    I thought I might add a couple of stories that are related that are related to the testing at Maralinga.

    6 Mustang aircraft recoverd from A-Bomb test site Australia

    This quite an interesting story that I had not come across before

    Emu Desert in 1960 was 1500 miles from anywhere .. ideal place for the British to test their Atomic Bombs in their former Australian Colonies.. the bastards !
    This clip from Channel10 shows the recovery performed by some very hard working Aussie aircraft enthusiasts :)

  18. Like Hugh, albalad liked this post.
Page 5 of 8 FirstFirst ... 34567 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts