Archive for October, 2011

Some thoughts on Fukushima and Nuclear History

October 30, 2011

In March 2011, the “experts” defined the Fukushima releases as poorly defined “radioactivity”, “like a CT scan” over Tokyo.

Weeks later, at least in the Australian media, though, according “experts” Japanese reactors were the best in the world, the radioactivity like a CT scan had become Iodine 131 with some Cesium 137 (Dr Grimes, Lateline, ABC TV).

Still later, there were reports of Krypton from European government labs arriving from Japan.

Some scientists early on stated that plutonium and a vast array of fission products would have been released. These people, not being employed by nuclear industry were dismissed. Tilman Ruff, Chris Busby, Leuren Moret and others stated that environmental transport, bioaccumulation, deposition of many fission fuel and fissionparticles would present health hazards over vast tracks. Industry spokesman in Australia, such as Andrew Bolt, scoffed at the idea, US Deparment of Energy funded researchers claimed the radiation doses recieved would be “beneficial, like vitamins” (Sykes, Flinders University, various University salaried staff in Japan). Japanese authorities refused to take samples of children’s urine from parents, concerned that the samples should be tested. It later transpired that many children in Fukushima fallout zones of Japan test positive for fission product internalisation.

The explosion of the reactor buildings was described at the time on SBS TV by an industry expert as “normal”.

As of September, the Japanese government had admitted that Neptunium was present in Fukushima fallout zones. This substance decays to plutonium. In October, the Japanese government admitted that plutonium was present in the fallout zones. Later in October, the authorities announced that plutonium would no longer be monitored in those areas.

All of this is rendolent of the atomic test era. Strontium 89? What’s that? While spending millions injecting dogs and monkeys with the far weaker but longer lasting strontium 90, the AEC announced no ill effects. The project left behind 50 tons of radioactive Beagle shit, still stored, last I heard, at Hanford. One day it will be flushed, but only when sufficient decay has occurred to enable the flushing to proceed in accordance with law.

And that brings me to the GE datasheet for medicinal Strontium 89 in its injectable form. In contrast to the controversial Sr90 dog and monkey trials, the GE data sheet for Sr89 is clear : Of 40 rats injected with Sr89 chloride, 33 developed bone cancer within a 9 month window.

You don’t think authorities want people to know that generally, they certainly suppressed from the 50s to the 1990s. And the fact is, as covered by various nation’s controlled substances laws and laws relating to nuclear medicines, it is illegal to administer Strontium 89 to anyone who has not a clearly defined medical need for exposure to it. In Japan, well might authorities say the fallout is “like a CT Scan”. However they know very well, seeing as Strontium 89 was detected early in the Fukushima fallout, TEPCO and Japanese nuclear authorlities have, with government complicity, turned the population of Japan into recipients of Sr89 without any medical need for that exposure.

They are not doctors. They merely pretend to be. They breach their own laws and refused to evacuate Fukushima.

The effects of the fission products were known long before July 1945.

This is the truth of nuclear history. Medicine is one applicaiton. The misapplication of medical priniciples by justifying nuclear releases upon a healthy population is a breach of medical ethics. It is harmful, not beneficial. There is no benefit, only cost.

When the radium dial painters of the 20s and 30s took their employers to court, the industry started the myth that exposure to radiaiton was beneficial. Brucer called it radiation hormesis. I have discussed elsewhere the reasons why he was dictatorial in his stance. He wanted to practice nuclear medicine, and saw fear of radiaiton as standing in his way. Fallout from Fukushima is not medicinal. It is uncontrolled release of radioactive pollutants of harm, not benefit. The advocates of Hormesis and Adaptive Response ignore the simple fact that science has demonstrated on many occassions that the effect of accumulated doses of radiation have the same effect whether the total dose is effected over a shorter or over a longer term. Hence the concept of accumulated lifetime dose. It is for the sake of the future of the children of Fukushima that they be evacuated, regardless of what cultist Hormesis advocates in New Mexico, Iran, Brazil, Flinders University or Kyoto say. Hormesis is a false premise.

The truth of the fission prodouct and fission fuel inventorly burden forced upon the Japanese people and the people of the world must be clearly admitted by nuclear and national authorlities.

We are not goldfish. We do have some collective memory. Passed lies are being repeated by omission.

Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama’s speech to the Japanese Diet on 27 July 2011 conveyed the concepts of internal exposure to radioactive substances originally formulated by people such as Dr Pecher. The Kodama speech has not resulted in the evacuation of the vulnerable. In relation to children and pregnant and nursing women, in the context of his SR89 treatment, Dr Pecher was most concerned. In animals trials he found in 1940 that pregnant mammals exposed to internalised radioisotopes (Sr89) produced offspring which “were more radioactive than the mother”.

The current crisis is directly relevant to the work originated in the early 1940s by Dr Pecher. Authorities today cannot claim ignorance. Its been on the books since 1940.

Hiding the fission inventory release list, as the Japanese and nuclear authorities have done, serves no purpose other than to generate a lack of trust and provide evidence of concealment. Its not like a CT Scan. Its not good for you, there are more than just iodine and cesium, the cores are still molten, the patent for the chain reaction is one which defines the method as a means of producing radioactive poisons in bulk compared to a cylcotron. That was 1934. Using a poison factory as a means of boiling water to generate steam to produce electricity is criminal in its consequences when in failure mode.

In the era of Charles Pecher, the cyclotron was used to produce radioactive substances in milligram amounts at a time.

Todays nuclear reactors in Fukushima released tons of these materials over the days, weeks and months since the disaster first occurred. It is ongoing, the cores are still molten.

Authorities might have hoped we would forget history. We will not.

They can’t claim ignorance this time round. There is no such thing as a secret isotope. Authorities need to tell the whole truth.

See also: https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/fukushima-professor-tatsuhiko-kodama-of-tokyo-university-tells-the-politicians-%E2%80%9Cwhat-are-you-doing%E2%80%9D/

It is obvious that as a doctor of nuclear medicine, Kodama is not “anti-nuclear”. He is anti-harm.

In order to save money, to save face, to save the nuclear industry, various authorities are not admitting their knowledge. It is not 1942 anymore. Public health is an imperative, not a national secret.

Truth 2: Andrew Kishner & where to go to avoid the old “pea and shell game”. Avoiding the fallout.

October 30, 2011

An email from Andrew.

Hi Paul,

I send this to you with my regards and hope you are not too offended that I have picked on Australia. It is a belated response to the questions posted in the comment section of your October posting

https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/strontium-and-plutonium-in-japan-andrew-kishners-essay/

You can find the version with added pics, here http://nuclearcrimes.org/fuku15.php

Best,

Andrew

Andrew Kishner

www.nuclearcrimes.org

Below is our frank and blunt guide of where to go and ‘source’ (meaning locate and access or import) food in a world increasingly made radioactive .

INTRODUCTION

Living in our radioactive world is a game whose rulebook is written to ensure that we will lose. If we follow the rules by listening to the credible sources, who have been saying for more than 60 years that radioactive threats are not threats to our health, and who have downplayed even greater nuclear events than Fukushima or Chernobyl, and who have led many millions of cancer and leukemia victims to shrug their shoulders at the question ‘Whose fault is this?,’ we will not survive .

The rulebook has been written by dishonest people whose only goal is to sustain a fictitious image of both nuclear energy and the legacy of nuclear weapons use for their un-philanthropic ends.

This game is a strange one – the only way to win is to disregard the rulebook and learn the actual rules on your own. But the actual rules of ‘how to live in a radioactive world’ aren’t written anywhere. Even the ‘progressive’ scientists who are now giving health advice are misguided. They have forgotten that past attempts by populations to cope with highly irradiated environments have invariably failed. They have forgotten that the only way to cope with a highly irradiated environment is to flee from it.

The rulebook doesn’t tell you this. The rulebook says regarding reducing exposures that you deal with radioactive sources via the mantra ‘distance, shielding and time’ (although the mantra’s assortment of words sometimes differ). It says you can distance yourself from radiation – by leaving the area, or removing the area’s contamination – and thereby reduce your exposure. It says you can shield the radiation – with soil, concrete, etc.. – and thereby reduce your exposure. And it says you can temporarily leave the contaminated area, and wait many ‘half-lives’ of the radioactive isotopes, and then return when the radiation intensity is far less. But ‘distance, shielding and time’ is a misleading prescription. It does little to help you once you inhale or ingest radioactive contamination that stays in your body – and most ingested radioactivity of manmade sources becomes incorporated into the body. You can’t safely shield internal radioactive poisons that are decaying within you, nor can your distance your cells from the ionizing energies nor can you stop or alter ‘ time ‘ as radiation decays millisecond by millisecond in your body, increasing your cumulative dosage, which in turn increases your chances of cancer and genetic damage.

Considering that most Japanese residents have already consumed large quantities of radioactive poisons from

Fukushima and are certain to continue ingesting and inhaling radioactive poisons regardless of the clean-up efforts and any claimed progress of ‘shutting-down’ the reactors, how does this prescription help the Japanese people? It doesn’t. There is no viable prescription to help the Japanese people other than to flee. Someone might argue this point by saying they know of a supplement that can help remove poisons from your body (or prevent ‘uptake’ of new poisons) or that certain types of foods help your body cope with the radioactive poisons. But these are tricky propositions. Even the late radiobiologist John Gofman advised against doing such things to your body to remove radioactivity or prevent uptake, noting that the affected person could do more harm than good by these countermeasures. How can you remove strontium-90 from your bones – and we all have strontium-90 in our bones – without removing the calcium too and suffering the debilitating health effects of calcium-loss?

Whether you are in Japan and are considering fleeing, or you are in a place that you think is being negatively impacted by Japan and are considering fleeing, you are half-way there. You have learned that the rulebook is worthless and that credible sources are lying. But the second phase of the game has its pitfalls too. Someone might claim it will be safe for you, a ‘radiation refugee,’ in Florida, or Australia, rather than Japan, but how will you know not to live anywhere near a phosphogypsum ‘stack’ in central Florida or the various plutonium hotspots in south-central Australia? The same goes for hundreds of locations globally? How will you NOT end up in another radioactive hell?

We humbly present our guide ‘Where To Go and Source Food’ and encourage the reader to learn more background information – contained within our ‘collection of analyses’ in the menu – to ascertain the validity of our claims for yourself.

WHERE TO GO AND SOURCE FOOD

Hawaii?

Landmass already contaminated from the fallout from Pacific and Soviet nuclear tests and shorelines repeatedly littered with plutonium from U.S. and French Pacific test debris. Radiostrontium from Fukushima was detected by the U.S. EPA in Hawaii milk.

Plutonium from Fukushima certainly arrived and is still arriving in Hawaii.

The Northwest coast of the U.S.?

The coastlines are already contaminated by radioactive poisons that have for 60+ years been flushed out of the Columbia River from upstream leaks of Hanford radioactive waste. Will the much more dense contamination arriving from the tsunami debris and plumes in years to come make much difference to a fishing and recreational industry that wasn’t aware of this? The Northwest’s rivers (and probably the river sediment inland) had the highest continental ‘surface water’ contamination in the 1960s due to rainouts during global fallout and from Hanford fallout – this is per maps produced by the U.S. Public Health Service. Idaho and western Montana and Wyoming were likewise affected by Hanford and also contaminated by emissions from the Idaho National Laboratory and fallout from atom bomb tests from the Nevada Test Site to the south. The Northwest also experienced the highest fallout levels in the continental U.S. from Chernobyl.

It’s a bad place to be in the nuclear age. If you must be here, seek the dry areas, like east of the Cascades in Oregon.

California?

The ground-level plumes from Fukushima had little resistance – other than storms – crossing the Pacific and a sizeable fraction of the debris may have ended up in CA in the ‘wet areas’ and the mountains. The mountains were already (and still are) contaminated from 1960s fallout thanks to a mechanism called orographic precipitation – nuclear clouds condensing along the western slopes. The food supply of California should be rigorously tested for radionuclides, but since it is not all CA foodstuffs should be avoided, especially for 2011 and several years afterwards.

The rest of the U.S.?

Dozens and dozens of widely spaced aging reactors east of the Mississippi make every place in this eastern area a potential nuclear evacuation zone and certainly makes food safety uncertain. Strontium-89 was found before the Fukushima disaster by a Connecticut woman testing her goat’s milk. Where did that short-lived isotope come from?? All reactors leak radiostrontiums and radiocesiums into the water and the air. This is rigorously denied by the industry and the NRC but is in fact true – and a dangerous truth at that for people living within 100 miles of a reactor.

