Archive for May, 2010

NUKE VET UPDATE

May 26, 2010

Breaking in here with some info from Ric Johnstone President of the Australian Nuclear Veterans Association
http://www.sandersonsite.com/anva/
Letter received from Minister by lawyers acting for the veterans as follows:

stacks letter

Also, it seems the class action against Britain is proceeding. Contact Ric if you wish more info or feel eligible for either joining the class action or need more info re the Australian changes.

Acid Leach Uranium Mining & the Great Artesian Basin Part 2

May 25, 2010

South Australia

The community concern and protests of 2000 preceded an era of government reflection. A process of review was commenced, apparently to reassure the public.

The legal process resulting from government actions during the protest at Beverley would take another decade to complete, largely due to the revealed attitude of the then Police Minister to dissent. Eventually, the legal process found against the State. More of that later.

The main source of information for this post is the Friends of the Earth Website at
http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/u/isl/isl/

The government review documents used in this post are:
1.
Review of environmental impacts of the acid in-situ leach uranium mining process
Document: Radiation – Report (published 01.06.07)

and
2.
Review of environmental impacts of the acid in-situ leach uranium mining process: Implementation of recommendations

are available for download at:

http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/documents.php?q=isl+review

Acid Leach Uranium Mining & the Great Artesian Basin

May 23, 2010

“LETHAL LEGACY : POLLUTION IN THE FORMER USSR

In their ruthless drive to exploit their nation, Soviet leaders gave little thought to the health of their people or the lands that they ruled. No country is free from the scourge of pollution, but the Soviet example is one of horrifying extremes, one that stems from decades of neglect and the abuse of a vast and once beautiful land.”
Gerd Ludwig Photography
http://www.gerdludwig.com/html/stories_soviet_synopsis.html

The Soviet Union embraced Acid Leach Uranium Mining as an aid to its lust for a rapid build up of nuclear weapons. No thought was given to environmental protection or to health consequences of the method. The method was used widely throughout the nations of the Warsaw Pact.

A hallmark of the Soviet era was the rejection of the need to control pollution in the environment. Remediation of mine sites was rejected.

People who disagreed with their Soviet leaders were subject to brutality and harsh confinement. Confinement conditions failed to meet basic standards and if applied to a war setting, were in breach of the conditions contained within the Geneva Convention.

Such actions of the Soviet government laid the basis for the social ideology of the West in its justification of the Cold War. In this regard the West saw itself as superior to the USSR in terms of moral conduct, acceptance of dissent, humanitarian ideals and environmental outcomes.

The use of the Soviet method of uranium extraction at Beverley in South Australia caused community concern which manifest as a protest at the mine site on 9 May 2000.

The response of the South Australian government and then Police Minister Kevin Foley to the Protest was Soviet Era in its crude thuggery and illegality:

The legal process that resulted from the conduct of the South Australian Government during the Beverley Mine Protest of May 2000 has recently been concluded. This will be covered later in this post.

THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR THE BEVERLEY PROTEST
under construction
The primary sources for the following are the papers “Critical Review of Acid in situ leach uranium mining: 2. Soviet Block and Asia”, Mudd, G.M., Environmental Geology, (2001) 41:404-416 and “Critical review of acid in situ leach uranium mining: 1. USA and Australia”, Gavin M. Mudd, “Environmental Geology” (2001) 41:390 – 403.

The use of acid leach uranium mining throughout the nations of the former Warsaw Pact took place without environmental controls or remediation. This resulted in high levels of contamination of ground water by high salinity, heavy metal and radionuclide concentrations. The activity caused changes to local groundwater characteristics. (1)

The collapse of the Central Soviet government in 1990 and the advent of the Post-Soviet era witnessed the rapid forced shut down of most uranium mines by government order. (2)

Restoration programmes are being attempted in the face of great technical and financial difficultly. The extent of the environmental emergency caused by Acid Leach Uranium mining specifically relating to ground water contamination is reported by the IAEA in cooperation with local authorities. (3)

See for example:
“Technical options for the remediation of contaminated groundwater”, IAEA 1999;

“Uranium in situ Leaching.” Technical Committee Meeting, Oct. 1992, Vienna, TECDOC-720, pp 129 – 132;

Kuhn, P., (1992) “Environmental aspects of the operation and sanation of the ISL uranium mining at Straz pod Ralskem Czechoslovakia. In: Uranium in situ leaching. Technical Committee Meeting, Oct 1992, Vienna, IAEA TECDOC-720, pp 181-190.

Kuzmanov, L., Simov, S.D., Valkov, T., Vasilev, D., (1992) “In-situ Leaching of uranium in Bulgaria : geological, technological and ecological considerations.” In: Uranium in situ leaching. Technical Meeting, Oct 1992, Vienna, IAEA TECDOC-720, pp 65-73.
(4)

Regime change within the Soviet Union forced responsible authorities to confront the results of activities undertaken in largely secret efforts by the USSR to maintain central control in the name of National Security in a Cold War setting. Uranium was seen as a strategic military commodity to be obtained at all speed in pursuit of national goals. This obviously occurred at the expense of local, regional and international security throughout the Warsaw Pact. Public health and environmental objectives did not rate priority within the Soviet military-industrial complex.

(Uranium has long been as a strategic commodity of high priority internationally. The first transport of uranium under this regime occurred in 1939 when Belgium agreed to secretly ship tons of uranium from the Belgian Congo to Staten Island, USA. The experience of uranium mining is long standing and as will be shown, operational and discarded mines present long term threats to health, economy and national security. Military objectives are limited primarily to periods of conflict while the consequences of war preparation last many human lifetimes. The former USSR remains extensively contaminated as a result of its own efforts to gain international dominance. All empires end, as will the Western Alliance. The health consequences of uranium mining in the Belgian Congo remain apparent and the state of the mine which supplied the US in the 1940s remains dangerous today. The Belgian Empire has collapsed and the mine exists currently in an area of human deprivation and upheaval. The drive to extract uranium in this context enabled the use of acid leach mining by the USSR. In the USSR generally the results of uranium mining are a source for similar continuing harm, as does the mine in the Belgian Congo.) (5)

Bulgaria
(Note 1)
Uranium mining and milling ceased by government order in 1992. Activity ever since has consisted of attempted clean ups and rehabilitation. “The total contaminated area from uranium mining and milling is approximately 20 square kilometres, including 6 square kilometres from In Situ Acid Leach mining and 4 square kilometres of contaminated forest.” Secrecy enabled the absence of protective measures during the mining operations. As a result mechanical, chemical and radiological pollution remains a problem in Bulgaria. (6)

“The pre-mining quality of groundwater in the ore zone aquifers was typically.. “good.” Post mining, pH changes, contamination by metals and rare earths have occurred. Some being “several times higher than allowable limits”. “…major concerns arising from chemical, radiological and bacterial contamination” exist at Bulgarian In Situ Acid Leach sites. “At the Orlov Dol site, after 6 years of monitoring,…..the groundwater still contained elevated levels of uranium despite the associated small increase in pH.” (7)

(This concept of natural reduction in acidity will be shown to be a key plank of the claimed ability of In situ Acid Leach uranium mines to self repair without ground water cleanup. In this Bulgarian example, the uranium content remains elevated, i.e. unrestored. This is important as a basis for protest in relation to the South Australian In Situ Acid Leach mining regime and methodologies, including government approved remediation philosophy at South Australian mines. It is also important to note the readings of Radium, a progeny product of uranium (cited below). Radon is a progeny of radium. Radon, a gas, is the vector by which the subsequent uranium decay chain may continue to produce radioactive emissions remote from the ore body.

Groundwater movement of Uranium and Radium concentrated by the mining process, accelerates and concentrates the post Radium decay chain remote from the ore body in an unnatural rate and manner, releasing these later products into the water at distance from the mine site. Where the groundwater meets water used by humans, an enhanced hazard exists, posing the question “what is background radiation”? In the absence of ownership of responsibility, human enhanced decay chains remote from ore bodies will be seen incorrectly as “natural background”. The human health impacts of natural background radiation will be examined later in this blog.)

In Bulgaria the potential for the contamination of deeper groundwater systems remains a concern. Private residential drinking wells contain leaching solution contamination. Mudd gives the figures of Uranium and Radium in deeper mined groundwater as “20-30 mg/l (U) and Ra 1-2 Bq/l” contrasting with shallow aquifer figures of “around 3-4 mg/l (U) and Ra 0.5 Bq/l, despite dilution effects during migration through the aquifer.” (8) Surface spills due to technical failures have resulted in Uranium and Radium contamination of soils. (9) At these sites the contamination is 10 (U) and 2-3 (Ra) times background respectively.” (10) Mining equipment is “significantly” contaminated. (11) ( The use of the Becquerel unit of radioactivity rate here will be converted to Curie by me later. 1 curie = rate of radioactivity of 1 gram of Radium (disintegrations per second). Handy for visually the gram weights involved.)

