A Rare Win for an Australian Widow


“Maralinga Widow Awarded $120,000 in Compensation Payout for Cancer Death of Husband

The Brisbane widow of a man who died from various forms of cancer as a result of exposure to harmful radioactive dust from nuclear detonations and potentially dangerous initiator trials during the Maralinga experimental programme, commonly known as “Kittens” with the parent material is usually the very beryllium metal and the radioactive material in some alpha-emitting isotope of a heavy element such as polonium, was awarded at least $120,000 in compensation after her successful appeal under the Australian Commonwealth Employees Compensation Act (Comcare), to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

In 2007 the Commonwealth Employees Compensation rejected Mrs Beth Campbell’s claim for compensation over the death of her husband Clive Campbell in 1998. Mrs Campbell asked the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to reconsider the case, after an internal Comcare review also rejected her claim. By the time the claim reached the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Comcare had accepted liability for Mr Campbell’s death from exposure to ionising radiation when, as serving security officier in 1955 and 1956, he entered areas of Maralinga that were contaminated with radioactive dust. “

End Quote. “Atomic Fallout”, Vol4 No 10, Nov/Dec, 2010. Pp 2.
Editor and National Secretary, Mr Terry Toon,
Atomic ExServicemens’ Association,
ACN 59 201 368 994
Email: atomicex2@bigpond.com.au

The page of the magazine shows a photo captioned : “The late Mr Colin Campbell, ASIO Officer for Maralinga during 1955 and 1956, is photographed by the senior British scientist, Dr. J.A. Dawson, at “One Tree”, Maralinga nuclear site, prior to the bulldozing of the Mulga tree by army engineers. Photo: Mrs B. Campbell in memory of her late husband.” End quote.

“One Tree” was a nuclear test site within the Maralinga Range. So named because a solitary Mulga tree grew there. Apparently it was in the way of Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies and the rest of the British government.

Just like the Aboriginal culture which had existed there for thousands of years, it was uprooted.

The dust was left to blow around the nation, spreading 22 kg of powdered plutonium across the land. (22 kg of powdered plutonium dust is admitted to be missing from Maralinga by the British government. In the 1980s some of the plutonium was found at the Aboriginal township of Oak Valley. The school there was found to be particularly contaminated. The White Teachers went on strike until it was cleaned up. The Aboriginal people had to stay there. The road from Maralinga to Oak Valley was once posted with signs warning people not to leave their vehicles. The Aboriginal people had to hunt food in that same area. The plutonium at Oak Valley is the result of the test firing of a non-fused nuclear missile from a British Vulcan bomber*. The destructive disintegration of the plutonium in the missile warhead has killed how many? The missile overshot its target and the plutonium plume “feathered” out beyond the Maralinga range. The experiment continues?)

Menzies took decision to allow the atomic bombing of Australia by Britain without consulting Cabinet. He allowed the appointed of Titterton as Chair of the Safety Committee. Titterton was found by Royal Commission (1984) to have withheld critical safety information due to his prior and continuing subordination to both US and British military secrecy provisions. He was personally responsible for the deliberate spreading of radioactive Cobalt pellets at Maralinga. He informed no-one.
This action resulted in the deaths of people. (More on that later).

Titterton is still regarded as a hero by the British Government. That government sticks by the famous “Titterton Line”.

If its so safe, next time, do it in Devon will youse?

*This bomber had earlier flown directly over Broken Hill Airport without leaving any trace on the airport radar. Yea, lots of secret stuff at Maralinga. (Thanks to Tex Condon for this memory.)


Seems to me, as the UK lost 22 kg of plutonium at Maralinga, the first thing that should be done is the internal body scanning of all people affected.

Sort of like a repeat of the Karen Silkwood disgrace, only with many many many many more people.

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