Midwest and Intermountain West residents are constantly faced with unspoken radiation dangers, including resuspended (old fallout) radioactive dust, including plutonium, kicked up by wildfires and windstorms and fresh radioactive emissions from the West’s weapons laboratories and nuclear proving grounds. The Nevada Test Site (NTS), the still unclosed ‘proving ground,’ is intended for resumed underground nuclear testing, which will inevitably lead to huge radiation leaks (note: radioactive noble gases constantly leak from NTS underground test shafts). Also, there is a very huge, and uncharted, fallout hotspot in the northern Great Plains from global fallout that makes U.S. wheat and other grains – and all foodstuffs made from these things – slightly radioactive, with cesium-137 and strontium-90. Fissile bomb materials released into the environment by nuclear-industrial accidents and irresponsible weapons tests around the West are regularly stirred up and (plutonium) regularly flies around Las Vegas, Denver, New Mexico, etc…

Europe?

Ocean dumping of nuclear waste by a slew of nations, air dumping by incinerators and reactors – some very unsafe – and Chernobyl, and other sources, make this continent already contaminated. Fukushima posed a greater threat to far north Europe in March 2011. All foods were already slightly radioactive. With climate change, the whole continent will no longer get the warm air from the Gulf Stream. So, it’ll be both radioactive and frigid.

krypton 85

Asia?
China, the former Soviet Union, and both Koreas are or are becoming radioactive wastelands…and southern Asia receives too much rain for food and water safety. (Note: if you use rainwater for drinking water anywhere on Earth, stop . Rainwater catchment is a very unsafe practice unless you can distill your rainwater perfectly). Desert and drier areas are probably safest if far away from nuclear proving grounds.

Arctic zones in Northern Hemisphere?

Global fallout was even worse here than in the ‘Northern Temperate Zone.’ Cosmos 954 debris fell across northwest Canada. In eastern Canada there are huge radio-pharmaceutical plants. Alaska was hard-hit from many nuclear events including Siberia nuclear test fallout and three poorly designed underground nuke tests by the U.S.

Australia?

Radioactive dust storms, volleys of U.K. 1950s atom bomb tests and plutonium dispersal experiments that sent still-lingering fallout every which way, and open-pit uranium mine-emitting dust make living here safely a gamble too.

Oceanic areas? (Atolls, islands, etc…)

Populations in these areas depend overwhelmingly on seafood and are affected by whatever poisons are in the ocean. The oceans are going to be increasingly radioactive as water sources will become the least unacceptable medium for waste dumping during and after nuclear accidents. Don’t eat seafood anymore – wherever you are – if you want to be safe.

Africa?
Nations here take European and others’ nuclear waste for cash and store it with dubious safety. The Kalahari Desert had an undisclosed A-bomb test. Where was it tested? Where did fallout fall? Huge rainouts in central Africa during global fallout make soils and food safety uncertain. North Africa sand and dust storms are slightly radioactive from French A-bomb tests. Drier areas away from these hard-to-determine ‘hot zones’ are probably safest.

South America?
No nuclear tests here, but there is radioactive debris from reactors, dumping, a nuclear satellite re-entry, and other sources. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission also did suspect things down in Central and South America.

All areas in this continent received very minor fallout from global testing; some areas were moderately impacted from nuclear tests in South Pacific locations south of the equator by France (and U.S./U.K. to a lesser extent).

This continent might be the best place to go. Food might be the safest and, like other Southern Hemisphere locales, you can also largely avoid exposure to the homogenous ‘fog’ of radioactive noble gases – xenons and kryptons, and carbon-14 too – that has persisted since the 1940s across the entire Northern Hemisphere. If you’re not in Southern (or Central) America, you might want to start importing foods from here.

end quote.

Pick away at Australia , Andrew, its the truth of the matter. 22 kg of powdered plutonium blew away from the South Australian nuclear test site between the 1950s and the 1980s, when the extent of contamination was admitted. And what should have been there was compared with what remained. Mystery, as the military regularly monitored all the test sites up until the 1970s. Wonder where the radiac reports went? Canberra, somewhere, but to noone who, of course, who claimed ignorance in 1984. Or not.

Thanks for this fine piece of informative writing Andrew.

Truth 1: A new book “MON PERE CHARLES PECHER, L’homme de sciences 1913-1941”, by Evelyne Cerf-Pecher

October 30, 2011

pecher

pecehr

It was during my search for the discrepancy between official fallout figures and the effects suffered by Australian victims of British Atomic bombs that I found a fission product “pea and shell game”. The way I see it, the statement made by Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama to the Japanese Diet on 27 July 2011 (The “What the hell are you doing” speech) would be little different to that which Dr Charles Pecher would have thought had he been a fly on the wall. As a doctor in the same field as Dr Pecher, Kodama would possess the facts that Pecher helped originate and verify.

Researching radio-strontium, patently promoted soley as consisting of strontium 90, I found a far more potent (and consequently much shorter lived) strontium 89, had been released in far greater quantities than strontium 90 by the British bombs detonated in Australia. The amount of strontium 89 created by British nuclear explosions in Australians peaked in the drought year of 1957 at about 7 million curies (my calculation). This was never mentioned by any British or Australian authority from the 1950s until the present time.

It was in researching what was known and when that I first came across the name of Dr Charles Pecher. A man who was invited to the US in 1939 from his native Belgium by Ernest Lawrence. From 1939 until his death in August 1941, Pecher, using the Lawrence cyclotron, manufactured Strontium 89. It was Pecher himself who first defined strontium (of any isotope) as being a “calcium analogue”. Due to this characteristic, Pecher realised that a the untreatable pain suffered in the throes of bone cancer might be treated due to 1. The potent radioactivity of Strontium 89 and 2. The localisation of the substance in areas of high calcium metabolism/(ie, bone tumor sites). From 1939, Pecher trialled strontium 89 on animals (generally rodents, and in one instance, two dairy cows, to test Sr89 mobility in milk, during an early nutritional experiment). Pecher found that pregnant rodents given Strontium 89 produced offspring which were “more radioactive than the mothers” (Pecher). That the mothers excreted administered Sr89 via their milk. This holds true for all mammalian species. Human treatment trials began, and some astounding though disappointingly temporary results occurred. One person, stricken in agony and bed ridden for months, was able to return to work as a teacher.

Alas, the hoped for cure did not eventuate, symptoms returning and death being the eventual outcomes of this dreadful disease. Pecher wrote many papers on this and other subjects. The first were published prior to the US entry into World War 2. The last, reporting on the metabolic and cancer treatment with its pain reduction ability, was published posthumously in 1942. It only cleared the censorship regime then in place in regard to fission products by the intervention of Marshall Brucer.

During his period of time in the US, Pecher had built up a detailed animal and human dose response record of Strontium 89.

His death in August 1941 was ruled a suicide by the Canadian coroner. The discovery that strontium 89 was a product of the fission of uranium was not made until 1941. Pecher made the substance by another route, one originated in the 1930s by Stewart, Lawson and Cork. The method utilised particle bombard generated by cyclotron.

The isotopes of Strontium anticipated by Meitner in 1939 was Strontium 90. Hahn eventually confirmed this as his fission experiments continued. So this military interest in radio-strontium may have commenced early.

The year that Strontium 89 itself was confirmed as a fission product (ie would be produced by an atomic bomb and by reactors), 1941, was the year in which Dr Pecher died.

The Manhattan Project, which formally commenced in 1942, was the military manifestation of a civilian research project commenced in 1939 under secret order of President Roosevelt. The civilian committee formed to oversee the development of an atomic bomb began in 1939, not 1942. The effort commenced under the Executive Order of the US Commander in Chief, the President, in 1939. The first funding, for the purchase of uranium, went to the US Navy. That was 1939. The same year British Intelligence had communicated with Belgium on the urgent need to ship as much high grade uranium as possible to Staten Island, USA. This being arranged prior to the Einstien letter to Roosevelt of August of that war.

It was the year that the newly married Dr Charles Pecher and his wife Jacqueline arrived in the USA to continue his calcium – strontium studies.

That Dr Pecher’s treatment was successfull as a palliative pain relief in cases of terminal bone cancer of specific types is proven by the FDA approval of the treatment. Though Pecher’s proven treatment results were published in detail in 1942, the FDA approval for the general use of the treatment did not come until 1993.

By that stage, Project Sunshine, the US instigated global fallout radio strontium absorption study, was in its final collation and reporting phase. Even that was terminated prematurely (Durbin-Wallace, DOE oral history).

In the intervening years, the name of Pecher and his work was mentioned only rarely in secret Atomic Energy Commission letters, reports and notes. Throughout the 1950s, the AEC tried to trace patients who had received the Sr89 treatment by Pecher.

It is my view that the treatment was suppressed. It would not do to have the radio-pharmacalogical data relating to a potent and major component of atomic bomb fallout in the public domain in the era of the first use of atomic bombs and in the subsequent atomic test era.

It is because of the old “pea and shell game” authorities played with the voting public that many suffered without benefit of the Pecher treatment. It is for the same reason that the potency of nuclear fallout at the time of the fission bomb detonations have been officially underestimated. In my opinion.

The same old game of concealment has been played out in Japan since March 2011.

The truth of nuclear history is complicated by secrecy. The happy accident of contact with members of the Pecher family – Carla Webbles in Texas, and later, with Evelyne Cerf-Pecher in Belgium, as well as with Professor A.A. Verveen (Bert). It was Prof Verveen who had long researched Dr Pecher’s early work relating to the role of calcium in the human nervous system. The work which initially led to Pecher’s interest in strontium – due to its chemical characteristics and in the case of its radioactive isotopic forms, its radiological nature, which enabled external tracing. It is a long and complex story.

A daughter wondered about her father, and has written her book about him. My small contribution to the research phase was not about the man, but rather about the substance he worked with. I do know this though: Had Dr Pecher lived, not only would a daughter have known her father, but the nuclear authorities of this world would have had to contend with the presence of a man of deep humanity, committed to the easing of suffering rather than to the means by which suffering is forced, by military means, in secret, upon friend and foe alike in this, the nuclear age.

I can only marvel at the significant coincidences which resulted in my small contribution to Evelyne’s, Carla’s and Bert’s search for the true history of Charles Pecher. Like Bert, I am horrified at the fate of Charles Pecher. I remain horrified that his work lay forgotten, probably for reasons of military secrecy relating to bomb fallout characteristics, for the period July 1945 to the date of FDA approval of the Strontium 89 treatment, 1993. (A bit earlier in Canada.)

Things still remain concealed. Authorities, I think, would still prefer people not know.

I am reminded that Ross Gunn, the officer of the Naval Research Lab who received the first funding from Roosevelt’s new Uranium Committee in 1939, later complained that the Manhattan Project had “turned the hose” on the Naval project.

In another weird coincidence, there was a man, supposedly subordinate to Gunn, who was removed from the Naval Research Lab at around the time funding for nuclear reactor research was received. His daughter’s name is Linda. Her father’s name was Thomas Townsend Brown. Linda has written a book about her father.

In any event, in terms of nuclear history, the world population has had “the hose turned on it” for far too long.

The quest for justice and knowledge of their fathers seems to empower daughters toward enlightening not only themselves and their families, but the entire intelligent world.

There is a French Chef in Tokyo named Nelson, who would no doubt find great value in Evelyne’s book.

Geoff Wild, the person who enabled me to read Marshall Brucer’s account of Pecher, by sending me Brucer’s “Chronology of Nuclear Medicine”, will no doubt soon, be reading Evelyne’s book.

As any family knows, history as written by authorities is very often full of holes. It is up to ordinary people to fill in the missing spaces. The official truth is never the whole truth.

Professor Verveen’s website: http://www.verveen.eu/Onderwerpen.html

Ross Gunn’s story: http://www.deepdyve.com/lp/university-of-california-press/we-had-the-hose-turned-on-us-ross-gunn-and-the-naval-research-5nsojS7HiO

and https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/uranium-v-the-philadelphia-experiment/

Linda Brown’s book : http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49963

http://www.ebay.com.au/ctg/Griffin-Arnold-Kramish-1986-Hardcover-/2129147 Kramish was one of the crew at the NRL experimental uranium thermal diffusion plant, Philadelphia Naval Shipyards.