Current Bulgarian regulations are quite strict, rendering uranium mining unprofitable. (12) The setting aside of funds for mine site restoration was not done and as a result restoration of mine sites has been greatly hampered. “Only one-third of the land used by ISL (in situ acid leach) operations have been remediated, and as the land is returned to the original owners for agricultural purposes, there are real concerns for public health and environmental safety. Some of the ISL sites….are close to areas where potable quality water is extracted by local communities or the water is considered to be an important future water resource.” (13)

Czech Republic
(Note 2)
The population density near the Czech ISL uranium mine sites has caused the government to wind back production and to institute an extensive remediation program. For every tonne of uranium produced by the Straz deposit, 53 Giga Becquerels of radium was released to the air (among other pollutants). (14) The Turonian aquifer, which discharges to the Ploucnice River at about 40 litres per second, contains 1,500,000 litres of water contaminated by uranium ISL mining. The contaminated water is spread over 245 ha. A total of 1 billion litres of ground water has been affected. High levels of radionuclides and other pollutants have caused the need for urgent corrective actions. Contaminated water is approaching the “sanitary protection zone of the Mimon water supply”. Restoration is “proving a difficult task…the restoration efforts are anticipated to last several decades, or even centuries.” (15)

Germany
(Note 3)
ISL took over from underground mining at Koningstein in 1984. ISL operated until 1990. The 100,000 tonnes of injected sulphuric acid has affected 55 billion litres of rock and aquifer. 1.8 billion litres of water in the aquifer contains 1.2-1.7 g/l sulphuric acid and more than 30 mg/l uranium. “There is potential for the contamination of surrounding groundwater and surface streams with Uranium, Radium Sulfur Oxide, Iron and Heavy Metals…..the mine still represents a threat to the surrounding aquifer, an important potable groundwater resource for the region.” (16)

Former Soviet Union
(Note 4)
Development of ISL across the former Soviet Republics commenced in the early 1960s with the following results:

Kazakhstan
(Note 5)
All ISL mines used sulphuric acid. The closed mines are left alone. The degree success over an unknown time span of this mode of “remediation” is not known. An “exclusion zone” of 150km by 15 km has been declared within which it is prohibited to extract drinking water. As of 2001 there were no published environmental impact reports. It is likely the general record throughout Kazakhstan will be found to be consistent with the environmental impacts of nuclear industry throughout the rest of the former USSR. (17)

Ukraine
(Note 6)
ISL Mines:

Deviadovskoye. Operated 1966 to 1983. Mode: Sulphric and Nitric acid. Grounwater contamination: to 80 metres. Distance: 1.7 km. Volume of residual solutions in aquifer: 7.09 billion litres. Volume of retention pond water: 1 billion litres with contaminated silt of 40 x 10 6 Litres. Nearest settlement: 4 km.

Bratskoye. Operated 1971 to 1984. Mode: Sulphric and Nitric acid. At end of mining, site abandoned. Contaminated groundwater: 5.2 billion litres. Area affected 3 km down and 1km up gradient. Contaminated to depth: 50 metres.

Safonovka. Operated 1982 – 1993. No information available on environmental impacts.

Restoration activities at all Ukraine ISL mine sites frozen since 1996 due to lack of funds. (18)

Uzbekistan
(Note 7)

ISL mine sites: Numerous. 80 years has been estimated as the time needed to reduce chemical contamination. “No field or laboratory data are presented to demonstrate that this attenuation process returns the levels of all heavy metals and radionuclides to the low levels prior to mining. Importantly, research is still inconclusive on the possibility of redissolution of secondary phases and the remobilisation of various heavy metals and radionuclides.” (19)

Conclusion:
There has been extensive chemical and radiological contamination from ISL throughout the former USSR. The USSR did not pay the cost of remediation. Current and future regimes and populations will, either in monetary or health terms or both.

The concept of simply leaving a disused mine to restore itself to its pre mine state has not been demonstrated in any ISL mine site examined. At the time of writing, 2001, none of the mines demonstrated a natural reduction in chemical or radiological contamination of the mine or its surroundings. The evidence suggests those contaminated aquifers adjacent to aquifers or surface waters used by populations present a clear hazard.

In contrast, potential ISL acid leach mines in the USA have to demonstrate at pilot stage remediation potential. Such plants had to restore groundwater to ascertain impacts. (20)

This remediation demonstration at pilot stage is not required in Australia (21)

“No commercial acid ISL uranium mine yet been approved or developed in the USA and it remains unlikely in the near future.” (22)

“The current configuration of the Beverley and Honeymoon projects – acid leaching with no restoration of polluted groundwater – is more akin to practices in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, where the evidence suggests that natural attenuation fails to reduce the impacts from such mines (Mudd, 1998 and 2001).
The standards applied at the Australian sites are not considered an acceptable approach for an arid region that is almost entirely dependent on groundwater.” (23)

A reading of Gavin Mudd’s papers reveal the economic advantage of acid in situ leach uranium mining in the USA is eroded to the point of being uneconomic when true remediation costs are enforced upon miners.

As will be shown, the social and political costs of acid leach mining became obvious in Australia from 2000 on. The past, present and future health effects of acid leach mining in the former USSR have not been quantified. Even averaged over the total land area, the resultant potential dose rate is in addition to natural background even if the average is less than background. That is, the contamination must be added to existing exposures, not subtracted as implied by the usual mining statements that human activity is “less than” natural background. In 100 years it will be difficult to discern human caused exposures from “natural” ones. Uranium is natural. Its release into the environment via mining is not.

As no commercial acid leach in situ mining operation exists in the USA, South Australia is following the Soviet model, both in methodology, remediation and in its treatment of dissent. Both the South Australian natural and political environments have been contaminated by the undertaking. The driver for this appears to be the State Government decision to become a “Defence Hub”. Uranium is a central pillar of the Defence policies of the Western Alliance. Reactors, as will be further discussed later in this blog, are “dual use” devices which 1. Produce plutonium by nuclear transformation via the fission of uranium (Szilard patent) 2. Produces electricity from the waste heat of the fission process 3. Enables the training and deployment of personnel skilled in handling both reactor and weapons grade material 4. Enables the imposition of controls against enemy states regarding the use of the technology 5. Fosters the interchange of resources and knowledge between the Alliance States.

This paradigm is breaking down as emerging nations with Trade, Economic and Military alliances with other (Non Western Alliance) Nations engage in nuclear development (Le Pung, Middle East Alliance signings, 1992. Reported via Radio Beijing.) Chief among these nations of concern is Iran, which has a mutual defence, economic and other assistance agreement with China. If it were deemed to be within China’s national interest, Iran would have a Chinese nuclear weapon tomorrow. Sanctions against Iran will change this fact. Such actions merely take the Iran/China agreement closer to the trip wire. Hence I guess, the perceived need to use acid leach uranium mining in South Australia. Despite the costs. Shooting ourselves in the foot as the USSR did and as the whole world did during the era of nuclear testing. We are repeating the past. Inter regional war grows more intense and inter-bloc War grows closer.

References and Notes.

(1) “Critical Review of Acid in situ leach uranium mining: 2. Soviet Block and Asia”, Mudd, G.M., Environmental Geology, (2001) 41:404-416, pp 404
(2) ibid, pp 404
(3) ibid, pp 404
(4) ibid, References, pp 415.
(5) PRELIMINARY RADIOLOGICAL SURVEY REPORT OF THE
FORMER STATEN ISLAND WAREHOUSES ITE
(ARCHER-DANIELS MIOLANO COMPANY) AT
PORT RICHMOND, NEW YORK
Work performed by the
Health and Safety Research Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830, B. A. Berven and C. Clark,
October 1980, DOE document NY_22-5

Which states: “A number of buildings located at the site of the former Staten
Island Warehouse in Port Richmond, New York, were used by Union Minie’re
du Haut-Katanga Company to store high-grade Belgian Congo uranium ore
(owned,by that company) from 1939 to 1942.” (pp 1) (The story of how it got there is important in the accurate chronology of the atomic bomb project, which did NOT commence in 1942. )

Available at :
http://www.lm.doe.gov/Considered_Sites/S/Staten_Island…/NY_22-5.pdf

See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Sengier
See also:
http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/library/uran.pdf
“Congo Uranium and the Tragedy of Hiroshima”, Mads Fleckner and John Avery
University of Copenhagen, July 2005. This work describes the state of the Congo uranium mine which was one of the first in the world to be used for uranium extraction rather than radium extraction and which was then abandoned. This set the precedent for many uranium mines from Canada to Australia. From Rum Jungle to Myponga. (just up the road from me.)

(Note 1) “This review is based upon Tabakov (1992), Kuzmanov and others (1992), Vapirev and others (1993), Dimitrov and Vapirev (1994), Nedyalkov (1996) and IAEA (1999); more detail is given in Mudd (1998).”
(6) “Critical Review of Acid in situ leach uranium mining: 2. Soviet Block and Asia”, Mudd, G.M., Environmental Geology, (2001) 41:404-416, pp 406
(7) ibid, pp 406
(8) ibid, pp 406
(9) ibid, pp 406
(10) ibid, pp 406
(11) ibid, pp 407
(12) ibid, pp 407
(13) ibid, pp 407
(Note 2) “This review is based on Benes (1992), Fiedler and Slezak (1992), Kuhn (1992), Andel and Priban (1993, 1994), Tomas (1996), and IAEA (1999); more detail is given in Mudd (1998).
(14) “Critical Review of Acid in situ leach uranium mining: 2. Soviet Block and Asia”, Mudd, G.M., Environmental Geology, (2001) 41:404-416, pp 407.
(15) ibid, pp 407 – 410
(Note 3) “This review is based on Hahne and Altmann (1992), Diehl(1995), Ettenhuber (1996), Nitzche and Merkel (1999) and Biehler and Falck (1999).”
(16) “Critical Review of Acid in situ leach uranium mining: 2. Soviet Block and Asia”, Mudd, G.M., Environmental Geology, (2001) 41:404-416, pp 410 – 411.
(Note 4) “This review is based on Skorovarov and others (1987) and Skorovarov and Fazlullin (1992).
(Note 5) “This review is based on Yazikov (1993), Atkin (1995), Catchpole (1997), Carroll (1997) and OECD (2000).”
(17) “Critical Review of Acid in situ leach uranium mining: 2. Soviet Block and Asia”, Mudd, G.M., Environmental Geology, (2001) 41:404-416, pp 412 – 413.
(Note 6) “This review is based on Molchanov and others (1995), Rudy (1996) and Chernov (1998).”
(18) “Critical Review of Acid in situ leach uranium mining: 2. Soviet Block and Asia”, Mudd, G.M., Environmental Geology, (2001) 41:404-416, pp 413.
(Note 7) “This review is based on Venatovskij (1992) and Solodov (1998).”
(19) “Critical Review of Acid in situ leach uranium mining: 2. Soviet Block and Asia”, Mudd, G.M., Environmental Geology, (2001) 41:404-416, pp 414.
(20) Critical review of acid in situ leach uranium mining: 1. USA and Australia, Gavin M. Mudd, “Environmental Geology” (2001) 41:390 – 403 pp 390
(21) ibid, pp 390.
(22) ibid, pp 395.
(23) ibid, pp 401- 402

Still to come:

South Australia
CSIRO findings re Heathgate’s modes of claimed remediation and environmental controls
The unknown future of the mine site.
The unknown interaction between the mined water, GAB and the biosphere.
The Legal outcome: The Beverley Protesters vs the State of South Australia – Glasnost arrives at Foley’s door, despite his best efforts.
The US EPA death toll figures from “Background Radiation”.

