Combined Veterans’ Forum International Comments re Letter to Gov. Gen Aust.

Sunday, 10 April, 2011 7:33 PM
“Dennis Hayden”
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Alan ,


Thank you for your email of the 10th April . The Combined Veterans’ Forum International ( CVFI ) fully supports your request for the need for ARPANSA to convince Australian Veterans that their critique of the Massey University is not an ” unbiased assessment ” .

Forwarded for you attention is a copy of comment by Ian Anderson , Legal Advisor to the CVFI whose remarks are self explanatory as to what action needs to be taken in Australia .

For our part this Forum requests Professor Peter Johnston of ARPANSA answers the two questions in the conclusion of our open email letter of the 6th April . Copy of which has been sent to Tom Goudkamp , of Stacks Goudkamp , Legal Firm , Sydney acting on behalf of Australian Veterans .

Regards ,

Dennis Hayden

for on onbehalf of the Action Executive
The Combined Veterans’ Forum International

Alan , we are all delighted that you are obviously recovering well from your recent hospital treatment .
—– Original Message —–
From: Ian Anderson
To: Dennis Hayden
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2011 2:17 AM

Ian Anderson
11 Park Place
Suite 600
New York, NY 10007
Telephone: 212-791-6380
Fax: 212-791-6381


Thank you very much for sending me a copy of CVFI’s critique of the ARPANSA report. I think that the critique is really remarkable and should be published in Australia, either by an Australian veterans group or in the Australian Press. ARPANSA should be forced to defend the flaws and political distortions in the report in its own back yard, including its political back yard.

Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2011 15:07:31 +0100

Passed for information ,

Regards ,

—– Original Message —–
From: Dennis Hayden
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 2:49 PM

an open email letter for international distribution – April 6th 2011

To: Professor Peter Johnston
Branch Head
Environmental and Radiation Health
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

Copy: Jeff Liddiatt – Secretary
British Nuclear Test Veterans Association ( BNTVA )


Your reference attached : Letter to Mr Jeff Liddiatt – Secretary BNTVA 16 Feb 2011


Dear Professor Johnston ,

Critique by ARPANSA of the 2008 Massey University Study of elevated translocation
frequencies found in New Zealand Veterans who attended Operation Grapple .

The Combined Veterans’ Forum International ( CVFI ) thank fellow nuclear veteran members of the BNTVA for sending to this Forum a copy of your critique of the Massey University study (2008 ) with the attached letter of above reference.

Your critique is scientifically dishonest , biased and politically motivated . Our reasons are set out below in detailed answer to the three points of summary conclusions you make in your letter of the 16th February 2011 .

In essence ARPANSA is fully funded and its members salaries are paid by the Australian Government . A clear case of he who pays the piper calls the scientific and politically expedient tune . This is a tune of scientific dishonesty played at great expense to the Australian tax payer. A tune motivated to deny justice to the survivors and the premature widows of servicemen from the UK , Australia , New Zealand and other Commonwealth nations who served at nuclear test fall – out locations of the UK’s nuclear weapons test experiments in Australia and the Pacific .Your remit, as explained below , is biased to deny justice for genetically damaged nuclear veterans and also to protect the multi-billion dollar Australian uranium mining industry .

In your letter of the16th February 2011 you wrote in summary :

1) The available evidence is that the sailors were not exposed to high doses of radiation in the tests – they were at least 37km from the explosion and upwind of the fall out plumes .

Available evidence infact clearly shows the 551 New Zealand naval personnel during their time at Operation Grapple sailed over the ground zeros of the explosions and beneath fall – out of alpha and beta particles .

” A nuclear bomb exploded near the surface of water vapourises large amounts of water which is carried into the nuclear cloud . This is followed by a period of heavy local rain referred to by Gladstone as’ rain out’ which is a special category of fall out .”
( Gladstone 1957 , 1964 and Dolan 1977 )

“Rain Out” occurence at Christmas Island is backed by two reports and by expert witness at the time.