Often, hidden beneath deep and misleading, there is substantial truth. Hidden in plain sight.

What would Andrew Kishner of http://www.nuclearcrimes.org make of all this hidden truth? The day before Evelyne’s book arrived, he sent me an email which explains his point view, and I didn’t even have to ask…..see next post.

Fukushima Fallout – who to believe – the paid experts or ordinary people

October 21, 2011

BBC asks Beddington to describe what would happen if material was released from the reactors at Fukushima in meltdown:

Beddingon: “In that situation you would get an explosion and radioactive material would be emitted. But it would be emitted to about 500 metres and it would be a relatively short duration of the order of an hour or so. Compare that with Chernobyl…”

(BBC material rebroadcast by SBS TV Australia, 15 March 2010)

Meanwhile:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jun/20/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-japan

UK government’s Fukushima crisis plan based on bigger leak than Chernobyl

Exclusive: As Japan’s nuclear emergency unfolded, scientists devised a worst case scenario involving issuing iodine pills to Britons
The British government made contingency plans at the height of the Fukushima nuclear crisis which anticipated a “reasonable worst case scenario” of the plant releasing more radiation than Chernobyl, new documents released to the Guardian show.

The grim assessment was used to underpin plans by the British embassy in Tokyo to issue protective iodine pills to expats and visitors. It also prompted detailed plans by Cobra, the government’s emergency committee, to scramble specialist teams to screen passengers returning from Japan at UK airports for radioactive contamination.

The UK government’s response to the unfolding crisis is revealed in documents prepared for Sir John Beddington, the chief scientist and chair of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), and released to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act. The 30 documents include advice from the National Nuclear Laboratory on damage to the plant, public safety assessments from the Health Protection Agency (HPA), computer models of the radioactive plume from Defra’s Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network (Rimnet), and the worst case scenario that might unfold at the plant.”

end quote. Either the British Chief Scientist does not know how far 500 metres is, or he was lying to the public via the BBC.

It is now known that three reactors suffered core meltdown in March 2011.

The Japanese Press explains its views in a two part review article:

The Mainichi Daily News

Journalists’ responsibilities heavy in face of unprecedented crisis (Part 1)
The front page of the March 13 morning issue of the Mainichi, reporting on an explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. (Mainichi)
The front page of the March 13 morning issue of the Mainichi, reporting on an explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. (Mainichi)

The unprecedented disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, in which fuel meltdowns were found to have taken place simultaneously at three reactors, poses a massive challenge to the media. Looking back, did we promptly deliver accurate information that could save the lives of the public? Reflecting upon our experiences gathering information from the disaster areas, as well as from the Prime Minister’s Office, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), and other groups and individuals, what can we say about our coverage of the ongoing crisis?

—–

Press conferences were held intermittently by TEPCO and NISA beginning March 11, when the nuclear disaster was triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. As the safeguards meant to guarantee the safety of the nuclear power plant failed one after another, it was our task as reporters to discern the state of the plant with the limited information we had, motivated by a sense of impending danger to residents living in close proximity to the power plant. At the mercy of backtracking government and TEPCO officials, however, we were often at a loss as to how to confirm the legitimacy of the information we were given and how the information should be relayed to the public.

A little after 3:30 p.m. on March 12, images of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant appeared on the screen of a television at TEPCO’s head office in Tokyo’s Uchisaiwaicho district. It appeared as though just the steel frame of the upper part of the No. 1 reactor building remained. The reporters grew alarmed. “Something’s not right,” one said.

However, even after seeing the footage, TEPCO’s public relations officer stubbornly insisted: “We don’t know what’s going on. We’re trying to confirm with those on the scene.” Finally, at a press conference held four hours later, TEPCO admitted that there had been a hydrogen explosion at the plant’s No. 1 reactor.

By that afternoon, radioactive cesium and iodine were detected in the power plant’s surrounding areas. Koichiro Nakamura, then deputy director-general of NISA and the press officer for the agency, explained that it was possible that a reactor meltdown had taken place. Soon thereafter, Nakamura stopped appearing in press conferences. The new press officer refused to offer any further information, sticking to the line: “We can’t discuss anything until the Prime Minister’s Office has made an announcement.” Subsequently, NISA avoided using the phrase “core meltdown,” replacing it with either “fuel damage” or “core damage.”

However, several months later, it emerged that NISA had previously asked power companies to fake support for nuclear power at a symposium, and on Aug. 10, approximately five months after the onset of the nuclear crisis, then NISA director Nobuaki Terasaka announced: “We recognized the possibility of a core meltdown soon after the incident began.”

On March 12, NISA designated the Fukushima disaster a level 4 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), but a month later upgraded it to level 7, the worst level on the scale, which had until then been given only to Chernobyl. An understated announcement would be made, followed later by a revision. Statements concerning the nuclear disaster simply repeated this pattern.

So did TEPCO and the government respond appropriately to the crisis? I cannot shake the feeling that the damage could have been reined in far more than it has been. And slowly, through the efforts of the “Investigation Committee on the Accidents at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company” set up by the government, it’s become clear what prevented officials from being more effective.

In preparation for a midterm report to be submitted by the end of the year, the committee has been conducting interviews with TEPCO and government officials. These interviews have revealed that it occurred to neither NISA nor to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to use a computer system called the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI), in coming up with an evacuation plan. Furthermore, no one in NISA had even recognized the necessity of contacting neighboring countries, let alone raising the issue, before low-level radioactive water was dumped into the Pacific Ocean on April 4.

What I’ve gathered from my experiences trying to understand the disaster is that both TEPCO and the government have failed to look at the crisis from the point of view of the victims.

Norio Kanno, the mayor of the Fukushima Prefecture village of Iitate, lamented that he did not receive any information from the central government for a month or two after the nuclear disaster began, and suggested that it was because “hearts (of government officials) lacked concern for the disaster areas.” There is anger directed toward media, too, which we as journalists must accept and learn from.

The basic mission of newspapers is to collect information in the field and deliver it accurately to the public. At the beginning of the nuclear crisis, however, we had no idea whether the information we had to work off of was accurate. In addition, many experts were divided on what they believed. Requests for permission to go on-site to the power plant to report were denied by TEPCO. When reporters haven’t looked at the scene themselves, how are they to communicate the very limited information that they do have?
Junko Adachi, Science and Environment News Department (Mainichi)
Junko Adachi, Science and Environment News Department (Mainichi)

Settling of the ongoing crisis, including decontamination beyond the plant’s borders, is expected to take many years. The investigation into the disaster’s cause has just begun. The responsibility to stand on the side of those who receive the news, and write articles that will contribute to reconstruction and to shed light on the cause of the disaster weighs squarely on our shoulders. (By Junko Adachi, Science and Environment News Department)

(This is part one of a six-part series on coverage of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.)

Click here for the original Japanese story

(Mainichi Japan) October 20, 2011

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/news/20111021p2a00m0na007000c.html

Journalists strived to get truth about nuclear fallout to public (Part 2)
A worker in protective gear uses a high-pressure washer to decontaminate the windows at Kashima Elementary School in the Fukushima Prefecture city of Minamisoma on Aug. 12. (Mainichi)
A worker in protective gear uses a high-pressure washer to decontaminate the windows at Kashima Elementary School in the Fukushima Prefecture city of Minamisoma on Aug. 12. (Mainichi)

The question of how much and where radioactive materials were dispersed by the hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have been of the utmost importance to residents of both Fukushima Prefecture and beyond, and one we began to pursue soon after the nuclear disaster started to unfold.

The government initially designated the area within a 20-kilometer radius of the power plant an evacuation zone, while those living between 20 kilometers and 30 kilometers from the plant were instructed to remain indoors. However, high levels of radiation were being detected even beyond those areas. A long-term advisory to stay indoors had not been a part of the government’s disaster preparedness guidelines, and would pose too great a burden on residents. It seemed to us that a designation of evacuation zones based on actual radiation measurements was necessary.

That was when we came up with the idea of calculating cumulative radiation levels at various locations. At the time, radiation monitoring results released by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and municipal governments were limited to the amount of radiation detected in the atmosphere per hour (dosage rate). But since local residents would continue to be exposed to radiation, we felt it far more important to provide information on cumulative radiation levels.

When we appealed to MEXT to provide this information, we were told it was not something they could do right away. It was decided then that the Mainichi would crunch the cumulative radiation level numbers by adding together dosage rates released by public sources.

Between March 14 and March 21, the cumulative radiation level in the city of Fukushima reached 1770.7 microsieverts. The figure was 299.7 microsieverts for the Fukushima prefectural city of Iwaki and 34.1 microsieverts for the Tochigi Prefecture capital of Utsunomiya for the same period, and 33.2 microsieverts in the Ibaraki Prefecture capital city of Mito between March 15 and March 21. Having found the cumulative radiation in the city of Fukushima to exceed the average 1500 microsieverts of natural background radiation that we are normally exposed to annually, the Mainichi’s Science and Environment News Department debated what to do with the information, concerned about the public response the information could spark.

Ultimately, we decided to release the information along with the explanation that cumulative radiation levels indicate how much radiation one would be exposed to if they stayed outdoors all day, and that radiation levels in general were trending downwards. We also added commentary from multiple experts that the radiation levels posed no health risks for people “stepping out to shop” for groceries, and published the information in the March 23 morning issue of the Mainichi’s Japanese edition.

Following publication, we received inquiries from various municipal governments in Fukushima Prefecture, and were criticized by some readers for “causing panic among Fukushima city residents.” We maintain, however, that by contributing information on cumulative radiation levels — which until then had been largely ignored — we helped residents come to their own conclusions on what to do next.

On March 25, MEXT began releasing cumulative radiation figures. Since then, it has gone on to conduct detailed monitoring of radiation levels, and has posted predicted cumulative radiation levels through March 2012.
Taku Nishikawa, Science and Environment News Department. (Mainichi)
Taku Nishikawa, Science and Environment News Department. (Mainichi)

We still regret not having been able to predict that radioactive contamination would spread to the extent that it has. We keep asking ourselves if there was any way we could’ve sounded a more precise alarm when large volumes of radioactive materials were released on March 14 and March 15, as we continue working toward protecting the public from unnecessary exposure. (By Taku Nishikawa, Science and Environment News Department)

(This is part two of a six-part series on coverage of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.)

Click here for the original Japanese story

(Mainichi Japan) October 21, 2011

end quote. Meanwhile, the Australian nuclear industry continues to maintain the hormesis theory -that radiation is good for you, despite profound evidence to the contrary.

I a quite sick of Australian experts who refuse to retract their statements of March 2011- that the reactors in Japan are, Ziggy S said, the best in the world” and that the disintegration of the outer containment buildings of three reactors was described as “normal”. If they were not needed, and if the breached reactors are not still venting, why is the Japanese government attempting to seal them with covering? What of the intermittent fission ocurring in the molten cores, the false methodology of claiming the empty vessels are cooling – big deal, the fuel in no longer inside them.

We are witnessing a re run of the 1950 nuclear deception, perfected by the West during the atomic test era. Only this time, its three reactors, not bombs.

Where next? Which paid hack scientist s going to tell the next lie? Barry Brooks? Pam Sykes? Grimes? The head of BHP? They all think they are doctors. Sykes is a B.Sc. Funded by DOE. Brooks? who pays him for their thoughts?

Evacuate Fukushima. 500 metres my foot.