Rebuttal: See Heathgate mining website.

The Genesis of Knowledge – Genetic & Other Harms from Radiation

May 20, 2010

The Genesis of Knowledge – Genetic & Other Harms from Radiation

Preface
I had by this stage in my blog hoped to have tackled in situ acid leach uranium mining and the harms it has caused throughout the former Soviet Bloc.

However, press reports of the inadequacy of the Rudd government’s response to the plight of nuclear veterans, and the recently repeated statements by veterans describing the suffering of many of their children have caused me to change my timetable slightly.

Introduction
It is my perception that most people believe that knowledge of the harms caused by exposure to ionising radiation has been gained in the relatively recent past. Certainly, the myth persists that in 1945 radiation effects were poorly understood.

While it is true that prior to World War 2 the concept of long term harm was poorly concived by the bulk of scientists at the time, there were exceptions.

In the field of genetics, one person stands out. He inspired the later work of Lewis, Pauling and others.

Muller and Fruit Flies
In H. J. Muller in 1927 had reported in “Science” that X-rays
induce genetic mutations in Drosophila (fruit fly) (Muller, 1927); for
this work he received the Nobel Prize in 1946. Shortly
thereafter, Muller and others showed that the frequency of
X-ray induced mutations in Drosophila is approximately in direct linear proportion to the dose received (Hanson and Heys, 1929; Muller, 1928; Oliver,
1930). Importantly, over the next twenty years it was shown that X-rays given to Drosophila in relatively small doses over a long period
produce the same genetic effects as an equal dose administered all at once (Uphoff and Stern, 1949).

One sentence in Muller’s 1927 paper highlights the fact that he was already thinking about the possibility that the “…effect of X-rays, in occasionally producing cancer, may also be associated with their action in producing
mutations” (Muller, 1927). Ten years later he expanded on this idea, hypothesizing
“that the carcinomas, sarcomas and leukemias arising after irradiation represent mutations induced by [X-rays]” (Muller, 1937).
(Primary source: From fruit flies to fallout: Ed Lewis and his science
H O W A R D L I P S H I T Z
Program in Developmental Biology, Research Institute,
The Hospital for Sick Children,
Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, University
of Toronto, 555 University Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada
Journal of Genetics, Vol. 83, No. 2, August 2004)

So one can see that two years after jaw cancer in radium dial painters had been conclusively shown to be caused by ingested radium (1925, Hofman, JAMA, 85:961, 1925, cited by Brucer in his “Chronology of Nuclear Medicine”), Muller had shown genetic damage to be caused by ionizing radiation. Two years prior to the outbreak of World War 2 and eight years prior to the detonation of the first atomic bomb in July 1945 at New Mexico, fifteen years prior to the first British atomic bomb detonation on Australia at Monte Belllo Island, Muller had shown that the genetic damage was culmulative and irreversible.

The “Drunk’s Defence” does not apply
The so-called “drunk’s defence” of lack of coherent insight does not apply to the nuclear military industrial complex and has not since 1925 and 1927.

Guinea pigs nuclear victims may well be, but only in a sense. For any soldier who has read the “Infantry Field Manuals” of the NATO and SEATO nations knows the basic drill when performing upon the nuclear battlefield. The relevant sections of these restricted manuals owe their existence to the nuclear veterans and downwinders of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Their work and after effects were in fact duly noted. In my opinion.

There was foresight appropriate to the undertaking and where there is foresight, there are predictable outcomes. Therefore there is responsibility and culpability for the effects of deliberate exposure of people to ionizing radiation. The military mind might see survival in terms of rotation times as the main criteria. The individual afflicted by such tests and nuclear battlefield training as personally important for themselves and their children. And their children. A fortnight is a long time in a battle. The effects last generations.

The chronology of knowledge contained within the historical record is complex and extensive. I make no apology for attempting to explain some of it here. If this discussion is too technical, skip to the photographs at the end. I am addressing Mr. Rudd, Arpansa and other relevant authorities as well as the general reader.

How Radiation Harms Us

The Gene and Chromosome
‘Man’s own reproductive material is his most invaluable,
irretrievable, possession. It is already subject to an amount
of variation which in relation to his present reproductive
practices borders on the excessive. Under these
circumstances man’s first concern in dealing with radiation
must be his own protection.’ – Geneticist H. J. Muller, who in
1928 discovered that ionizing radiation could induce
mutations, speaking at the United Nations Conference
on Nuclear Energy, Geneva, 1955.

Genes
Genes and viruses have much in common. They are unstable
very large molecules of nucleoproteins. Both genes and
viruses have the ability ob being reproduced exactly when
conditions are favorable. (Source: “A t o m i c R a d ia t i o n a n d
L i f e ” , Peter Alexander, Pelican Books, London, 1957)
It is probable that the evolution of viruses were an essential
step in the development of more complex life forms. Both
are capable of spontaneous mutation (change in their
molecular construction). Both are easily changed by ionizing
radiation. (Ibid)

When radiation produces ionization (ie when radiation strips
one electron or more from an atom and in so doing produces
an electrically unbalanced atom or ion), the chemical
composition of the gene (and also the virus) is changed. This
is called a point mutation. (ibid)

If this point mutation occurs in male reproductive tissue, all
sperm produced by the affected tissue will carry the
mutation, and the mutation will be passed on to offspring
produced if any of that sperm produces fertilization. (ibid)
If the point mutation occurs in a sperm, the mutation is
passed on only if that particular sperm is involved in
fertilization. (ibid)

If that point mutation occurs in female germ cell producing
tissue prior to the formation of eggs, all eggs produced by
that tissue will carry the mutation and if fertilized, will
transmit the mutation to the offspring. (ibid)

If the point mutation occurs in an egg, the mutation is
passed on only if that egg is fertilized. (ibid)

It is important to note that a single track of ionizing
radiation is all that is required to produce a point mutation in
germ producing tissue (ovaries and testes) and in germ cells
(eggs and sperm). (ibid)

Because genes are self reproductive, (they divide when the
cell bearing them divides) damage to genes is cumulative
irreversible. (ibid)

The damage to genes is dose independent. It is
irrelevant whether the dose received occurred in a
millionth of a second, during an atomic explosion, or
over an entire reproductive lifecycle. The damage
to future offspring for generations has been done
and cannot be undone. (ibid)

The Chromosome
The chromosomes carry the genes. Chromosomes have
varying sensitivity to the effects of ionizing radiation. This
sensitivity is determined by the stage of division the host
cell is currently in. When vulnerable, chromosomes commonly
respond to radiation insult by breaking. The consequence of
breakage depends upon many factors including:
The success of self repair.
The effect of breakage on the ability of genes occupying the
affected strand to express.
The stage of division during which the breakage occurred.
(ibid)

To result in chromosomal damage, ionizing radiation needs
to have an energy level above a particular threshold. Note:
this is not a dose threshold, but an energy threshold. (ibid) (Google “Linear Energy Transfer” or LET)

In 1947 the physicist Douglas Lea concluded that the
deposition of 700eV (electron volts) of energy within the width of a
chromosomal strand by a track of ionizing radiation is
sufficient for that strand to break. 700 eV (electron Volts)
equates to about 20 ionisations. A single alpha particle
traversing a cell has been observed to break chromosomes.
(ibid) (DB once asked me what a safe level of radiation was. Well, there’s the answer. Alpha and Beta, in that order, are more likely than gamma or x rays to achieve sufficient LET but though the odds are lower, the odds still exist.)

Where chromosomal damage prevents gene expression, a
mutation can be said to have occurred by chromosomal
abnormality. (ibid)

The Cell
The cell, like the human body as a whole, is largely composed
of water, H20. (ibid)

The effect of ionizing radiation upon the cell is to strip
electrons from the atoms and molecules which comprise the
cell contents. (ibid)

This gives rise to ionized atoms and molecules which are
electrically unbalanced and which are called “free radicals”.
(ibid)

Free radicals are capable of a wide variety of chemical
reactions, all of which are abnormal compared to normal
cellular chemistry. These abnormal reactions may occur very
rapidly and in rapid sequence as the free radicals attempt to
regain electrical balance (neutrality). (ibid)

The most common free radicals are composed of Oxygen
atoms. For example, oxygen is highly reactive (a basis for its
prime function in the metabolism of mammals). When
ionized, oxygen is even more so. (ibid)

For example when water is ionized by radiation, the following
chemical reaction occurs:
H2O + ionization = H20+ + free electron. (“Activated water”
plus a free electron)
This action is defined as a direct effect of ionizing radiation.
(ibid)

The free electron cannot remain so for long. It is captured by
another water molecule to produce:

H2O + e = H2O-
The two molecules thus created (a negatively charged water
ion and a positively charged water ion) by the initial
ionization are called an “ion pair”. (ibid)

The reactivity does not end there however. Being unstable
both ions decompose extremely rapidly :
H20+ —-> H+ + OH.
H2O- —-> OH- + H.
Thus, two free radicals and two stable ions, H+ and OH-
which recombine to give water.