1) ” Meteorogical records , airflow and other factors affecting local fall – out from British nuclear tests at Chrsitmas Island in 1957 – 58 .” ( Busby and Williams – 2010 ) gives detailed eye – witness evidentiary accounts of ” rain-out ” following detonations from veterans on land , in the air and at sea . The evidentiary eye witness account from the air is from expert observer / witness, RAF Navigator , Joe Pasquini observed from a position in a Canberra flying high over Christmas Island at the time .

2) Furthermore , a completely independent report in 2002 by Lt Cmdr Gerry Wright ( RNZN Rtd.) of the sailing positions of the NZ frigates beneath the nuclear clouds confirms the pattern of fall out from the Busby and Williams report of 2010 . Wright’s report gives additional eye witness ” rain – out ” accounts by the NZ naval crews .

This is a similar sitution of extreme hazard that ARPANSA would recognise with alarm if the recent fall out from the nuclear reactors at Fukushima ( alpha particles of plutonium and uranium etc etc) had headed west towards the east coast of Australia rather than to the east across the Pacific .


Further comments by Professor Chris Busby ( Scientific Secretary to the Eurpopean Committee on Radiation Risk – ECRR ) on the ionised fall out at Christmas Island in 1957/ 8 states :

” This rain was likely to be from water and debris in the column formed at the nuclear cloud and will contain large quantities of tritium and carbon – 14 ” . ( our italics : tritium and carbon -14 refers to ionise particles of hydrogen and carbon ) .

In her book ” No Immediate Danger – Prognosis for a radioactive earth ( 1985 ) ” , Dr Rosalie Bertell internationally acclaimed radiation biologist and public health expert wrote :

” it is tritium , carbon -14 and stratospheric pollution from weapons testing which is already in the biosphere and which will slowly pollute the food chain , undermining the life nurturing power of planet earth .The military cover up of the nuclear bomb testing is to continue the pretence that ‘low level’ ( that is ingested and inhaled alpha and beta fall out ) is no harm to human health and presents no immediate danger . Nourishing this myth is political rather than scientific .”

Your statement that the NZ sailors were not exposed to high doses of radiation refers only to gamma radiation released at the time of the detonations and totally ignores the long term hazards of ingested short range emitting radionuclides from fall out . This is scientific truth that ARPANSA politically and expediently ignores .

Ionised rainfall and other debris in nuclear weapons fall out contains a deadly mix of alpha and beta particles such as caesium 134 & 137 , plutonium 239 & 240 , polonium – 210 , iodine 132 , strontium -90 etc etc etc with half lives from 2 days to 24,000 years plus . When inhaled or ingested into the body these radioactive particles lodge in body tissue , in organs and in bone . Over a period of 5 , 10 or 20 plus years, as internal emitters , they destroy cells , damage organs , cause onset of early cancers and premature deaths .

In an email response to the CVFI dated 4th October 2010 , sent with the report on fall out at Christmas Island Professor Busby wrote :

” I must draw your attention to tritium and carbon – 14 . I have calculated the amounts of tritium produced at Christmas Island as Ektabequerels (10E + 18 ) more than the total released at Chernobyl . This would have been totally invisable to detectors and film badges but would have , as radioactive tritiated water , contaminated the drinking water supply , the lagoon , the sea water , the food and the air .”

It is clear that radiation protection agencies such as ARPANSA and the UK equivalent the Health Protection Agency ( Former National Radiological Protection Board – NRPB ) ignore the issue of local exposure and localised damage from nuclear fall out . Competent scientific authorites now recognise that internal emitters and external absorbed gamma radiation cannot be considered to have the same health outcome .

Furthermore , Dr Rosalie Bertell in a recent comment on the Fukushima reactor disater , dated 20th March 2011 , explains ” although it is true that alpha particles , the primary radiation in early fall out , can be stopped by a sheet of paper , when this same radioactivity is released inside the body it does about 20 times the cellular damage as the equivalent dose of x – ray .”


The UK’s CERRIE ( Committee Examining Radiation Risk from Internal Emitters ) – Majority Report 2004 set up by Environment Minister , Michael Meacher MP says in Chapter 2 , Risks from Internal Emitters, part 2 : para 11 that dose is questionable and meaningless . The report states :

” There are important concerns with respect to the heterogeneity of dose delivery within tissue and cells from short range charged emissions , the extent to which current models adequately represent such interactions with biological targets , and the specifications of target cells at risk . Indeed , the actual concept of absorbed dose becomes questionable , and sometimes meaningless , when considering interactions at a cellular and molecular level .”