Maralinga Chronology 3

October 16, 2011

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The following quotations are from the Australian Radiation Laboratory document
“Public Health Impact of Fallout from British Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia,
1952-1957”.
This ARL document illustrates the logical and factual inconsistencies within the official
Australian government position regarding harms imposed upon Australians by the
British nuclear tests in Australia.
Of particular interest is the stated exclusion of Dr Hedley Marstonís data on the basis
that it is of no interest relevant to the safety of Australians. For a contrary view of this
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exclusion, see “Fallout ñ Hedley Marston and the British Bomb Tests in Australia” by
Dr Roger Cross, Wakefield Press, ISBN 1 86254 523 5, in particular pages 106, 107
and Chapters 8 and 9.
The ARL document:
“While it is recognised that local conditions might impose some variation on a
pathway from place-to-place, it is assumed that such local factors can be ignored for
the present purpose. The approximation is made that all pathways apply equally to all
population centres.
CONTENTS
Two population groups are excluded from the calculations. They are the aboriginals
living away from population centres and the personnel involved directly in nuclear test
activities. Otherwise, the total population is represented in the estimated radiation
doses.
As the present purpose is to establish estimates of radiation dose from the five series
of nuclear tests, account is taken of both close-in and long-range fallout from all 12
tests.
Other measurements from the period may be of interest for other reasons, but they
are not useful for estimation of radiation dose to the population; for example, the
measurements of iodine-131 in animal thyroids by Marston (1958). – Public Health
Impact of Fallout from British Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia, 1952-1957, Wise
& Moroney, ARL, pages 1-3
CONTENTS
“3. MODELS FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF RADIATION DOSE
3.1 External radiation dose The calculation of radiation exposure from fallout deposit
provided by the ADORED code assumes that the radionuclide is uniformly distributed
over an infinite plane surface; and that it remains in place throughout the period of
interest. Thus further steps are required to give the external radiation dose from the
measured fallout deposit for the population centres. First the calculated exposure is to
LINK SUBJECT
SPREAD The “even spread” and “single event” assumptions
EXCLUDE The exclusion of Indigenous Australians and troops
MARSTON The exclusion of Marston’s evidence
MODELS Models of Assessment
UNSCEAR UNSCEAR’s lifestyle/dose rate assumptions
LEECH Leeching time (from first deposition to repository, esp water)
WATER Rainwater tanks
MONITOR Results from Fallout Monitoring
DEPOSIT Fallout Deposit
RESULTS Results and Discussion
SPECIFIC Approximation of intake ignores specific events
UNCERTAINSource of uncertainty
CHARTS Charts
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be converted to effective dose equivalent. Then account is to be taken of the
modifying effects of a more natural environment, including ground roughness,
leaching of the debris from ground surface and shielding afforded by structures.
Conversion of exposure to external radiation dose requires the use of five factors
a. converting exposure in air, expressed as roentgen, to absorbed dose in air,
expressed as rad,
s. converting absorbed dose in air to absorbed dose in tissue
g. a geometric factor, converting tissue dose to whole body dose
h. a quality factor, converting absorbed dose as rad to dose equivalent expressed as
rem, for gamma-radiation, Q=1.
100, for converting rem to sievert
Thus, for each radionuclide in the fallout deposit, the effective dose equivalent from
external radiation, D sievert, is derived from the exposure in air over a 50-year period
as computed by ADORED, R roentgen, as
D Sv = 0.01asgQR
For this report, values adopted for a and sg, derived from UNSCEAR (1977), are a =
0.869 rad/roentgen and sg = 0.82. Therefore,
D Sv = 0.00713R
Virtually all of the radiation dose is delivered within a year. Although derived from
integration to only 50 years, DE(t) is numerically the effective dose equivalent
commitment from external radiation.
With S evaluated for the effects of ground roughness, equation (1) can be used to
calculate the external radiation dose from fallout for a person living entirely outdoors.
For those adopting a western lifestyle, account needs to be taken, too, of the
shielding afforded by structures, and the proportion of time spent outdoors.
CONTENTS
UNSCEAR
UNSCEAR (1962) developed a world average shielding factor of 0.4 for exposure to
fallout. Although the factor remains in wide use, the conditions assumed in its
derivation are not representative of Australia. From a review of Australian population
and housing data for the period, and drawing on compilations of factors for dose
reduction by structures and ground roughness (Glasstone 1962, Glasstone and Dolan
1977), shielding factors for Australian conditions are derived.
(i) For urban centres, the average dose reduction weighted for fractions of the
population and the types of structures they occupy
0.36 at home, for 13 hours per day
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0.15 at work, for 9 hours per day
0.35 travelling, for 2 hours per day
giving an urban shielding factor of 0.28.
(ii) For rural communities, the average dose reduction weighted for fractions of the
population and exposure situations
0.44 at home, for 12 hours per day
0.57 at work, for 10 hours per day
0.35 travelling, for 2 hours per day giving a rural shielding factor of 0.49.
With 70 % of the population in urban centres and 30% in rural communities, the
average shielding factor for Australia S = 0.34.
CONTENTS
LEECHING TIME
In order to affect the external radiation dose, leaching of fallout from ground surface
would need to give rapid removal of the radionuclides. Most of the radiation dose is
delivered within the first few months of the fallout occurring and virtually all of it within
a year. For paved areas, for which removal can be expected to be quickest, a
weathering half-life of about two months is indicated for fission products (Warming
1984). For grassed and garden areas, the debris would be largely retained. Thus
weathering of the fallout deposit does not warrant a further reduction of S.
3.2 Internal radiation dose from radionuclides in diet
3.2.1 Choice of the model
Radioactive contaminants deposited after a nuclear weapons test enter the diet by
various routes, for example,
the ground deposit-plant-man pathway
the deposit to plant surface-man pathway
the deposit to pasture-animal-man pathway” (ibid, pages 8-11)
CONTENTS
“3.3 Internal radiation dose from radionuclides in water
In Australia, drinking water is drawn from four main sources – from catchment
storages, from rivers, from private dams and bores and from tanks collecting
rainwater from the roofs of buildings. In general, the water supplies based on
reticulation from catchment storages or rivers are confined to large centres of
population. Some were monitored for radioactive contaminants following the nuclear
tests in Mosaic and Buffalo. The monitoring program, and the results obtained, are
discussed in section 4.3. They demonstrate that these sources of drinking water
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made minimal contributions to the radiation dose from fallout from the nuclear tests.
Similar conclusions can be reached for water drawn from private dams and bores.
Therefore, in evaluating the impact on the population of fallout from the 12 nuclear
tests, no further consideration is given to the first three sources of drinking water –
despite the large fraction of the Australian population that they supply. Attention is
confined to the fourth source, namely, rainwater collected from the roofs of buildings.
When used as a catchment for rainwater, a roof can lead to substantial enhancement
of the concentration of fallout radionuclides in the water collected and stored for
drinking. Much of the fallout deposited on the roof in the absence of rain remains
there until the next fall of rain when it is washed into the storage tank. Fallout reaching
the roof in rain is carried directly to the storage tank. In either circumstance, there is a
build-up of radioactive contaminants in the storage tank. It is possible, therefore, that
drinking water taken from a roof following fallout could be a significant source of
radiation dose. In this report, the radiation dose from fallout radionuclides in drinking
water is based on estimates of the concentration of the radionuclides in tank water.
The model adopted for calculating the concentration of the radioactive contaminants
in tank water is conceptually very simple. Fallout deposited on the roof t days after
fission remains there until a fall of rain occurs sufficient to wash the radionuclides into
the collecting tank.
Further rainfall dilutes the radionuclides in water in the tank. Water is used from the
tank at a constant daily rate. Radioactive decay of the radionuclides is represented by
a t 1-2 time dependence of their total activity. The model is expressed through a set
of three equations for the volume of water in the tank Vt, the total activity of fallout
deposit on the roof At and the concentration of radionuclides in water in the tank ct. all
at t days after fission.
…the fallout deposit occurring on day t the rainfall occurring on day t the minimum fall
of rain in 24 hours required to carry fallout deposit from the roof into the tank the area
of the roof the volume of water used per day
Several assumptions are made in the model. Firstly, the fallout that is deposited on
the roof under dry conditions remains there and is not blown off. Secondly, no fallout
deposit remains on the roof after a fall of rain exceeding Ro. Thirdly, the radionuclides
in fallout remain in the water and are not captured by sediments in the roof gutters or
in the tank. Finally, the tank has unlimited capacity.
Values for three parameters are required to initiate the calculations with the set of
equations (11), namely, the roof area Z. the volume of water in the tank before the
nuclear test VO and the volume used per day U. Representative values to cover the
wide variety of Australian homes, climates and practices are difficult to derive. A roof
area of 100 m2 was adopted after consideration of the size of the average home in
the decade beginning 1950. The volume of stored water required to service the needs
of the home is more difficult to establish. De Laine and Vasey (1961) suggested
values ranging from 90 to 260 L per square metre of catchment as being suitable for
areas receiving between 50 and 65 cm of rain each year. Many areas of Australia
have a lower annual rainfall and residents would require larger water storage to meet
their domestic requirements. ” (ibid, pages 28-29)
CONTENTS
“4.RESULTS FROM FALLOUT MONITORING
Three major sets of measurements were made on fallout from Mosaic, Buffalo and
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Antler to provide the basis for assessing possible harm to the Australian population.
The measurements were made for total beta-activity of the fallout radionuclides
present as fallout deposit on adhesive film as airborne contaminants in air filter
samples in water and mud samples collected from catchment storages, reservoirs
and dams.
The fallout monitoring methods, and the results obtained, are discussed in sections
4.1 to 4.3.
Extensive investigations of on-site and close-in fallout were made as part of trials
operations for all 12 nuclear tests. Airborne and ground-based methods were
employed to determine the radiation field of the fallout deposit at various distances
from the explosion and to study the airborne contaminants. The measurements on
close-in fallout are discussed in section 4.4.
CONTENTS
“4.1 Fallout deposit
Daily fallout samples were collected at 29 population centres during Mosaic and at 85
centres during Buffalo and Antler. Sampling was performed at Liveringa,
Noonkanbah, and Fitzroy Crossing during Mosaic but not for Buffalo or Antler. The
centres are listed in Appendix B and their geographical coordinates are given in
Appendix F.
The sampling and measurement procedures remained unchanged throughout the
three series of nuclear tests. Fallout deposit samples were collected by exposing a
horizontal strip of adhesive film, 30 cm by 15 cm, at a height of l.2 m above ground.
The adhesive film was exposed for 24 hours from 9 a.m.; at the end of the sampling
period, the film and a card detailing meteorological data were sent to Commonwealth
X-ray and Radium Laboratory (now Australian Radiation Laboratory) where the film
was analysed for radioactivity. The measurement methods are described by Dwyer et
al (1957).” (ibid, page 36)
CONTENTS
“7. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This report presents the calculations of radiation dose* to the population from the
fallout produced in the British nuclear tests in Australia. The calculations consider all
realistic pathways by which the population was irradiated as a result of the radioactive
contaminants entering the environment, viz.
– by external radiation from fallout deposit
– by internal radiation from ingestion of fallout radionuclides in food
– by internal radiation from ingestion of fallout radionuclides in drinking water
– by internal radiation from inhalation of fallout radionuclides in air.
The radiation doses are derived for the four pathways for population centres
throughout Australia. However, two groups are excluded from the analysis – the
aboriginals living away from population centres and the personnel involved in the
nuclear test activities. Otherwise, the total population is represented.
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The approximation is made in the calculations that the irradiation of the population via
a pathway is the same at all centres. No account is taken of local factors affecting a
pathway; it is assumed that the transfer of a radionuclide through the environment to
the population is not affected by conditions peculiar to the locality.
The calculations rest on the data now available on the environmental contamination
caused by the nuclear tests. The data are outlined in section 1 and discussed in
section 4. Programs to monitor fallout in population centres were mounted only for
Mosaic, Buffalo and Antler and the fallout data for the nine nuclear tests are tabulated
in Appendices B and C. A major problem is the absence of measurements at the
time on radionuclides in the food chain and the present approach aims to overcome
this deficiency. The methodology for the computation, developed in sections 2 and 3,
is implemented using the parameters documented there and the available fallout
data.
The full computation is made only for the nine nuclear tests in Mosaic, Buffalo and
Antler. The results are given in Appendix D for each pathway and population centre, a