The indirect effects of the original insult to cellular water by
ionizing radiation causing the formation of these ion pairs
and free radicals is the abnormal intermediate reactions the
free radicals enter into prior to reforming as water. The free
radicals are highly reactive and compete for available
electrons, including those from normal molecules held in
weak electrical valence. (ibid)

An example of a commonly observed substance created
abnormally in ionized cells is Hydrogen Peroxide, a highly
reactive and toxic substance. This is formed as follows:
OH + OH → H2O2
(ion pair)

Thus the water in cells turns to hydrogen peroxide when those cells are insulted by ionizing radiation.

The above sequence is only one of many such abnormal
sequences which are able to take place within an irradiated
cell. (ibid)

The Hydrogen Peroxide continues the abnormal chemistry
until water or other stable molecule is formed. However, a
common indirect effect of exposure to ionizing radiation is
the formation of ozone, a highly damaging and reactive form
of oxygen, within the cell. This whole sequence direct and
indirect effects takes place within the context of the
functioning cell. The outcome of an exposure or series of
exposures which damages a sufficient number of cells is
radiation sickness and the eventual formation of cells
uninhibited by the normal processes constraining the
uncontrolled growth of cells. (ibid)

A whole category of abnormal reactions may occur, the
results of which result in cellular damage, including the
possibility of chromosomal and genetic abnormality, toxicity
and effects upon other cells, tissues and systems far
removed from the site of the irradiated cell. (ibid)

As a prime function of the cell is to provide the components
needed by the cellular nucleus with which to form genetic
material during cell division, it can be seen that the abnormal
chemical reactions have the potential, even at the level of an
individual track of ionizing radiation, to disrupt this process.

If the cellular nuclear repair mechanism with which mammals
are endowed fail to compensate for this abnormal
functioning, cell death or imperfect cell division may occur.
(ibid)

This is particularly important in two types of cell: Those
which normally divide rapidly, such as the blood and lymph
forming cells, and those cells which do not normally divide in
adults unless injured ie the somatic cells. (ibid)

I believe that two classes of cancer reflect radiation damage
to both class of cell: The Leukemias and Lymphomas and the
cancers of tissues such as the lungs.

Thus both the direct and indirect actions of ionizing radiation
upon the cell and the body as a whole is c h e m i c a l i n
n a t u r e . (Source: “Atomic Radiation and Life”, Peter
Alexander, Pelican Books, London, 1957).

The deliberate exposure of an enemy to ionizing radiation in war is a form of induced chemical warfare. In civil society, social benefits are weighed against the harms or costs to the individual. This is another crux of the nuclear debate, centred around science and society.

Evidence exists which indicates the damage
resulting from exposure to ionizing radiation increases in
cells which are highly oxygenated. The Oxygen atom
possesses a large number of electrons, and is a “large
target” capable of producing a large number of free
electrons. When an Oxygen free radical is formed, it is
capable of initiating a complex and abnormal chain of events
at the atomic, chemical, cellular, organ and organism levels.

Not surprisingly, many chemical substances exist which
result in the same or similar abnormal chemical reactions to
occur within cells. These are called “radiomimetic” chemicals.
One example of this class of chemical compound is Mustard
Gas, as used in World War 1. (Source: “Atomic Radiation and Life” , Peter Alexander, Pelican Books, London, 1957)

Where insult via ionizing radiation and radio mimetic
chemicals occur at the same time, each insult may
compound and multiply the consequences of the other.

The complex events at the level of cell, involving so many
factors, including timing in relation to cell division, the
robustness and reliability of repair mechanisms and the
general ability of a particular individual to cope with damage
and repair, predict that the effects of radiation is not one of
a purely linear nature. Although many outcomes are
foreseeable, there is no way of predicting specific outcomes
on an individual basis.

A Clue from Tobacco Related Cancer Statistics
According to figures released in 2004 by the W e i z m a n n
I n s t it u t e o f S c ie n c e , I s r a e l , “only” 10 – 16% of heavy
smokers develop lung cancer.
The Institutes findings published in the US Journal of the
National Cancer Institute, state that smokers suffer the
consequences of DNA damaged by the constituents of
tobacco smoke. Importantly, the Institute found that a
proportion of people lack an enzyme named OGG which
functions to remove damage caused by toxic molecules,
specifically in this case, the molecules resultant as a result of
smoking tobacco. Smokers lacking the OGG enzyme were
five to ten times more likely to develop cancer than smokers
with normal DNA activity.

The Weizmann Institute’s findings may have important
implications in predicting outcomes of individuals exposed to
ionizing radiation.

While 90% of smokers do not contract lung cancer, smoking is now seen as a leading cause of the disease. For this and other reasons, smoking is recognized as a leading threat to health.

The nuclear military-industrial complex may claim safety for its products using the same logic as the tobacco industry. Future generation will see the equivalence in the folly. Supporters of either undertaking will be seen as the real “Ferals”. The findings may further be applied to arrive at the conclusion that the effects of radiation are based upon the individual, not the group. Hence mass population statistics provide little comfort to vulnerable people.

The Long Way Home
In around 2006, Massey University in New Zealand found high rates of genetic damage in New Zealand’s nuclear veterans. The university ascribed the genetic abnormalities to the veterans’ exposure to ionizing radiation. The abnormalities were photographed and flashed around the world.

About 49 years earlier, in 1957, Peter Alexander included similar photographs in his book “Atomic Radiation and Life”. They were taken prior to publication. I do not know the precise date of these black and white photos. They are less sophiscated than the Massey University photos. However they show the same abnormalities.

In 1984 Dr Carl Johnson called for research into genetic abnormalities suffered by people affected by nuclear radiation released downwind of the Nevada Test site. (JAMA, Jan 13, 1984, Vol 251, No2. ).

The Veterans
The Howard government, contesting that the British Nuclear Tests affected Australians, disputed Sue Roffe’s findings relating to genetic and other health effects suffered by New Zealand and British nuclear veterans. He appointed an AIDS expert, Prof Kaldor, to refute Roffe’s findings. The Health Study, which excluded Aboriginal Australians (again), found that of the many different types of cancer suffered in excess by nuclear veterans, all were due soley to exposure to petrol during service at the nuclear test sites. While petrol fumes in the centre of Sydney at peak hour would undoubtably exceed those experienced at Maralinga during its atomic test rush hours, the range and occurrence of the types of cancers suffered by nuclear veterans are not suffered by Sydney’s occupants. It is hard to make sense of the survey findings. No doubt petrol is a carcinogen. So is atomic radiation. Both have a synergistic relationship in the genesis of disease.

In regard to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans, the “Mortality and Cancer
Incidence Main Findings” document of the Australian Participants in British
Nuclear Tests in Australia Study, June 2006, states the following:
“The cancer incidence study showed an overall increase in the number of
cancers in test participants, similar to that found in the mortality study. The
number of cancer cases found among participants was 2456, which was 23%
higher than expected. A significant increase in both the number of deaths and
the number of cases was found for (figures in brackets show increase in
mortality and incidence):
• all cancers (18% and 23%)
• cancers of the lip, oral cavity and pharynx (50% and 41%)
• lung cancer (20% and 28%)
• colorectal cancer (24% and 16%)
prostate • cancer (26% and 22%).
The number of cancer cases (but not the number of deaths) was also
significantly greater in test participants for the following cancers (figures in
brackets show increase in incidence):
• oesophageal cancer (48%)
• melanoma (40%)
• all leukaemias (43%)
all leukaemias except chronic lymphatic leukaemia (61%).
Other findings included:
• of the 26 mesothelioma cases in test participants, 16 occurred in RAN
personnel, which was nearly three times the number expected
in RAAF personnel, there was nearly double the expected number of deaths
from melanoma, and cases of melanoma were increased by two–thirds.
The increases in cancer rates do not appear to have been caused by
exposure to radiation.”
***
Full texts available at:
http://www.dva.gov.au/aboutDVA/publications/health_research/nuclear_test/P
ages/index.aspx
*** Sounds Like Benson & Hedges or the Marloboro Man circa 1960 were contracted to write that doesnt it?
Conclusion
It is little wonder then, given the military imperative to maintain a nuclear capability, that during a protest at a uranium mine ten years ago, an Aboriginal woman was arrested and along with others was, at least, roughly treated and forced into a shipping container which was then welded shut. The mine’s owner was leasing the land and the aboriginal woman was one of the land’s owners. The police minister at the time was Mr Kevin Foley. He considered the treatment received by the people protesting to be reasonable. As Treasurer, Mr Foley called the protestors “Ferals”. All had their day in court, as Mr Foley refused to settle out of court. The only thing the aboriginal owner was doing on her land was expressing her opinion about nuclear industry. As were all the other people arrested that day.

Who won the Cold War Mr Foley? How can we tell?

As promised, the photos of radiation induced genetic abnormalities, circa 1957 and circa 2006. There’s nothing new under the sun and it’s a slow train coming. A lot of what is “new” isn’t really. It was merely suppressed from 1942 because of war and later because of the secrecy provisions of the US Atomic Energy Act.