In other words where hot or warm plutonium , uranium and other alpha and beta fall out particles from nuclear weapons tests are ingested or inhaled into body tissue , organ and bone and where sequentially decaying radionuclides like strontium – 90 etc etc are organically bound ( that is to DNA ) ” dose ” means nothing . Only tiny amounts of radiation absobed into the body are needed to alter a persons genetic code .

If this science means nothing to ARPANSA then ARPANSA can no longer compare , for example , nuclear industry discharges into the atmosphere and nuclear weapons test fall out with the 2 millisieverts we get every year from natural background radiation , or cosmic rays received by flying , say , in an aircraft from Perth to Sydney .

But none of this is any suprise to nuclear test veterans because ARPANSA is similarly scientifically dishonest and politically motivated as the UK’s NRPB ( now HPA ) .

Dr Keith Baverstock , senior grade scientist from 1971 to 1991 at the UK Medical Research Council Radiobiological Unit , Chilton and from 1993 to 2003 Head of the Radiation Protection Division of the World Health Organisation ( Europe ) described the UK NRPB as :

” In this case it is clear that the science and the associated ethics ( of recognising the need for an independent study of nuclear veterans’ health ) have been perverted for political ends . It is sad the UK NRPB , which should be an independent and technically competent body , was complicit in this process .( to conclude that there is no case for compensation to nuclear veterans for injuries that are claimed as due to radiation .)

( Taken from ” Science , Politics and Ethics in the Low Dose”, a Debate , Edinburgh , July 2004 ) .

Radiological Protection in Australia has its origins in the 1950’s when it was headed by Professor Ernest Titterton who was revealed , during testimony at the Royal Australian Commission into nuclear tests in Australia in the mid 1980’s, as an agent of the British government with a remit to hide the truth of fall out from the Australian public and subsequent radiation damage to health . The co-operation between the Australian and UK governments , with the help of agencies such as ARPANSA , continues to this day as a result of the 1993 Treaty series . This is a reciprocal treaty to assist each nation on possible compensation claims made by nuclear test veterans . This is a cosy cartel of deception to work together and means the critique of the Massey University study by ARPANSA is as much for the benefit of the Australian government , to deny claims for damage from Australian veterans , as it is to assist the UK Ministry of Defence in defence of current litigation proceeding through the High Court in London

Your summary also stated :

2) The DNA damage identified in this group of veterans is consistent with the average found in the wider New Zealand population for people of this age .

This is a lie and a blatant example of scientific nonsense and dishonesty by ARPANSA .

The Massey University study found that the New Zealand veterans who took part in Operation Grapple at Christmas Island in 1957 to 58 had three times the level of chromosomal translocations in their DNA than the control group of men of similar age , background , smoking habit etc who had not attended a nuclear weapons test fall out location .

That is a signicant , elevated ratio of genetic damage between those who attended a nuclear weapons test location and men of similar age and background who did not .

Your summary also stated :

3) There were significant flaws in the study design of a previous Massey University study that claimed evidence of radiation – related DNA damage in this cohort of sailors .

Protocols and methodology for the Massey University have been peer reviewed and also double checked independently by Britain’s leading cytogeneticist , Dr Rhona Anderson of Brunel University , who found them to have been “meticulous” in detail .

Judge Foskett in the 2009 Limitation Trial verdict said the Massey University study was “crucial and pivotal” in his judgement to allow all 10 test cases to proceed to full High Court trial .The Judge also said ” the prime causal link to ill health in nuclear veterans is from fall out radiation .”


ARPANSA’s critique of the Massey Univeristy study lacks any scientific credibility .

One place this lack of credibility will be savagely exposed is in the courts . Over 40 cases involving radiation and health , including nuclear veteran and widow tribunal cases , worker exposure , nuclear pollution and exposure to depleted uranium weapons fall out have been won in the UK courts in recent years . This is because the courts rely on credible evidence . ARPANSA’s critique may appear impressive to the uninformed outside of court but in an open court , under close examination the critique of ARPANSA will end up in total and deserved ridicule .