separate set is presented for each nuclear test. The radiation doses for the three
series, averaged by population weighting, are summarised in Table 5.1. The
estimated radiation doses for centres of population affected by close-in fallout* from
nuclear tests at Maralinga are presented in Table 5.2.
Radiation doses for the three nuclear tests in Hurricane and Totem are estimated
from the results obtained for the nine tests in Mosaic, Buffalo and Antler by applying
prediction models developed in section 6 by regression analysis procedures. The
models link the two groups of nuclear tests through the limited sets of data held in
common for them. The radiation doses estimated for the three nuclear tests are listed
in Appendix E by population centre; population-weighted averages are given in Table
6.2.
The methodology and numerical parameters for the calculation of radiation dose are
discussed in sections 2 and 3 for Mosaic, Buffalo and Antler and in section 6 for
Hurricane and Totem. The principal calculations are made assuming that the
radioactive component of the fallout comprises unfractionated fission products and
induced radionuclides as suggested by Crocker and Turner (1955) for the fission of
plutonium-239. The effect of fractionation on the estimated radiation doses is
discussed below. Much higher components of the neutron-induced radionuclide,
neptunium-239, were observed in the fallout debris from several of the nuclear tests,
including the three comprising Hurricane and Totem, than provided in the principal
calculations; details are given in section 2 and Table 2.1. The radiation doses
estimated for Hurricane and Totem in Appendix E take no account of the higher
component of neptunium 239 and the correction is made for the final values for the
three nuclear tests. They are summarised in Table 6.2 as population-weighted
averages and the uncorrected values are included for comparison. No such correction
for neptunium-239 is made to the radiation doses calculated for Mosaic, Buffalo and
Antler.
CONTENTS
INDIVIDUAL VARIATION
In addition to the effect of weapon design on the presence of neutron-induced
radionuclides in the fallout debris, and the overall impact of radionuclide fractionation,
other sources of variability in the calculated radiation doses need to be considered
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when examining the values presented here. The main sources of uncertainty result
from variation in the sampling of fallout deposit in the monitoring programs and from
adoption of values for the numerical parameters in the calculation.
As discussed in section 4.1, experimental work by Keam et al (1958) showed that, in
monitoring fallout from the British nuclear tests, it was not uncommon for the activity
of adjacent samples of fallout deposit to differ by more than a factor of two. The
radiation dose calculated for a population centre derives directly from the fallout
deposit recorded for the centre in the monitoring program. Therefore, this source of
uncertainty is especially significant when Considering a population centre, but of less
importance as a cause of Variability in the radiation dose for the whole population.
The principal calculations of radiation dose, presented here, are made without
radionuclide fractionation.
The models used for the calculation of radiation dose cannot be fully validated against
experimental data for Australian conditions because adequate data are not available.
When taken over the 12 nuclear tests, the population-weighted average external
radiation dose reported here is ten times the value given by AIRAC; the population
dose, due to irradiation via all pathways, is some 30 times higher; and the radiation
dose to thyroids of infants is about 100 times higher.
It is of interest to estimate the cancer mortality and the hereditary damage that
occurred in the population as a result of contamination of the Australian environment
with fallout radionuclides from the 12 nuclear tests.
The National Research Council: Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing
Radiation (BEIR) made a detailed study of the risk to health from exposure to
radiation (National Research Council 1980). They examined the dependence of the
risk on the level of exposure in terms of a variety of simple models, which allow
extrapolation of epidemiological data obtained at high radiation doses to give
estimated consequences of exposure to much lower radiation doses.
Their analysis using linear-quadratic models gave the risk of cancer mortality in the
range 0.007 to 0.022 Sv 1 (Saunders 1980). A linear model was adopted by ICRP
(1477) as a working approximation, giving a value for the risk of cancer of 0.01 Sv 1;
this is intermediate to the range established by BEIR. Similarly, a linear dose-effect
relationship was adopted by ICRP for hereditary damage; the risk of serious
hereditary ill health in the first two generations is 0.01 Sv 1 (ICRP l977, paragraph
43).
The linear dose-effect relationship and the risk estimates, for cancer mortality and
serious hereditary consequences, adopted by ICRP are accepted for the present
calculations. For more detailed work the full expressions for radiation-induced
detriment, provided by BEIR for exposure of specified tissues to radiation, should be
used. The radiation dose to the tissue for the radionuclides in fallout can be obtained
from the regression relations given in Table 3.9.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We thank Mr Peter Samson of the Bureau of Meteorology for his assistance in
providing the rainfall records for the period 1952-1957. We also thank Mr Tony Webb
of the Australian Bureau of Statistics for his help in obtaining census data on the
aboriginal population; and Mrs Rhonda Austin of Australian Radiation Laboratory for
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her skilful preparation of a difficult text.” (ibid, pages53-60)
CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT CHARTS
TOP OF PAGE
LINK CHART TITLE
PICT1 ESTIMATED STOCHASTIC EFFECTS ON AUSTRALIANS GOVERNMENT
ESTIMATED CANCER DEATHS AND DEFORMITIES
PICT2 ROUTES BY WHICH HUMANS MAY BE IRRADIATED
PICT3 RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINANTS IN AIR 11.10.54
PICT4 AGE WEIGHTED EFFECTIVE DOSE 11.10.56
PICT5 AGE WEIGHTED EFFECTIVE DOSE 22.10.56
PICT6 AGE WEIGHTED EFFECTIVE DOSE 14.9.57
PICT7 AGE WEIGHTED EFFECTIVE DOSE 25.9.57
PICT8 AGE WEIGHTED EFFECTIVE DOSE 9.10.57
PICT9 ESTIMATED EFFECTIVE DOSE 15.10.53
PICT10 ESTIMATED EFFECTIVE DOSE 27.10.53
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Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright : October 2001
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgement of sources
This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
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PREFACE:
An Examination of the “Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee Report
Number 2, 1971”
During 2001 media controversy over the use of human bones for a Strontium 90
absorption survey caused a high degree of public anguish.
Over a period of many years the Australian Government had secretly removed and
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Over a period of many years, the Australian Government had secretly removed and
used bone samples from the bodies of deceased Australians of all ages, including those
of still-born babies. The ethical issues of the survey were well canvassed.
However, the national media failed to cite the survey findings. The media also failed to
reflect upon the health issues implied by the survey results. In July 2001 the Adelaide
Advertiser ran a two week long series of articles on the effects of the British nuclear
tests.
The Australian government maintains that “Any effect of strontium 90 on individuals in
the Population results from the radiation doses it delivers to bone tissue, after ingestion
in foodstuffs.” The survey results for still born and young babies shows the falsehood of
the government position. The presence of Strontium 90 in these test subjects
demonstrates the transport of the toxic and carcinogenic substance to the foetus via the
placenta.
The presence of Strontium 90 in dairy milk implies its presence in human milk also.
Thus, the damage done to Australians is not limited to bone. The government results
demonstrate transport and storage of Strontium 90 in human females involving the
breast, the placenta, the foetus, the womb and the circulatory and excretion
systems. Research Literature pre dating or concurrent with the nuclear tests show that
harm to humans from low dose internal exposure was known.
This knowledge renders the government decision to authorise the nuclear bombing of
Australia indefensible and explains the failure of successive to own up to the
consequences.
The following quotations from the “Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee Report
No 2, Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment during 1969 with
some results for 1970, May 1971” document illustrate the logical and factual
inconsistencies within the official Australian government position regarding harms
imposed upon Australians by the British nuclear tests in Australia.
Some results of the analysis of human bone as part of the Australian Strontium 90
monitoring program are given in this document.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE BONE ANALYSIS SURVEY RESULTS FOR 1969
TOP OF PAGE
LINK SUBJECT
ABSTRACT ABSTRACT
CONTAMINATE CONTAMINATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT WITH STRONTIUM 90
AND CAESIUM 137 FROM NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTS
EFFECTS Effects confined to bone tissue
MONITORING MONITORING OF STRONTIUM 90 AND CAESIUM 137 IN FALLOUT
IN AUSTRALIA
SUMMARY SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS – RADIATION DOSES TO THE
AUSTRALIAN POPULATION FROM STRONTIUM 90 AND CAESIUM
137
MEASURE CHAPTER 2 – MEASUREMENT OF STRONTIUM 90
SURVEY THE SURVEY OF STRONTIUM 90 IN THE AUSTRALIAN
ENVIRONMENT
PRECIPITATE Precipitation and Soil
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TOP OF PAGE
“ABSTRACT
In this paper, measurements are reported on strontium 90 and caesium 137 in Australia
for 1969 and 1970. The measurements were made in a continuing survey of the
Australian environment in progress since 1957. These long-lived radioisotopes from
nuclear weapons tests were monitored in fallout deposition from the atmosphere, in key
foodstuffs and in representative members of the population.
Any effect of strontium 90 on individuals in the Population results from the radiation
doses it delivers to bone tissue, after ingestion in foodstuffs. During 1969 these
radiation doses to Australians corresponded to less than 2 per cent of the average
annual background radiation from natural sources.
The most important effect of caesium 137 is of consequence to the whole population
rather than to the individual as it results from irradiation of the reproductive cells,
potentially affecting the hereditary material. During 1970, these radiation doses to
Australians due to caesium 137 both in their bodies and in the environment,
corresponded to less than 1 per cent of the average annual background radiation from
natural sources.
The National Radiation Advisory Committee has-stated earlier (National Radiation
Advisory Committee, 1965) that radiation doses of the magnitude of those received by
Australians from strontium 90 during 1969 and from caesium 137 during 1970, reported
in this paper, are not a hazard to health.
In Chapter 1,a brief commentary has been included on more important aspects of
contamination of the Australian environment with strontium 90 and caesium 137 from
nuclear weapons tests. It is hoped that this will be of general interest in relation to
evaluation of data reported from these monitoring programmes.” (Atomic Weapons
Tests Safety Committee Report No 2, Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the
Australian Environment during 1969 with some results for 1970, May 1971,
Abstract)
TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
“Chapter 1:STRONTIUM 90 AND CAESIUM 137 MONITORING AND
RADIATION DOSES TO THE AUSTRALIAN POPULATION
EX.. Gibbs1, JAR. Moroney2, D.J. Stevens3 and E.W. Titterton
TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
1. CONTAMINATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT WITH STRONTIUM 90 AND CAESIUM
PRECIPITATE Precipitation and Soil
FOOD Foodstuffs
MILK Milk as a dominant source of Strontium 90
HUMAN Human Bone Tissue
ACKNOWLEDGEAcknowledgements
BONE An Alternate Reading of the Bone Survey Results
PICTURES PICTURES
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137 FROM NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTS
Strontium 90 and caesium 137 are considered to be potentially the most hazardous of
the long-lived radioactive materials released to the environment during the testing of
nuclear weapons. Because of this they have received close attention in programmes
aimed at assessing possible hazards to populations as a result of nuclear explosions in
the atmosphere.
Both strontium 90 and caesium 137 have radioactive half-lives of about 30 years. They
are produced in fission processes in nuclear weapon explosions there being about one
and a half times as much caesium 137 as strontium 90 in the debris. They remain in this
more-or-less constant ratio throughout initial dispersion of the debris from the explosion
and during subsequent mixing and circulation in the atmosphere and deposition to
ground in fallout.
The explosion of megaton devices in the atmosphere is responsible for most of the
strontium 90 ant caesium 137 contamination of the biosphere. Radioactive debris from
these explosions is carried into the stratosphere where it resides for periods to months
to years before returning to the troposphere from whence it is deposited to ground. Thus
the stratosphere constitutes a reservoir of these radioisotopes from megaton explosions
and Figure 1 (a) indicates how the strontium 90 content of this reservoir in the southern
hemisphere has changed over the period 1958 to 1970 (Stebbins, 1961; Machta et al.7
1964; Telegadas, 1969; Krey et al., 1969, 1970, 1971). Table 1 summarizes data
relating to yields of nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere and the inflection of
strontium 90 into the stratosphere (US Federal Radiation Council, 1963; Krey et al.,
1969, 1970, 1971).
Following deposition onto ground as fallout, strontium 90 and caesium 137 may become
incorporated into plants and thence enter foodchains and the diet of the population.
Because of differences in their chemical properties and biological behaviour, the two
radioisotopes are subjected to significantly different mechanisms in passing along the
foodchains. Both enter diet mainly through milk but the level of caesium 137 in
foodstuffs, including milk, is more dependent on its recent fallout rate than Is that of
strontium 90.
In the body, strontium 90 is absorbed and deposited with calcium in bone tissue, where
it may reside for many years depending on the age of the individual. By contrast,