Photo of Genetic abnomality published by
Peter Alexander, England 1957..
genese 1

Photo of Genetic abnormality published by Massey University, NZ circa 2006, supplied to Atomic ExServicemens’ Assoc. Australia by NZ nuclear Veterans
genes 2

Massey University website:
http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle=dna-damage-to-nuclear-test-vets-prompts-call-for-study-of-children-15-05-2007

Under resourced Police rebuked, Foley’s “Ferals” win their case against State of South Australia. Police “just following Foley’s Orders”:
http://asen.org.au/news/2010/04/19/feral-beverley-uranium-mine-protesters-win-supreme-court-lawsuit/


Take the Long way home.

(you miss too much otherwise)

Australian Nuclear Veterans’ Association website under reconstruction after Telstra closed down the original one:
http://www.sandersonsite.com/anva/
Note: the ANVA IS NOT THE AEA. Two different groups.

Next week: Acid Leach Uranium Mining in the former Soviet Union and South Australia.

Australian Impacts of the French Nuclear Tests

May 18, 2010

On 22 July 1973 French atmospheric nuclear testing recommenced at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific. The Australian AIRAC Report No. 1 of May 1974 gives the dates the Australian government believed the nuclear blasts took place:

1. 22 July 1973. 2. 29 July 1973. 3. 19 August 1973. 4. 25 August 1973. 5. 29 August 1973. These blasts were considered secret by France. That country made no announcement in regard to these tests.

Prime Minister Whitlam sent HMAS Supply to witness the French Tests. A Royal New Zealand Naval vessel also took position and watched. Thus more ANZAC nuke vets were created by the exposures they suffered. The French had the “guts” to later sink Greenpeace’s “Rainbow Warrior” with resulting loss of life, but though brave enough to explode nuclear weapons, the French did not attack the ANZAC vessels. Apart from detonating their bombs as planned. In effect, attacking the hemisphere a decade after such tests were outlawed by non-rogue states.

Prior to the French test series of 73, (France had been conducting atmospheric nuclear tests at Mururoa since the 1960s with complete disregard to the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which forbade atmospheric nuclear testing) the Whitlam government, under howls of protest and mockery from the Opposition – which one can of course read in Federal Parliamentary Hansard – set about preparing to record the impact of French Fallout as it arrived in Australia. The peak body for this, NRAC, was under heavy influence from Prof Titterton. The first report of the NRAC displeased Whitlam. NRAC was replaced by AIRAC. This in the main meant that the majority of the functional staff of NRAC became employed by AIRAC. Titterton retained influence as a person of importance.. These were days prior to the Royal Commission.

In any event, the fallout monitoring stations established by the Atomic Weapons Safety Committee of the 1950s for the British bombings of Australia were reactivated by NRAC and continued by AIRAC to monitor French fallout as it arrived here.

AIRAC report No. 1 of May 1974 found among other things:
Fallout fission products that could only have come from the French tests were very soon detected in Australian air and milk.

AIRAC fails to report that milk in Queensland was thrown away due to ”excessive” levels of radio Iodine. None the less this is the case.

AIRAC report No. 1 makes no mention of water monitoring data. IN SA this took place in the lead up to each blast, at the time of each blast and for a period after each blast.

AIRAC report No.1 makes mention of the fact that the sticky paper sampling was more accurate than it was for the 1950s tests for a number of reasons, including swifter arrival at centres for analysis. This further confirms the results for the British Tests are in error by under reading.

The report provides various tables: Estimated external gamma dose to the whole body from the French tests; Iodine 131 per litre of milk, Radiation dose to infant thyroids; the Nuclear Tests conducted by France; Artificial radionuclides (fission products) present in ground level air in Australia during August 1973; Population weighting factors re the whole body external gamma dose; Dairy milk monitoring program; Map of monitoring stations and monitored dairy areas; Final Results from Measurement on Milk Supplies, Expressed as Net Counts per minute above Background, corrected to Noon on the day of sampling, (whole of Nation population centres); Average milk Consumption by Age; and Beta Activities in selected cities as measured. Only bovine dairy milk used by the major centres was monitored.

On page 21 the report gives a table of the radioactivity resulting French fallout per square metre. Eg on 13 August 1973 Adelaide recorded 0.66 nanocuries per square metre). In my previous discussion of Hot Particles I have cited sources which state that only specialised VOLUMETRIC monitoring is an adequate means of accurately measuring point source high level radioactivity emitted by fission and fuel particles in the environment. (Marston, 1957; STUK, Pollanen, 2001). AIRAC knew enough to conduct volumetric monitoring but did not. They give an measurement in square meters for city environs – air at ground level.

On page 23 the report makes the following statement:

“Most of the fission products consisting fresh fallout do not enter man’s diet readily and, even when they are ingested, uptake by the body is negligible.” They go on to say Iodine 131 is the one exception.

However, this justification for the lack of volumetric environmental monitoring and excuse for divorcing the accumulated doses suffered by Australians from previous atomic weapons testing, is amply refuted by historical technically superior documents authored by experts in the science of Fallout Prediction and Health Physics.

I refer in this instance to the publication: “Medical Survey of Rongelap People Fice and Six Years After Exposure to Fallout (with an Addenum on Vegetation) by Robert A Conard, M.D., H. Eugene MacDonald, M.D., Austin Lowrey, Col. (MC) USA, Leo M. Meyer, M.D., Stanton Cohn, Ph. D., Wataru W. Sutow, M.D., Baruch S. Blumberg, M.D., James W. Hollingsworth, M.D., Harvey W Lyon, Comdr. (DC) USN, William H. Lewis, Jr., M.D., A.A. Jaffe, D.D.S., Maynard Eicher, David Potter, Isaac Lanwi, Practitioner, Ezra Riklon, Practitioner, John Iaman, Practitioner, and Jack Helkena, Practioner. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Associated Universities, Inc., under contract with the United States Atomic Energy Commission, September 1960.

The use of the word “fresh” by AIRAC as quoted above does not absolve it or its personnel from conducting an honest appraisal of the ability of radionuclides present as fission products and fuel hot particles already measured (inadequately by AIRAC) in the biosphere (air in this case) and its ability to penetrate and occupy the human organism at the level of the individual. Quoting the Brookhaven/US AEC publication of 1960 in relation to the people of Rongelap: “The mean body burdens for 1959 were: Cs 137 = .57 uc, Zn65 = .44 uc, Sr90 = 6.0 uc. The body burdens of Zn 65 and Sr90 continue to rise but at decreasing rates….” (“Medical Survey of Rongelap People Five and Six Years After Exposure to Fallout (with an Addenum on Vegetation) by Robert A Conard, M.D., H. Eugene MacDonald, M.D., Austin Lowrey, Col. (MC) USA, Leo M. Meyer, M.D., Stanton Cohn, Ph. D., Wataru W. Sutow, M.D., Baruch S. Blumberg, M.D., James W. Hollingsworth, M.D., Harvey W Lyon, Comdr. (DC) USN, William H. Lewis, Jr., M.D., A.A. Jaffe, D.D.S., Maynard Eicher, David Potter, Isaac Lanwi, Practitioner, Ezra Riklon, Practitioner, John Iaman, Practitioner, and Jack Helkena, Practioner. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Associated Universities, Inc., under contract with the United States Atomic Energy Commission, September 1960. Pp 3.)

As a short lived fission product, Iodine 131 would be expected to present a major dose contribution five years after the Castle Bravo Event. By the same token however, the shorter lived isotopes Sr89 and I 131 were observed in the people of Rongelap by Dr Cronkite in 1954. (US Congressional Records, 1954, 1957. Letters by Cronkite to the AEC 1954. Etc)

The statement by AIRAC that “Most of the fission products consisting fresh fallout do not enter man’s diet readily and, even when they are ingested, uptake by the body is negligible”, flies in the face of the conservative health physics of the US AEC. There is an accumulating body burden. Depending on dietary status (Pecher, Hamilton, Stone, Lawrence) the rate of uptake and retention of radionuclides present in nuclear fallout maybe modified somewhat. However, by their very natures, the phosphorous and calcium analogues (Cesium (US spelling) and the Strontium isotopes are readily taken in and contribute to internal dose which adds to the person’s total life time dose.

AIRAC did not admit this. To do so would mean adding the dose contribution created in 1973 by France to the dose contribution created by the British in the 1950s and to all other sources of fallout in the interim. AIRAC failed to add up the accumulated doses. Further, only statistically important populations had their milk monitored. No attempt was made to halt the use of unmonitored remote milk, usually drunk unprocessed without delay in rural and indigenous communities. A higher proportion of this milk is non bovine, mainly goat’s milk. The goat gut and udder allows a much greater proportion of Sr 90 and 89 and I131 through to the milk compared to bovine milk. The AIRAC monitoring ignores the fact that mission stations, a major resource for remote Aboriginal communities, commonly kept goats for milk and meat, not cattle. Goats are more rugged and need less tending by people who’s main role is not farming but social welfare orientated. It is a cruel twist that these people were never warned, either in the 50s or the 70s.

The same mistakes which caused the Black Mist incident and all other incidents in Australia to go unreported in the 1950s were still in play in the 1970s. If AIRAC is correct in its statement that “Most of the fission products consisting fresh fallout do not enter man’s diet readily and, even when they are ingested, uptake by the body is negligible”, the Project Sunshine human bone sampling for radio strontium would have returned results of near zero for all ages, races and genders. In fact it returned positive readings for still born babies and peaks for infants at the growth spurt age. It returned readings for all ages, genders and races. In the Southern Hemisphere, although total nuclear fallout was ¼ of that experienced by the Northern Hemisphere, the human radio strontium bone burden was twice as high as expected. (Wasserman, AEC, Cornell Conference, 1962)

A further illustration of the inadequacies of both NRAC and AIRAC in its monitoring the effects of fallout is provided by the following quotations in relation to the atmospheric tests conducted in Nevada USA. The “fresh” does not mean much when the issue is human life and health.