This Forum appreciates ARPANSA may be disappointed that by working within a structure of supporting political agendas you have left yourselves open to an accusation of perverting the truth of science by ignoring the health affects of ingested and inhaled radioisotopes into the body . This raises serious questions as to whether ARPANSA are engaged in protecting the public from radiation damage to health or protecting the Australian government from future litigation claims.

You ended your letter to the BNTVA by saying ; ” I am happy to talk with you and your colleagues by phone about the study and its findings .” .

The Combined Veterans’ Forum International have only two questions to ask about your study and its findings and that is :

1) Have you or any of the co-authors of ARPANSA’s critique of the Massey University study any qualifications in molecular cytogenetics or in fundamental research on the health effects of internal radiation both at the theoretical and epidemiological level , including genotoxic effects on the element uranium ?

2) Are you or any of your co-authors prepared to travel to London to defend ARPANSA’s critique in the High Court ?

Yours sincerely ,

Shirley Denson , Dennis Hayden , Ken McGinley (UK ) and Roy Sefton ( NZ )
The Action Executive
the Combined Veterans’ Forum International ( CVFI )

Ken McGinley is the founder and former Chairman of the BNTVA from 1983 TO 2001

Roy Sefton is Chairman of the New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association ( NZNTVA )


Or email the CVFI c/o or phone Shirley Denson on UK 0208 6464098 .

The Combined Veterans’ Forum International ( CVFI ) is a self – funded Forum of nuclear test veterans and widows in support of all who took part in the UK atmospheric nuclear weapons test experments between 1952 and 67 .The CVFI is not affiliated to any political party or doctrine and believes the truth of the science of radiation damage to health is the only arbiter in any nuclear health protection debate not the nuclear protectionist agendas of politicians , government sponsored radiological health protection agencies or nuclear industry .

This is an open email letter for international distribution to politicians , the media , veterans associations and the Atomic Veterans Litigation Group engaged in ltigation to secure adequate recognition and compensation for those who took part in the British nuclear weapons experiments .

Legal Advisor to the CVFI is Ian Anderson , International Advocate and Attorney at Law ( New York )

Company representing the Atomic Veterans Litigation Group is Rosenblatts , Solicitors of London.



It took a week for Australian media even ask what the contents of the “radioactivity” over Tokyo from Fukushima was.
SBS mentioned particulate radionuclides first, then ABC asked Dr Grimes. The confused answer was “Cesium, and not so much, Iodine 131.”

There are over 250 fission products – radionuclides – particles and gases – into uranium and plutonium are transformed (transmuted) into during the fission process. Only 2 – I** (131, 134) and Cesium 137 are the only ones to date to be officially emitted beyond the boundary of the Fukushima Reactor Park.

Over the next few weeks, as soil samples are studied in Japan and the US, the Iodine and Cesium isotopes with be called the releases of “significance”. The emission of other substances will be admitted to. Authorities fear being pre-empted by independent Japanese researchers with access to mass spectrometers. If Greenpeace has similar access, it also is a threat to the official media releases regarding the contents of the Fukushima Event.
Due to its low melting point Cs 137 can be expected to be released in quantity as now admitted. (admitted officially on about Day 7 of the Event). The high energy beta emitted by any of five different Strontium isotopes, particularly those Strontium progeny of gaseous parent nuclides, such as Strontium 89 are a grave concern and will be for 3 years if present.

The full soil and water sampling to determine fallout inventory must take precedence over the predictive pronouncements of fallout deposition made from about Day 7 on. That is, expect a number of other radioactive isotopes to be present in addition to Cesium radionuclides and Iodine radionuclides.

No doubt the US Government and Japanese Government will release the found radionuclides. Independent researchers need to assess the exact nature of the radionuclides released also and this should be encouraged by the USA and Japan. Both these governments state that they support free enterprise.

ARPANSA, dont bother trying to meddle in Japan. We won’t believe you. If we can’t see the Maralinga Hospital records (“lost” -bs), the Woomera Hospital records (sealed by the Aust Gov) and relevant Pt Augusta Hospital records (sealed by the Aust. Gov), why should we believe a thing you say which is at variance with your victims’ experience 1952- current era?????

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