caesium 137 ingested with food is distributed throughout soft tissues of the body from
which it is displaced and eliminated after only a few months. Both radioisotopes are
turned over and removed from the body more rapidly in younger persons.
Contamination of the environment with radioactive fallout affects living tissues only
through the radiation emitted by the constituent radioisotopes as they decay. If the
radiation is penetrating, as with caesium 137, it may reach the tissue from fallout
deposited on the ground and give rise to what is termed an external radiation dose.
Radioisotopes which may accumulate in specific tissues when taken into the body, such
as strontium 90, deliver to those tissues what are termed internal radiation doses. Thus
strontium 90, incorporated in the skeleton, will give internal radiation doses to bone and
to bone marrow. As a source of both internal and external radiation dose, caesium 137
will be responsible for irradiation of all tissues of the body, and especially the soft
tissues.
The effect of strontium 90 on the body is confined to bone tissue where the internal
radiation dose increases the risk of induction of bone cancer due to irradiation of the
endosteal cells*, or of leukemic changes in bone marrow due to irradiation of that tissue.
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The magnitude of the risk is conservatively assumed to be proportional to the radiation
dose. Potentially the most important effect of caesium 137 results from irradiation of the
reproductive cells, so affecting the hereditary material; this effect is of consequence to
the whole population rather than to the individual.
A general picture of the strontium 90 contamination of the Australian environment from
1958 to 1970 may be obtained from Figure 1. Most of the strontium 90 (and caesium
137) in Australia has arisen from the major series of nuclear weapons tests by USA and
USSR up to 1962, as set out in Table 1. Indeed, the peak level of the strontium 90
stratospheric reservoir in the southern hemisphere in 1963, Figure 1 (a), arose from the
extensive American and Soviet test series of 1961-62. Release of large quantities of
radioactive debris to the atmosphere in nuclear weapons tests then ceased on signing
of the Partial Test Ban Treaty. In subsequent years, the stratospheric reservoir in the
southern hemisphere drained steadily and was at a low level in 1968 when new, but
small, additions were made directly to it by French megaton testing in Polynesia.
Thenceforth the strontium 90 (and caesium 137) content of this reservoir has derived
largely from explosions at the Polynesian test site.
Deposition of strontium 90 in fallout over Australia during the period 1958 to 1970,
uptake into diet and incorporation into infant bone tissue are illustrated in Figures 1 (b),
(c) and (d), respectively (Bryant et al., 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965; Fletcher et al., 1966,
1967, 1968a, 1968b; Gibbs et al., 1969a). Other than the major peak due to weapons
testing by USA and USSR in 1961-62, the main feature in each case is the small, but
noticeable, response to the fresh injection of debris into the stratosphere in French
megaton tests in 1968.
* endosteal tissue lines interior surfaces of compact or mineralised bone and merges
with connective tissue of bone marrow.” ibid, pages 1-2)
TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
“2. MONITORING OF STRONTIUM 90 AND CAESIUM 137 IN FALLOUT IN
AUSTRALIA
In monitoring fallout from nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere it is usual to obtain
broad information for the main population groups, including average radiation doses to
which they may be subjected. However, this broad information is supported by detailed
knowledge of processes by which the important radioactive materials may be
concentrated in the environment, especially where food supplies are involved, and
particular attention is given to these points. Complete and detailed coverage of all
members of the population would be impossible. In the AWTSCs Programme, the
monitoring of strontium 90 and caesium 137 in Australia is directed mainly to the major
cities and their environs – Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston, Sydney and
Brisbane – which contain some 75 per cent of the Australian population. Data are
obtained, also, for other centres such as Darwin, Townsville, Port Hedland and Alice
Springs.
The decision to confine the monitoring to main population centres raises the question of
whether other communities might be exposed to radiation doses differing from the
averages measured. This question has been explored and dealt with in the recent report
on fallout in Australia from French tests in Polynesia from May to August 1970 (Gibbs et
al., 1971) where some detailed information was presented of more general interest in
relation to the monitoring programmer; that discussion leads to the view that the
programme is adequate.
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Details of the strontium 90 and caesium 137 surveys in Australia are given in Chapters
2 and 3 with complete data for 1969 and some results for 1970. An outline of these
programmes is given in Table 2 together with reference to the organizations and
laboratories responsible for the main co-operative effort. It will be seen that strontium 90
and caesium 137 are measured in fallout deposit, in key foodstuffs and in man. The
measurements on representative members of the population provide a basis for direct
calculation of average radiation doses to tissue and hence assessment of hazards to
health. The data for environmental materials allow prediction and evaluation of trends,
at times in advance of changes reaching and affecting the population.
TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
3. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS – RADIATION DOSES TO THE AUSTRALIAN
POPULATION FROM STRONTIUM 90 AND CAESIUM 137
Strontium 90 from nuclear weapons tests is incorporated in the skeletons of all
Australians; its effects are confined to bone tissue. As described in Chapter 2, page 9,
during 1969 the strontium 90 was responsible for radiation doses to bone marrow of up
to 1 millirad per annum and to endosteal tissue of up to 2 millirad per annum. These
radiation doses are the only source of hazard to the population as a consequence of the
strontium 90 contamination. The doses correspond to 1 to 2 per cent of the average
annual background radiation from natural sources.
Caesium 137, introduced throughout the Australian environment from nuclear weapons
tests, is embodied in the soft tissues of all members of the population. Its most
important effect arises from irradiation of the reproductive cells, potentially affecting the
hereditary material. Radiation doses to soft tissues of Australians during 1970 are
derived in Chapter 3, page 1& Caesium 137 on the ground delivered external radiation
doses to Australians of about 0.1 millirad during the year. Internal radiation doses to soft
tissues from caesium 137 incorporated in the bodies of the population, added a further
0.4 millirad for the year. Thus the total radiation dose from the radioisotope during 1970,
some 0.5 millirad, corresponds to 0.5 per cent of the average annual background
radiation from natural sources.
The radiation doses to Australians from strontium 90 during 1969 and caesium 137
during 1970 are of such small magnitude as to be considered by the National Radiation
Advisory Committee as no hazard to health of Australians (National Radiation Advisory
committee, 1965).
Recent trends in the measured burden of strontium 90 in the stratosphere of the
southern hemisphere, and data on strontium 90 and caesium 137 in Australia, suggest
that the programme of megaton weapons testing by France in Polynesia during 1970,
and the further programme announced for 1971, will tend to sustain the contamination
of the Australian environment with these radioisotopes at about the levels for 1969
reported and assessed in this paper.
TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
Chapter 2: MEASUREMENTS OF STRONTIUM 90
J. Bonnyman1, J.H. Harley2, W.K. Matthews3 and J.R. Moroney
1. INTRODUCTION
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Strontium 90 in fallout from nuclear weapons tests has been the subject of a
continuous, country-wide survey in Australia since 1957. Carried out under the auspices
of the Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee (AWTSC), the survey is directed at
monitoring the radioisotope in its passage from fallout through the foodchains to human
bone tissue. All results obtained for the year 1969 are presented in section 2 of this
Chapter together with some data for 1970. Recent trends in the level of strontium 90 in
the environment, and radiation doses to tissue, are discussed in sections 3 and 4, with
particular reference to releases of fission products to the atmosphere in programmes of
nuclear weapons testing by France in Polynesia.
2. THE SURVEY OF STRONTIUM 90 IN THE AUSTRALIAN ENVIRONMENT
It has long been established that, following explosion of nuclear devices in the
atmosphere, an adequate assessment can be made of strontium 90 contamination of
the environment from thorough investigation of a limited number of materials, namely
(a) precipitation and soil
(b) the groups of foodstuffs responsible for the main intake of strontium 90 by the
population
(c) human bone tissue
Accordingly, the monitoring programme in Australia is based on continuing surveillance
of the level of the radioisotope in these materials. Most emphasis is given to the major
centres of population: Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston, Sydney and
Brisbane; but some data are also obtained for Darwin, Townsville, Port Hedland and
Alice Springs and for agricultural districts in each State.
The AWTSC provides overall direction for the work, defining objectives and means of
attaining them. In carrying out the survey the AWTSC draws heavily on the co-operation
of many authorities and organisations in the collection of specimens and in their
radiochemical analysis; specific reference to the main contributions is made in Table 2.
(a) Precipitation and Soil
Fallout particles deposited to ground in rain or by dry precipitation processes are
collected continuously, and analysed for strontium 90, to monitor the rate of deposition
of the radioisotope in fallout as well as the accumulation at ground surface. During 1969
and 1970, monthly precipitation samples and annual soil samples were obtained for this
purpose from the stations shown in Figure 2 and listed in Table 3.
In December 1969 soil samples were taken from eight of the ten sites introduced in
1964; the sites at Berry and Port Hedland became unavailable and were not sampled.
Each sample consisted of 25 cores taken to a depth of 15 centimetre on a grid of 3
metres in an area of 15 metres by 15 metres. A standard tool giving a core of 7.4
centimetre diameter was used throughout. All sites are in relatively flat, open,
undisturbed pasture with minimum run-on or run-off of rainwater. The analyses were
undertaken by UKAEA and the results are presented in Table 4.
Monthly fallout deposition samples were obtained at the 16 stations, all equipped with
funnel ion exchange fallout samplers (FIEFS). Briefly, these fallout collectors comprise a
cylindrical polyethylene funnel, 0.07 square metres collecting area, mounted 1.2 metres
above ground and draining into a replaceable ion exchange column of 80 millilitre
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Permutit ZeoKarb 225 (NG) resin. The ion exchange columns are supplied for field use
from a central laboratory to which they are returned after exposure. The resins and
filters are ashed at 450°C for some 50 hours before submission to Commonwealth XRay
and Radium Laboratory (CXRL) and Health and Safety Laboratory (HASL) for
analysis.
Monthly strontium 90 deposits for the eight stations, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne,
Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville and Darwin, are presented in Table 5 for 1969
and 1970 from measurements by HASL; they are plotted in the composite diagrams of
Figure 3 for the period June 1958 to December 1970. The diagrams also show the total
accumulation of strontium 90 in precipitation at each station since November 1954, as
derived by Gibbs et al., 1965.
Tables 6 (a) and (b) give the strontium 90 data from measurements by CXRL on the
monthly samples from the remainder of the network during 1969 and 1970; namely, the
six stations, Wokalup, Meadows, Warragul, Hadspen, Berry and Sanford, in major
dairying areas supplying the nearby capital cities, and Alice Springs and Port Hedland.
Data from these stations, from commencement of their operation in 1964 to December
1968, have already been reported (Fletcher et al., 1967, 1968a, 1968b; Gibbs et al.,
1969a). Since July 1966, the monthly samples have also been analysed for strontium
89 when it is expected to be present in fallout over Australia from French nuclear
weapons tests in Polynesia (Gibbs et al., 1967a, 1967b, 1969b and 1971).
Representative figures for Australia for mean annual deposit of strontium 90 in
precipitation have been derived from the monthly results for the six major population
centres and their associated dairying areas. These values – 0.8 millicuries per square
kilometre for 1969 and 0.8 millicuries per square kilometre for 1970 – are included in
Figure 1 (b) with similar annual values for the period 1958 to 1968*.
* Data presented in Figures 1 (b), (c) and (d), for strontium 90 in precipitation, average
diet and infant bone tissue in Australia, have been reported (Bryant et al., 1962, 1963,
1964 and 1965; Fletcher et al 1966, 1967, 1968a and 1968b; Gibbs et al., 1969a).
TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
(b) Foodstuffs
It is the consumption of foodstuffs contaminated with strontium 90 that is responsible
almost entirely for the population’s intake of the radioisotope from fallout. Dietary
sources of strontium 90 are similar to those of calcium, namely,
(I) Milk and milk products : contribute more than 70 per cent
of the mean per capita daily intake
(ii) Grain products : less than 10 per cent
(iii) Vegetables and fruits : less than 10 per cent
(iv) Meats, tubers and other foodstuffs : less than 10 per cent
The survey concentrates attention on foodstuffs in groups (i) and (ii) as they are the
main sources of strontium 90 in the Australian diet; regular estimates are made of the
contributions from groups (iii) and (iv). The data are combined annually to provide a
single figure for the mean strontium 90 content of the total diet in Australia.
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Milk, because of its dominance as a source of strontium 90 in the diet of the
Australian population, is given most attention in the monitoring of foodstuffs. Through
the co-operation of authorities in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston,
Sydney and Brisbane, specimens of liquid milk are taken on one day each week by
continuous sampling of milk being processed for consumption in the city. The method of