“It seems probable that the largest increment of cancer in Utah is yet to come. Additional study periods (ie, 1981 through 1990, 1991 through 2000, and 2001 through 2010) are necessary to evaluate this later phase of cancer induction (from nuclear fallout). A survey of chromosomal aberration rates in persons who experienced fallout symptoms may be useful, and an evaluation of effects on reproduction during and after fallout exposures is needed. There is a need for more basic scientific research into the molecular, cellular, and developmental effects of the multitude of radioisotopes to which people have been exposed.” “Cancer Incidence in an Area of Radioactive Fallout Downwind from the Nevada Test Site”, Carl J. Johnson M.D., Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan 13, 1984. Vol 251, No. 2. It should be noted that Johnson expected increases in specific cancer types in the periods of his suggested later monitoring. We are now in the final suggested review period (2001 through 2010). He had found excess leukemia, brain cancer, breast cancer and cancers of the GI tract. His description of the immediate effects of fallout in high fallout counties matches that given by Lallie Lennon, Yami Lester and others. As doses are cumulative, Airac is wrong to consider the exposure from French fallout in the 1970s in isolation. Airac failed to monitor the most affected. That is, the rural, the remote, the veterans of the tests. The dose from the French tests alone might be minimal – if indeed it was, but I doubt it, given I know milk had to be diced as it was too contaminated even for AIRAC – all the milk had some contamination at the time as the AIRAC tables show. However, that burden, no matter how small, is an additional insult to the cells of those previously burdened by nuclear dosings. Their allowable lifetime limit had previously been diminished. If they ingested hot particles, their internal burden increased. Governments administer the masses, not the individual in such situations.

Airac is wrong. I131 is not the only radioisotope of concern and milk not the only foodstuff that should have been monitored.

Helen Caldicott fought for and succeeded in obtaining the monitoring data for South Australia’s drinking water undertaken during the period of the 1970s French nuclear Tests. Years later, at the request of nuclear veterans National Secretary Terry Toon, I requested the same data for the period from the British nuclear tests on.

After some letters had passed between myself and then Premier John Olsen, water data for the period immediately after the British Tests onward were given to me. The missing early period is another story for another day.

One chart made from the data supplied is shown below. Monitoring water is a volumetric measure. We are talking about hot particles in solution or as fine flecks which would eventually settle or filter. Adelaide’s water supply is now filtered. So long as no further constant arrival of hot particles occurs. And that leads to another theme related to nuclear weapons and the reactors which make plutonium. The mining of uranium.

What’s a safe dose of radiation? Depends where it the source is and what cell it is dosing. How often that cell is dividing and whether succeeding generations from that cell are similarly dosed by an adjacent internal emitter (hot particle). In such a case, no amount of external environmental monitoring will detect the threat. Which is probably why Dr Johnson suggested surveying PEOPLE rather then the environment years after the contamination events. His suggestion was never taken up. Disease is a human event. We are part of the environment and if the external environment is poisoned, we are too. And we concentrate that poison.

Dr Johnson made an error. He assumed that there would be no fallout after 1963. He was wrong in that assumption.

I say again, if Hiroshima had not happened in August 1945 but happened tomorrow instead, many more outside the blast zone would die. For the modern world is dosed up and primed. The buckets of water which represent our allowable life time dose are far fuller now than they were for the people of 1945. Some say a single track of alpha through a cell, or a few of beta can start lethal disease. Others disagree. Still others say low dose exposures are beneficial. (I’ll come to Marshall Brucer later.) Cronkite observed of the Marshall Islanders that at the same dose, some people died and some people lived. Later it was found many who survived had their lives cut short some years later. And some did not. Again, to me this confirms the LD 50 concept and conflicts with the Allowable Lifetime Dose concept. It confirms the risk of hot particles. It confirms the variable nature of individual response and individual cellular repair. It means the stats which cover the masses mean little comfort for the vulnerable individual. Is your cellular repair mechanism robust or not? You won’t find the answer in mass statistics. It’s an individual thing. Its almost eugenics. The simple and brutal may survive, leaving the subtle and beautiful extinct.

There is no baseline population of unaffected people anymore. Project Sunshine established that. Any additional dose of highly efficient ionising radiation (alpha and beta) when delivered internally is a grave risk to modern humans. I do not say avoid needed x rays for medical reasons. That’s foolish and wrong headed. Avoid anything that is not needed. This at least was Dr Gofman’s view.

cover

water
spot the bombs.

hp

CIA document re French Tests:

http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs.asp?doc_no=0000985830

International Court of Justice Australia vs France
http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&code=af&case=58&k=78&PHPSESSID=f7e83ac476605b611be341aea767c0c4

Vitamin D and Dr Pecher, 1941

May 16, 2010

“SCIENCE” Oct 17 1941 – SUPPLEMENT VOL. 94, No. 2442
SCIENCE NEWS
Science Service, Washington, D. C.

On the work of Dr Pecher:

“Vitamin D, these studies have shown, both promotes the absorption of calcium and in other ways promotes mineralization of
bone.”

SCIENCE
VoL. 94 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1941 No. 2449

John Lawrence wrote an obituary to Charles Pecher which was published in
December 1941: “In the death of Charles Pecher at the age of twenty-eight
experimental medicine has lost a brilliant investigator who already had made
important contributions in the application of nuclear physics to biology and
medicine…Because of his thorough training in both physics and medicine,
and due to his industry and brilliance, he soon made important contributions in
the new field of artificial radioactivity…in his work using radioactive strontium
he showed that strontium acts physiologically in a manner similar to calcium in
the animal body and because of its localization in bone is now being used
experimentally in the treatment of neoplastic disease of bone.” [27]

The death was ruled suicide. By the next year, 1942, the OSRD uranium committee had morphed into the Manhattan Project and the study of the offensive effects of fission products and protective measures commenced at Pecher’s old lab (Lawrences’s Rad Lab at UCLA Berkeley) by Hamilton, first under OSRD contract and then under Manhattan supervision and pay. Hamilton reported to Stone, Stone to Groves and Compton.

By 1948 Project Gabriel was underway, followed by Project Sunshine. All used Pecher’s nutritional data relating to calcium and vitamin D. And Pechers work was suppressed as far as possible.

His cancer treatment not being approved until 1993 in the US (1986 in Canada.)

The news that Vitamin D is important in bone calcium stability (and hence an aid to prevent the movement of radio strontiium to the soft tissues such as the breast) is not new. It is very old.

Pecher’s death was ruled suicide. It is a complex story involving the ignorance of the Belgian government threatening Pecher, the US insisting he continue his work and Ernest Lawrence’s intense lobbying to protect Pecher as war engulfed the world and threatened the US.

The knowledge possessed by Pecher in relation to Vitamin D is important to modern women.

Dr Jospeh Lyon

May 15, 2010

“In 1979, however, University of Utah epidemiology director Dr. Joseph L. Lyon independently confirmed the
validity of the Weiss report. In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Lyon and
associates documented that children growing up in southern Utah during the aboveground atomic weapons tests
suffered a leukemia rate two and a half times higher than for children before the testing began and after it ended.43
In early 1981 results of the federal executive branch’s Interagency Radiation Research Committee inquiry were
made public—stating that a profusion of childhood cancer in southern Utah “remains unexplained on grounds other
than possible fallout exposure.”44
Health risks of living downwind from the nuclear tests were shared by Indians—particularly Duckwater
Shoshones north of the test site, and Southern Paiutes to the east. Poor medical record-keeping has handicapped
efforts to assess fallout effects. But in 1981 Paiute Tribe of Utah vice-chair Elvis F. Wall blamed the radiation for
adding to health woes among tribe members.45
Through it all, during three decades that started with the first mushroom clouds over Nevada in 1951, the U.S.
Government nuclear weapons testing spokespeople continued to proudly observe that federal authorities had never
lost a lawsuit based on radioactive fallout.46 With about a thousand plaintiffs seeking damages in federal court as the
1970s ended, U.S. Justice Department attorneys were anxious to sustain their “perfect record” of eluding judicial
pronouncements of atomic fallout culpability.”

(“Killing Our Own”, Sternglass et al)

Citation 43, 44 :

43. Joseph L. Lyon, et al., “Childhood Leukemias Associated with Fallout from Nuclear Testing,” New England Journal of Medicine, February 22, 1979, pp.
397-402. Lyons’s study has been criticized by nuclear proponents because in spite of the increase in leukemia rate among children in Utah, the rate was still
below the U.S. average. This attitude seems to assume that every area of the U.S. “deserves” to be as polluted as the East Coast, where synergistic effects of
multiple carcinogens and wash-out of radioactive chemicals from contaminated clouds compound the health problems.
44. The Oregonian, Associated Press, January 1, 1981.

http://thyroid.about.com/b/2005/03/31/cdc-halts-thyroid-study-funding.htm

CDC Halts Thyroid Study Funding
Thursday March 31, 2005
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have stopped funding for a study that was investigating the relationship between radioactive fallout and thyroid disease in people who lived at risk of exposure to fallout from Nevada’s atomic bomb tests of the 1950s and early 1960s. Only $8 million had been spent on the study when the CDC cancelled funding. There have been conflicting results of previous studies, with some showing no connection between fallout and cancer, and others showing increased disease, especially among people exposed as children. CDC spokesman John Florence told the Deseret Morning News: “CDC does not have the financial resources available to continue the project…It’s a funding issue.”

Study head Dr. Joseph L. Lyon, has said that he feels the federal government does not want to know about health effects of fallout on American citizens. “That’s the only interpretation I can place on it,” he said.

In studies that began in the 1960s, federal researchers concluded that fallout had not increased disease, but Lyon’s studies, beginning in 1977, concluded that fallout did cause increased incidence of cancer.

Dr Carl Johnson

May 15, 2010

From Wiki

Carl Jean Johnson (July 2, 1929 – December 29, 1988), was a public health physician who opposed nuclear testing.[1]

He was discharged from Army service on March 18, 1949. He went to Michigan State University and the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He had a master’s Degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley.[1]
[edit] Rocky Flats

In 1976 he was the Director of the Jefferson County, Colorado Department of Health. He reported that soil around the Rocky Flats Plant contained 44 times more plutonium than the government claimed. In 1977 he reported higher-than-average rates of leukemia and cancer among the local people. In 1980 he reported that plant workers had eight times more brain tumors than expected. In 1981 he was fired. He later won a whistleblower lawsuit against Jefferson County, Colorado. In 1985 he lost an election to become the Boulder County, Colorado Director of Health.[1]
[edit] Death and burial

He died on December 29, 1988 at Lutheran Memorial Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado of an unsuspected birth defect of the heart. He was buried in the Fort Logan National Cemetery in Colorado on January 3, 1989.[1][3][4]
[edit] Publications

* Carl J. Johnson, “Funding of Radiation Protection Standards Research”, letter to the editor, American Journal of Public Health, February 1979.
* Carl J. Johnson, “Cancer Incidence in an Area of Radioactive Fallout Downwind from the Nevada Test Site”, Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 251, Number 2, January 13, 1984.
* Carl J. Johnson, “Rocky Flats: Death Inc.” The New York Times, Op-Ed; Sunday, December 18, 1988, Op-ed E-23.

JAMA. 1984 Jan 13;251(2):230-6.
Cancer incidence in an area of radioactive fallout downwind from the Nevada Test Site.

Johnson CJ.
Abstract

Exposures in southwestern Utah to radioactive fallout (1951 through 1962) from atmospheric nuclear detonations at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) were followed by smaller exposures (1962 through 1979) from venting of underground nuclear detonations. The cancer incidence in a 1951 cohort (4, 125) of Mormon families in southwestern Utah near the NTS was compared with that of all Utah Mormons (1967 through 1975). There were 109 more cases of cancer than expected (288[observed]/179[expected]). Leukemia was most prominent early (1958 through 1966), with 19 cases, five times more than expected (3.6). The excess of leukemia persisted into the later period (1972 through 1980), with 12 cases observed, 3.4 expected. There was an increase in lymphoma. Excess cases of thyroid cancer appeared early and a notable excess appeared later (14/1.7). An excess of breast cancer was noted later (27/14). There were more cancers of the gastrointestinal tract than expected. There was an excess of melanoma (12/4.5), bone cancer (8/0.7), and brain tumors (9/3.9). A subgroup with history of acute fallout effects had a higher cancer incidence. That these cases can be associated with radiation exposures is supported by a comparison between groups of the ratio of cancers of more radiosensitive organs with all other types of cancer.

PMID: 6690781 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
end quote of abstract.

a full text pdf download of this article is available at:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/251/2/230

“A burden of
radiation-induced cancer throughout
the state can be expected, because an
excess of childhood leukemia has been
reported for the entire state, and this
observation is an early warning of
other classes of radiation-induced
cancer to appear later.”

‘In the last
five-year period (27 to 32 years after
the bombs), the excess cancer death
rate increased by 2.4 times, caused by
cancer of the esophagus, stomach,
colon, lung, breast, and urinary tract,
lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.2
There was an increase in cancer of the
thyroid gland and benign tumors as
well”

“The incidence of cancer
of the breast was unremarkable in
1958 through 1966 (8/8.8), but a sharp
increase was noted in 1972 through
1980 (27/14.2, P=.01).16”

RATTLE AND HUM

May 14, 2010

All Along the Watch Tower Part 2

Contaminated Tanks – at the Australian Nuclear Test Sites, During Recovery and After.

The Sale of Contaminated Equipment to the Public.

A Photo History. With Thanks to the Atomic Ex-Servicemens’ Association.

tank

tank

tank

tank

tank

tank

tank

tank

tank

If you know anyone who bought equipment at government auction such as the bulldozer type pictured here, which saw service at an atomic test sites, consider alerting State authorities and seeking thorough radiation monitoring of the machine.

Decontamination at the time of use was performed with rudimentary methods by personnel doing their best during hazardous duty. The equipment was part of the hazard.

Personnel affected includes anyone who used this equipment, either in later military or civilian service.

ALL ALONG THE WATCH TOWER

May 14, 2010

Senator Nick X has spoken on the comparative tight fisted response of the Rudd Government to the just fight of Nuclear Veterans.

A lot of progress, believe or it not, has been made by the implementation of the Clarke Review Report of 2003 (the year of Andrew Bolt’s article saying, in short, that the nuclear Test’s were harmless). Nuclear Veterans have received some just response. It’s not the full response they deserve, as NIck notes.

I referred earlier to a case of tank driver who died after being ordered to drive his tank through the Emu Field blast zone.

Here’s an Australian Federal Parliamentary Hansard record of the events. I shall post photos of the tank later. Following the quotation, I will explain what happened to the tank. And where it saw combat in the 1970s. Decontamination measures vary in their effectiveness……A Centurion tank is a pretty hermetic environment for crews….

Think “contaminated vehicle”. Later I will post the serial numbers of others.

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD

I020 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD REPRESENTATIVES 20 MARCH 1980 Mr UREN (Reid) (12.35)

– in today’s grievance debate I want to raise further questions about the British nuclear weapons tests that were conducted in South Australia from the early 1950s to the early 1960s. In particular I would like to open up the question of the effect of those tests on the health of Australians who were involved in the weapons testing program at that time.

I raise this matter because I have received further evidence which I present to the House that people who formerly worked at the weapons test sites have since contracted cancer and some of them have died. I also raise this matter because there is more and more evidence in the United States that many have suffered as a consequence of the Nevada nuclear weapons tests. Yet in this country the Fraser Government still refuses to acknowledge that there have been people whose health has been affected by such tests. It even refuses to carry out or follow up any studies of health by the Australian personnel who worked at Maralinga and Emu Last year I was approached by a Melbourne woman concerning her continued attempts to gain fair compensation for herself and her children for the death of her husband in 1966. The woman’s late husband. William Jones had been a member of the Army from 1952 to 1965 when he was discharged as medially unfit for military service. He died of carcinoma nine months later in 1966 at the age of 39. Mrs Jones says that her husband was sent on a secret mission for several months from his home base at Puckapunyal to Woomera in South Australia in late 1953. She says that his crew took a tank to be placed in the blast of an atomic explosion.

She believes that after the explosion he went back to bring the tank out but it did not work; so he remained in the blast area for two days waiting for parts. There is evidence to support her story in the book Blast the Bush by Len Beadell. It is the story of the first atomic test at Emu on 15 October 1953. Mr Beadell says that a Centurion tank was transported to Emu and placed close to the bomb with a dummy inside to test the effects of the atomic blast. I believe that Mrs Jones’ claims should be examined and investigated. After her husband’s death Mrs Jones applied for compensation for herself and her five children on his behalf. After a long battle she was finally awarded compensation in 1974. under the Compensation (Australian Government Employees) Act. The delegate of the Commissioner for Employees Compensation determined that the disease William Jones had suffered from constituted a disease due to the nature of his employment with the Army.

I want to stress that aspect It was a metastatic carcinoma of bone. He also determined that William Jones death resulted from a disease due to the nature of his employment. I seek leave to have these two determinations incorporated in Hansard. Leave granted. The documents read as follows –