sampling ensures that a high proportion of the milk being consumed is represented in
the specimen. For Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston, Sydney and Brisbane, this
representation is greater than 95 per cent; for convenience in Perth and Melbourne,
several smaller processing facilities are excluded and representation is 70 per cent and
79 per cent, respectively. The weekly specimens are compounded into monthly samples
which are evaporated and ashed before further preparation for analysis. Results of
measurements by UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) on quarterly samples for 1969
are presented in Table 7.
Grain products in the Australian diet are represented most satisfactorily by wheaten
flour. Therefore, following each harvest in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria,
New South Wales and Queensland, samples of wheat are obtained by courtesy of the
Australian Wheat Board. Fair-average-quality samples are prepared by the Board by
collecting specimens from all depots receiving wheat from a harvest and combining
these in proportion to the total wheat handled at the depots. In each State, through cooperation
of the Department of Agriculture, the grain samples are milled by a standard
procedure; after ashing the flour samples are submitted to CXRL for strontium 90
analysis. Results on samples from the 1968-69 harvests are given in Table 8.
Vegetables and fruits are responsible for an intake of strontium 90 by the population an
order of magnitude lower than the contribution from milk. Moreover, during the period
1961 to 1963 when the survey included representative sampling of both these groups of
foodstuffs, the contribution made by vegetables and fruits to the per capita intake of
strontium 90 in diet was consistently 0.14+/- 0.01 times that from milk and milk products.
In view of this, direct measurements are no longer made on materials representing
vegetables and fruits; rather the dietary intake of strontium 90 in vegetables and fruits is
estimated from the comprehensive data on milk.
Other foodstuffs, including meats and tubers, are minor sources of calcium, and of
strontium 90, in the average Australian diet and they are not included directly in the
survey of foodstuffs. Their contributions to the total dietary intake are estimated from the
data on milk
– from extensive studies of strontium 90 in a variety of domestic animals (Comar et al.,
1957), the ratio of strontium 90 to calcium in meat is taken as twice that in milk.
– experience in more detailed surveys by HASL and by the UK Agricultural Research
Council Radiobiological Laboratory, indicates that tuberous vegetables have
approximately twice the ratio of strontium 90 to calcium found in leafy vegetables and
fruits, discussed above.
Total diet in Australia, for purposes of deriving a mean level of strontium 90 in the total
supply of foodstuffs for consumption by the population, is divided into the four groups
discussed above. The mean strontium 90 content of the total diet is then calculated
from measured and estimated values for the four groups and from the analysis of
calcium intake published by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. For
1969, the per capita mean daily intake of strontium 90 was 4.6 picocuries; the ratio of
strontium 90 to calcium in average diet was 4.9 picocuries per graze and this value is
included in Figure 1 (c) with similar data from previous surveys*
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TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
(c) Human Bone Tissue
Most attention in the survey of strontium 90 in the Australian environment is devoted to
monitoring the concentration of the radioisotope in human bone tissue of all ages up to
40 years. From these data, radiation doses to skeletal tissue may be estimated and
hence assessments made of likely affects on the population.
Specimens of bone tissue of all ages up to 40 years are provided by pathologists in
Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Two sets of representative samples
for strontium 90 analysis are prepared from all specimens collected during each sixmonth
period
– the first set of samples is designed to provide information for each of the five cities in
broad age groups, 0-1 month, 1-5 months, 5X19 years and 20-39 years.
– the second set of samples is chosen to provide information for the combined
population of the five cities in narrower age groups, 0-1 month, 6-monthly intervals to 5
years, 5-yearly intervals to 20 years, and 10-yearly intervals to 39 years.
In compounding the specimens into representative samples for analysis, the bone
tissue ashes are arranged into the groups defined above for the first set. A sample is
prepared from the specimens in a group by taking an equal mass of bone ash from
each specimen in the group. The procedure is then repeated for the second set.” (ibid,
extracts from pages 3-8)
TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
“ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
These investigations were greatly facilitated by the generous co-operation of those in
many fields who provided the specimens for analysis. We wish to record our
appreciation, in particular, of the contributions of members of the Bureau of Meteorology
and of the State Departments of Agriculture in operating the equipment for collecting the
precipitation samples, of members of the CSIRO Division of Soils for their help with the
soil sampling, of those in the dairying industry for the milk specimens, of the Australian
Wheat Board and State Departments of Agriculture for the flour samples and especially
of pathologists throughout Australia for their help with the bone specimens.
We are also indebted to the Capenhurst Works of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and
the New York Health and Safety Laboratory of the US Atomic Energy Commission for
measurements of strontium 90 in the samples and to the Commonwealth X-Ray and
Radium Laboratory for the remaining strontium 90 analyses and for all caesium 137
measurements.
The preparation of all samples prior to strontium 90 and caesium 137 analysis was
carried out by Mr. S.E.M. Thomas and Mrs. Serena Moscato, Defence Standards
Laboratories.” (ibid, page 15)
End of Quotation from AWTSC Report.
TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
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An Alternative Understanding of the Bone Survey Results
The Australian government maintains that “Any effect of strontium 90 on individuals in
the Population results from the radiation doses it delivers to bone tissue, after ingestion
in foodstuffs.” The survey results for still born and young babies shows the falsehood of
the government position. The presence of Strontium 90 in these test subjects
demonstrates the transport of the toxic and carcinogenic substance to the foetus via the
placenta.
The presence of Strontium 90 in dairy milk implies its presence in human milk also.
Thus, the damage done to Australians is not limited to bone. The government results
demonstrate transport and storage of Strontium 90 in human females involving the
breast, the placenta, the foetus, the womb and the circulatory and excretion systems.
Adult bone is the LEAST radio-sensitive organ system of the body. Is this the reason
bone tissue was chosen over breast, womb or kidney tissue as a basis for the sampling
survey? What impact did the ingestion of Strontium 90 have on childhood cancers and
still births? It must be remembered that fresh intake of Strontium 90 continued for many
years after the 12 nuclear blasts deposited fission fallout over Australia.
Transport through various organs and bodily systems continued over that same period,
resulting in long term soft tissue exposure. One can only say that Strontium 90 resides
in bone (chemically mimicking calcium). One cannot truthfully say that bone exposure is
the only exposure. Such a statement is patently false and misleading. This is especially
true of women and children.
In women there is probably a selective, competitive uptake of Strontium 90 in breast
tissue, circulatory and placental tissue and bone tissue at the very least. As Calcium is
necessary for brain function, uptake here can also be expected.
Strontium 90 is but one of the many fallout chemicals. In the wider biosphere, its one
out of thousands of synthetic or rare chemicals. Many of these were introduced into
Australia at the same time as the nuclear tests and subsequently. For example the
combined effect of DDT and Strontium 90 has never been studied from a toxicological
viewpoint. The same is true for the organo chlorides.
It is pointless to assume consequences from exposure to only one substance at a time.
Reality is more complex than that. It can be shown the free radical formation caused by
low level internal contamination by Radioactive isotopes can enhance the damage done
by other chemical substances.
To quote from “Atomic Radiation and Life” by Peter Alexander, Pelican, 1957: ” Indirect
action can be interpreted satisfactorily in terms of the reaction of H- and OH – radicals
formed in water and the attack of these radicals on other substances. These reactions
are always in competition with the recombination of the radicals to give back water (H-
+OH- —> H2O), Hydrogen gas, or the well known chemical hydrogen peroxide. This
latter is a stable molecule which can nevertheless react with many substances , and its
formation within sensitive structures such as the cell nucleus, could be very
harmful…..An estimate can be made of the distribution of these radicals in the tracks of
differing ionising particles from records obtained in Wilson cloud chambers. (page 185,
source bibliography: Radiation Chemistry, Faraday Society Discussion paper 1952, Lea,
D.E., “The Action of Radiation on Dilute Aqueous Solutions” British Journal of
Radiology, Supplement, 1947 , Dale, W.M, “Modern Trends in Radiation Biochemistry’,
Actions chimiqueset biologiques des radiations. Paris: Masson, 1955.
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The human body is largely composed of aqueous solution. This partial and brief
bibliography shows the British knew what they were doing prior to the nuclear bombing.
At the same time, chemicals (some being radiomimetic) were in increasing use
throughout Australia. (eg DDT, Dioxin, 2,4,5D and T, the organophosphates and
chlorines).
In the 1950s the US Army employed Dr Linus Pauling to research additional chemical
protection against the ionising and chemical effects of nuclear weapons. At the same
time, the British were engaged in the same research. (Patt, H.M “Protective
Mechanisms in Ionizing Radiation Injury” Physicological Reviews, 1953, 33, 35;
Hollaender, A, G.E Stapleton and F.L. Martin “X ray sensitivity of E. Coli as modified by
Oxygen Tension”, Nature, 1951, 167, 103)
The first chemical protective was cysteine, another is Becaptan, as is the knowledge
that decreased oxygenation of tissue is protective. Pauling found anti-oxidants to be of
use. The permutations presented by these variables upon the radiological effects of
populations are immense. Market gardening suburbs and families would be far more
vulnerable to fallout than indoors workers living at Highgate.
For a start, a market gardener could be expected to have a higher oxygen concentration
in their tissue, they are outside and inhaling heavily. The British bombs had a selective
effect which is reflective of the class which developed the bombs and ordered them
dropped on Australia. It is inconceivable that the British should test weapons without
testing protective measures. People often say to me things like well look at Hiroshima
and Nagasaki – they were like Maralinga and now they are big cities. Maralinga is not
covered with bitumen and cement.
Maralinga had more than one bomb dropped on it. The Japanese bombs were air burst
at altitude. The bombs dropped on Australia were much closer to ground, at ground or
were non nuclear safety tests which dispersed inhalant sized plutonium etc. At ground
level. Maralinga was ploughed, which further aided dispersal.
Paul Langley
TEXT CONTENTS TOP OF PAGE
PICTURES
CLICK ON THUMBNAIL IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE
LINK SUBJECT
MILK Strontium 90 in liquid dairy milk, 1969
BONE Strontium 90 in human bone samples, 1969
FLOUR Strontium 90 in Flour, 1969
RAIN Fallout product in rainfall to 1970
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PICTURE CONTENTS TEXT CONTENTS
Strontium 90 in milk, 1969
Strontium 90 in human bone, 1969
Strontium 90 in Flour, 1969
Fallout in Rainfall to 1970
Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright : October 2001
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgement of sources
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on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
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Analysis of Results from the Australian Government
Human Bone Strontium 90 Study, 1957-1978
By Paul Langley
Background
In 1992, the Australian veterans of the British Atomic tests published the story of the
Government sponsored use of human bones from deceased Australians (bones from
babies, including stillbirths, as well as children, teenagers and adults were taken).
The Government used the bone samples to monitor the uptake of Strontium 90, a
nuclear fallout fission product, by the Australian population.
The veterans magazine “Atomic Fallout” has over the years revealed many facts and
consequences of the British nuclear test program in Australia. Despite the Australian
Atomic ExServicemens’ Association holding an extensive and legitimate archive, their
magazine is not accepted as evidence in Federal Court. The publication of the
Strontium 90 bone sample story did not produce any Australian press or other media
response or investigation. The Association sends copies of its magazine to all media
LINK SUBJECT
BACKGROUNDBackground
OFFICIAL Official Information
SYNOPSIS A Synopsis of the Official Results
DISCUSS A Discussion on the accuracy of the Official Nuclear Safety
Pronouncements
SUMMARY Summary
CONTRASTINGContrasting the Australian Government position with independent US
research relating to fallout affected areas of Utah
CANCER Cancer Incidence in an Area of radioactive Fallout Downwind from the
Nevada Test Site Carl J Johnson MD, Journal of the American Medical
Association, 13.1.84, Vol 251, No 2.
MILK Cow’s Milk
RESULTS Results
COMMENT Comment
REFERENCE References
LYON Abstract from “Childhood Leukemias Associated with Fallout from
Nuclear Testing, Joseph L. Lyon, MD et al.
PICT1 Picture – Cancer Incidence SW Utah
PICT2 Picture – Adjusted Mortality Rates
PICT3 Picture – Fallout Exposure Map, 31.8.57 (“Shot Smoky”)
PICT4 Leukaemia
PICT5 Standardised Leukaemia Mortality
VETERANS Why Nuclear Test Veterans Deserve an Honest Response from
Government
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outlets and politicians.
In 1996 I gave a speech to the Port Willunga LandCare group and the Green Party of
SA. In this speech I raised the issue of the Strontium 90 bone sample survey. Shortly