COMPENSATION (AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES ) ACT I 971-1973 William Charles Jones, also known as William Cameron JONES Ex 34221 Warrant Officer Department of Defence (Army Office) In the matter of the claim of William Charles JONES also known as William Cameron JONES for compensation in respect of muscle weakness upper and lower limbs DETERMINATION 1. on the evidence before me including specialist medical opinion I find that the condition of metastatic carcinoma bone and carcinomatous neuropathy suffered by the said William Charles Jones also known as William Charles Jones constituted a disease due to the nature of his employment by the Department of Defence ( Army Office) within the meaning of section 10 of the Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Act 1930, as amended 2. NOW THEREFORE in pursuance of the provisions of the Compensation (Australian Government Employees) Act 1971-1973 including Sections 4 ( 2 ) and 104 (1) of that Act I hereby determine: (a) the determination dated 30 Oct 1964 is hereby revoked. (b) the said William Charles Jones also known as William Charles Jones contracted a disease namely metastatic carcinoma of bone and carcinomatous neuropathy in circumstances under which the Department of Defence (Army Office) would have been liable to pay compensation under the Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Act 1930 as amended, and the Department of Defence (Army Office) is therefore liable to pay compensation in respect of the said disease in accordance with the provisions of the Compensation (Australian Government Employees) Act 1971-1973. D E RUMBLE Delegate of the Commissioner for Employee’s Compensation 2 April 1974 COMPENSATION (AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES) ACT 1971-1973 William Cameron JONES ( Deceased) also known as William Charles JONES-Warrant Officer – Department of Defence (Army Office ) In the matter of the claim of Audrey Beagle JONES for compensation in respect of the death of William Cameron JONES also known as William Charles JONES formerly Warrant Officer Department of Defence (Army Office) DETERMINATION ( 1 ) on the evidence before me I now find that the death of the said William Cameron Jones also known as William Charles Jones on 9 January 1966 resulted from a disease due to the nature of his employment by the Department of Defence (Army Office) within the meaning of section 10 of the Commonwealth Employees ‘ Compensation Act 1930 as amended ( 2 ) NOW THEREFORE in pursuance of the provisions of the Compensation (Australian Government Employees) Act 1971- 1973 including sections 4 (2) and 104 (1) of that Act I hereby determine : (a) the determination dated 5 May 1972 is hereby revoked (b) the death of the said William Cameron Jones resulted from a disease in circumstances which the Department of Defence (Army Office) would have been liable to pay compensation under the Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Act 1930 as amended (c) the Department of Defence (Army Office) is therefore liable to pay compensation in accordance with the provisions of the Compensation (Government Employees) Act 1971- 1973 (d) the dependants of the said William Cameron Jones also known as William Charles Jones are: Audrey Bessie Jones widow Terrence William Jones born 13 July 1954 Leanne Patricia Jones daughter born 3 January 1959 Tracy Darlene Jones daughter born 29 October 1962 and Rick Cameron Jones son born 29 October 1962 (e) the amount of compensation payable to the said Audrey Bessie Jones in accordance with the provisions of sections 43 (3) and 104 (4) of the Compensation (Australian Government Employees) Act 1971-1973 is $8,600 (f). the amounts of compensation payable in accordance with sections 5(1), 43(5) and 104(8)of the Compensation (Australian Government Employees) Act 1971- 1973 (i) in respect of Terrence William Jones are $2.25 (two dollars twenty five cents) per week from 10 January 1966 until 8 November 1967. $2.45 per week from 9 November 1967 until 2 December 1968, $2.50 per week from 3 December 1968 until 23 June l970 and $2.80 per week from 24 June 1970 until 13 July 1970. (ii) in respect of Leanne Patricia, Tracy Darlene Jones and Rick Cameron Jones, are $2.25 per week each from 10 January 1966 until 8 November 1967, $2.45 per week each from 9 November 1967 until 2 December 1968, $2.50 per week each from 3 December 1968 until 23 June 1970, $2.80 per week each from 24 June 1970 until 24 May 1971, and $5.00 per week each from 25 May 1971 until a date to be determined by the Commissioner or his Delegate. and I further determine: (i) the amount of $8,600 shall be Paid in a lump sum to the said Audrey Bessie Jones; and (ii) unless otherwise directed by the Commissioner or his Delegate, the weekly amount payable in respect of Terrence William Jones, Leanne Patricia Jones, Tracey Darlene Jones and Rick Cameron Jones shall be paid to the said Audrey Bessie Jones (g) the amount Payable in accordance with the provisions of sections 44 and 104 ( 10) of the Compensation (Australian Government Employees) Act 1971-1973 in respect of funeral expenses is $120 and the said amount shall be paid to the said Audrey Bessie Jones. D E RUMBLE Delegate of the Commissioner for Employees’ Compensation Mr UREN – I thank the House. Let us examine the evidence these documents present.

The delegate has determined that some factor in William Jones ‘ Army work caused him to get this cancer. If Mrs Jones’ story is accurate then we can conclude only that this factor was radiation at Emu. (South Australian Nuclear Test Site). If her story is denied by the authorities then we must also be told what was the factor that led to the delegate’s determination. But the evidence as it stands suggests that William Jones was a victim of radiation at Emu and that this was reluctantly admitted even within the bureaucracy. One of the features which stands out in this case is the frustration and secrecy which confronted Mrs Jones throughout her struggle. William Jones tried to get compensation for his illness before he died, but failed. Mrs Jones says that she then first sought compensation as far back as 1968, but from the start she was hampered by secrecy. Everyone associated with her late husband’s trip to Woomera had been told to keep quiet. They were too scared to say too much and the Army was not about to offer any information. That is the sad situation in these sorts of cases.

The Army had little concern for Mrs Jones and the children she was struggling to bring up. She persisted. despite knock backs. until 1974 when she won the determinations to which I have referred. Eight years after her husband’s death a lump sum of $8.600 and small weekly payments for each child were awarded. and I am pleased to see that the Minister for Finance ( Mr Eric Robinson) who is sitting at the table. is listening intently to this speech. But the Army then haggled for three and a half years over how much should be paid for William Joneses medical expenses and lost wages. The amount of $585 that was awarded is still disputed by Mrs Jones. But 12 years after her husband ‘s death she has had enough. Mrs Jones still feels that her husband ‘s life was worth more than the compensation she received in 1974. Why has Mrs Jones had to battle so long for fair compensation? Why has there been so much delay and frustration? These questions should be answered. We also must ask how many other people who worked on the weapons tests have cancer. How many of them have sought compensation? How many have been too intimidated to try?

There is evidence that other people have been affected in. 1977 1 was approached on behalf of a group of former Commonwealth police who had worked at Maralinga in the 1950s and 1960s. I was told of four of their colleagues who had died of cancer and two others who were dying of cancer. At that time I made the information public in a Press statement. I have since been informed that these people know of others who worked at Maralinga and who are now suffering from cancer. There have been other disturbing reports in the Press. In 1978 I asked the then Minister for Health to institute a follow-up health study among all those who had worked at Maralinga during the weapons tests. This is what had been done in the United States. But he refused with the stock reply that the monitoring procedures were stringent and no one was exposed to dangerous radiation. I have since asked him to explain in what way the situation differed from the United States weapons tests but he has failed to answer that. I have also asked the Minister for Administrative Services (Mr John McLeay) for details of the health of former Commonwealth police who were stationed at Maralinga. He also has refused to follow up that matter. 1 seek leave to incorporate in the Hansard those questions and the answers from the Ministers.

Leave granted.

The documents read as follows: Atomic Tests: Radiation (Question No. 921 ) Mr Uren asked the Health Minister upon notice April 1978: ( 1) Has his attention been drawn to the United States Government follow-up study on personnel who were involved in their past atomic testing programs. ( 2 ) Will the Australian Government institute a similar inquiry amongst all persons who worked at Maralinga, South Australia , during the years 1950 to 1965 in order to ascertain what ill-effects they may have suffered. Mr Hunt -The answer lo the honourable member’s question is as follows (l) yes (2) All personnel working at Maralinga were subject to stringent health procedures. Their activities in the field were strictly controlled and they were constantly monitored to ensure that they were not exposed to dangerous radiation.. The majority of those who were conducting and monitoring the tests at Maralinga were UK personnel. Any follow up studies on those persons would be a matter for the UK Government to decide upon.

Because of the stringent monitoring procedures undertaken at the time and the fact that they were not exposed to dangerous radiation, there is no proposal to institute studies on Australians who were in support of the UK activities at Maralinga from the rear areas.

Question No. 3515

Mr Uren asked the Minister for Administrative Services upon notice on 27 March 1979: ( I ) How many Commonwealth policemen were stationed at Maralinga and its immediate surrounds over the period of the British weapons testing program. (2 ) How many of these policemen have (a) since contracted cancer or leukaemia and (b) died of these diseases Mr McLeay – The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows: (1), (2)(a) and (b) Having regard to the expenditure of resources involved in searching out records that are between 14 and 27 years old, and the ensuing problem of tracing ex members of the Commonwealth police who could be located in a number of countries, I do not think it would be appropriate for me to authorise the considerable expenditure necessary to search out and check the detailed information required to answer the question by the honourable member. If however, the honourable member has any specific information, I would be happy to discuss the matter further with him.

Question No. 2746

Mr Uren asked the Minister for Health upon notice on 9 November 1978: ( 1)is he able to say whether the health risks encountered United States personnel during the United States atomic weapons testing program were greater than those encountered by British and Australian personnel at Emu, Monte Bello and Maralinga. (2) Is he also able to say whether the monitoring procedures undertaken by the US Government during its weapons testing program were less stringent than those undertaken at Emu, Monte Bello and Maralinga; if so, in what way did the procedures differ. Mr Hunt – The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows: (1) and (2) My Department has no detailed knowledge of the health risks encountered by United States personnel or the monitoring procedures employed during the United States atomic weapons testing program and it is not possible to make a comparison with the tests conducted within Australia by the British. However, for nuclear tests conducted within Australia by Britain the most stringent safeguards to the health of personnel were implemented at every level.

Mr UREN – I thank the House. So the Government can give no greater assurance about the health effects of the weapons tests than its tired old rhetoric. The Government says that the risks were too small and monitoring too stringent for there to be anything to worry about. The United States Atomic Energy Commission has said that for years, but people in the United Slates are continuing to agitate. Many exmilitary personnel have been located and found to be suffering from the effects of leukaemia and cancers. The evidence indicates that the incidence of these diseases is higher than normal. Ten people in the United States are receiving compensation for what they have suffered. I am now asking the Government, through the Minister at the table, to reexamine Mrs Jones’ case and to award adequate compensation if the facts I have outlined are as stated. The Government should be more compassionate. The mount of compensation awarded to Mrs Jones is mean and miserable. Not only should the Government have another look at Mrs Jones’ case but it should also undertake a thorough investigation into the health of those people who worked on weapons testing in the 50s and 60s. If a government has made a mistake, whether it be the United States Government, the United Kingdom Government or the Australian Government, it is about time they said: ‘ we were wrong.. Let us now correct our mistakes ‘. The real issue is one of compassionate treatment by the Government. The Government should give consideration to these people particularly those who are suffering so much.

I hope that the Minister for Administrative Services (Mr McLeay ) who is responsible for police matters and who has just entered the chamber, will take cognisance of what I have said.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Drummond) Order! The honourable member’s time has expired. It now being 12 45 pm., in accordance with Standing Order 106 the debate is interrupted, and I put the question: That grievances be noted Question resolved in the affirmative.

In a democracy we are all standing on the Watch tower. Remember the past. Be a witness now.