thereafter I wrote to Cheryl Curnow, Tim Fischer, Bruce Scott (Liberal Party, Minister
for Veterans Affairs) and Kym Beasley and informed them of the survey.
At a later date I advised the Federal MP David Cox of the bone survey. I sent a copy
of the speech to the ABC.
The only replies I received were from Bruce Scott and Mike Sexton of the ABC.
In June 2001 the British Daily Mail newspaper published an article about the use of
human bone tissue for the measurement of Strontium 90 absorption by people. The
Australian media picked the story up and over a period of weeks, State and Federal
Ministers issued statements of surprise, denials of personal knowledge and they
ordered inquiries.
At issue was the removal of tissue (bone) from the bodies of deceased Australians
without kin permission or knowledge. Many people learnt for the first time that their
deceased loved ones, including babies and children, may have been interfered with in
an apparently secret operation to covertly monitor Strontium absorption.
The grief of this discovery by relatives caused an outcry. The Federal Minister for
Health pointed out that the tests were not secret and that they helped bring about an
end to the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.
No media reports covered the results of the tests or what the results mean for the
health of Australians.
Official Information
In August 2001 I wrote to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety
Agency (ARPANSA) and asked for the results of the bone sample analysis.
On the 4th of September, ARPANSA replied to me by sending me the following
documents:
Source 1. A letter from Mr Graeme Elliott, ARPANSA Information Officer
Source 2. An ARPANSA report on the Strontium 90 Testing Program 1957-78.This
report contains a summary of the numbers of deceased Australian used in the tests, a
summary of “Operation Sunshine”, the US global Strontium 90 survey, and a list of
files held by ARPANSA related to this issue
Source 3. Media Release from Dr Michael Wooldridge, then Minister for Health and
Aged Care.
Source 4. Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee Report Number 2, Strontium 90
and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment during 1969 and some results for
1970.
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Source 5. Reprint of “The Australian Journal of Science, Vol24, Number 10, April
1962, “Strontium 90 in the Australian Environment, 1957 to 1960”.
Source 6. Australian Radiation Laboratory Report “Public Health Impact of Fallout
from British Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia, 1952 – 1957” by Keith N. Wise and
John R. Moroney, published by the Department of Health, Housing and Community
Services.
Extracts from these sources are included on this CD Rom to allow study and
discussion. Full texts are held by ARPANSA, PO Box 655 Miranda NSW 1490,
Australia. Email arpansa@health.gov.au
Additional Bitmap images of tables from all these texts are contained on this CD Rom
The bodies of 21,830 Australians in the age range from stillborn to adult were used
without the knowledge of the families to monitor the intake of Strontium 90 Australians
are exposed to due to environmental (especially food chain) contamination by nuclear
weapons test fallout . (Source 2, above)
The official view of Strontium 90 absorption in humans is that : “Any effect on
individuals ..results from the radiation doses it delivers to bone tissue, after ingestion
in foodstuffs.” (Source 4 above, Abstract)
Strontium 90 and Caesium 137, during 1970, “are not a hazard to health”. (Source 4
above, Abstract)
Strontium 90 entered the food chain via fallout in rain which fell on dairying areas
(Source 4, Table 6 page 24 )
Dairy cows secreted Strontium 90 originally ingested from fallout present on pasture
via milk. (Source 4 table 7 page 26)
Strontium 90 was present in the bones of stillborn babies (Source 4, table 11, page
30)
Complex calculations used to pre-determine the absorbed dose from radioactive
fallout from the British nuclear tests relied upon fixed assumptions about the shielding
value of various lifestyles. (Source 6 page 11)
“Two population groups are excluded from the calculations. They are the aboriginals
living away from population centres and the personnel involved directly in nuclear test
activities.” (Source 6 page 2)
The bodies of 21,830 Australians in the age range from stillborn to adult were
used without the knowledge of the families to monitor the intake of Strontium
90 Australians are exposed to due to environmental (especially food chain)
A Synopsis of the Official Results Top of Page
A Discussion on the Accuracy of these Official
Nuclear Safety Pronouncements Top of Page
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contamination by nuclear weapons test fallout . (Source 2, above)
The official view of Strontium 90 absorption in humans is that : “Any effect on
individuals ..results from the radiation doses it delivers to bone tissue, after
ingestion in foodstuffs.” (Source 4 above, Abstract)
Strontium 90 and Caesium 137, during 1970, “are not a hazard to health”.
(Source 4 above, Abstract)
Over a twenty year period, the Australian government persisted in its monitoring of
human bone absorption of the nuclear fission product Strontium 90. The results of
this monitoring were not broadcast by the government. The results were published in
Scientific journals and government reports of specialist and limited circulation..
Throughout the twenty year period, despite changing public conventions, next of kin
were never advised of the extraction of bone from the bodies of deceased relations.
Ever since the early fifties, successive Australian governments maintained that the
British nuclear tests were perfectly safe, yet at the same time, these governments,
including the current Howard government maintain that the use of human bone tissue
in the Strontium 90 survey helped end atmospheric nuclear testing. They can’t have it
both ways. If the Strontium 90 survey showed conclusively that no harm had come to
Australians, then on what basis could the results be used to justify the cessation of
nuclear weapons tests? Obviously, without the nuclear weapons tests, no Strontium
90 at all would have been absorbed by Australians.
A major plank of the government position is the statement that:: “The official view of
Strontium 90 absorption in humans is that : “Any effect on individuals ..results
from the radiation doses it delivers to bone tissue, after ingestion in
foodstuffs.” (Source 4 above, Abstract)
This is contradicted by :” Strontium 90 entered the food chain via fallout in rain
which fell on dairying areas (Source 4, Table 6 page 24 )
Dairy cows secreted Strontium 90 originally ingested from fallout present on
pasture via milk. (Source 4 table 7 page 26)
Strontium 90 was present in the bones of stillborn babies (Source 4, table 11,
page 30) ”
This contradiction is a fundamental flaw in reasoning so basic and so damaging that
not even the needs of the Cold War justifies its use.
Dairy cows and humans have one thing at least in common. We are both placental
mammals. By measuring Strontium 90 excretion in cow’s milk and yet confining the
search for Strontium 90 to human bones (the least radiosensitive of all adult human
tissue), the reality of human soft tissue exposure to Strontium 90 in human females is
totally ignored! This is borne out by the presence of Strontium 90 in bone tissue of still
born babies. The only way the Strontium 90 can be transported to the foetus is via the
placenta. This implies that Strontium 90 is present in the soft tissue of the mother.
The presence of Strontium 90 in cow’s milk strongly suggests the presence of
Strontium 90 in human milk and the exposure of human female breast tissue to
Strontium 90 during lactation at least.
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The ones most at risk from the British nuclear test program in Australia are mothers
and their babies.
Complex calculations used to pre-determine the absorbed dose from
radioactive fallout from the British nuclear tests relied upon fixed assumptions
about the shielding value of various lifestyles. (Source 6 page 11)
“Two population groups are excluded from the calculations. They are the
aboriginals living away from population centres and the personnel involved
directly in nuclear test activities.” (Source 6 page 2)
The Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee was found by the McClelland Royal
Commission to be heavily influenced by British nuclear test needs to the detriment of
its role of stewardship over the safety of Australians. It used rationalisations to justify
dangerous practices and to down play the effects of the tests upon Australians.
The use of complex calculations based upon assumptions about lifestyles ignores
individual variation and actual exposures. The role of low level exposures remains
controversial to the extent that the Flinders University of South Australia has recently
(2001) received US funding to research these low level effects more closely. This
uncertainty has existed since 1945. To exclude the two most exposed populations
from the dose rate calculations – Aboriginal people and nuclear test veterans – allows
the government to present lower average absorbed dose rate for the population and
at the same time escape public scrutiny for the disaster which has befallen Australian
Aboriginals and the test veterans.
Summary
This brief outline shows that the official record itself does not stand up to even a
cursory examination.
The purpose of the official record was to maintain public support for the tests. At the
same time the tests posed a real and grave assault on the health and wellbeing of
Australians. The threat to women and children has been ignored. At a time when
examination and surveys should have been made of female soft tissue (esp breast
and placenta) and Strontium 90 concentrations in human milk as compared to cow’s
milk, the emphasis remained on bone only.
Those scientists who did question the Safety Committee were pressured and
aggressively confronted.
For a modern discussion of these issues, see “Fallout – Hedley Marston and the
British Bomb Tests in Australia” by Dr Roger Cross, Wakefield Press, ISBN 1 86254
523 5
Contrasting the Australian Government position with similar US nuclear
test consequences and Reports
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Australia lacks open and independent radiological surveys. However, in the USA, Drs
Lyon and Johnson published the results of their surveys of the health effects of
nuclear testing on populations. Summaries of their reports to the Journal of the
American Medical Association are included as follows. Compared to the official
Australian publications they make chilling reading. Equally frightening is the fact that
these reports are at strong variance to American government reports.
People in Utah have won lawsuits against the US government based on Lyons and
Johnson research.
In the face of this evidence, it is impossible to accept on face value the conclusion the
Australian Radiation Laboratory that the British Atomic Tests in Australia produced a
total of 7 cancer deaths and 7 cases of serious hereditary consequences ( (Public
Health Impact of Fallout from British Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia, 1952 –
1957, Wise and Moroney, ARL, Table 7.1, page 59.)
The true rates of death, disease and genetic effects inflicted on Australians is, on the
face of it, likely to be many times higher. The consequences of the trigger mechanism
safety tests at Maralinga, which left powdered uranium, plutonium and other
radionuclides in great quantity free to blow about compounds the problem in ways
which America did not experience. The fact that Australia had three test sites (Monte
Bello Island, Emu Field SA and Maralinga SA) spreads the dose rate from internal
contamination over a vast proportion of the nation. cancer rates in sub groups of the
Australian population are likely to be reflective of the rates given for the Mormon
population in the American data below. Note Dr Johnson’s observations about fallout
entering the food chain via cow’s milk. (page 6 herein, bold text), and compare with
the Australian government view
Journal of the American Medical Association Jan 13 1984 Vol 251,
No2.
Original Contributions
Cancer Incidence in an Area of Radioactive Fallout Downwind From the
Nevada Test Site
Carl J. Johnson, MD
ï Exposures in south-western Utah to radioactive fallout (1951 through 1962) from
atmospheric nuclear detonations at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) were followed by
smaller exposures (1962 through 1975) from venting of underground nuclear
detonations The cancer incidence in a 1951 cohort (4,125) of Mormon families in
south-western 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]) Leukaemia was most prominent early (1958 through 1966),
with 19 cases, five times more than expected (3.6). The excess of leukaemia
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 tumours (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
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supported by a comparison between groups of the ratio of cancers of more
radiosensitive organs with all other types of cancer.
LONG-TERM worldwide effects of nuclear weapons testing may cause 29,000 to
72,000 deaths from cancer (whole-body exposure) and 168,000 genetic effects (all
generations) (Robert E. Alexander, Office of Standards Development, Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, Washington DC, written communication, Feb 26, 1979).
There have been few studies of such health effects in local civilian populations
downwind from nuclear test sites and subject to greater exposures to fallout. An
extensive study of cancer deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors assumed
exposures to direct radiation from the nuclear detonation and only minimal
exposure to radioactive fallout. (1) After a peak in leukaemia deaths in the first five
years, there was a persistent increase in other cancer deaths. 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 esophageus, stomach, colon, lung, breast, and
urinary tract, Lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. There was an increase in cancer of
thyroid gland and benign tumours well.
An infinite dose of 100 rad was calculated for an area on the highway between St
George, Utah, and Cedar City, Utah (228 km and 276 km from GZ, respectively), after
the detonation of “Harry”, and offsite doses of similar magnitude were reported for
detonations of “Nancy,” “Simon,” “Badger,” and “Boltzman” (Harold A. Knapp, PhD,
US Defense Communications Agency, oral communication, Nov 5, 1982). High
explosive tests were later made to study the dispersion of plutonium and uranium
from nuclear weapons, measurably contaminating over 250,000 sq km, with most
contamination occurring in northern Nevada and Utah.
The highest offsite plutonium concentration reported was 9.6 picocuries per square
centimeter (pCi/square cm ), two orders of magnitude greater than that produced by
weapons fallout for nearby states downwind from NTS and three orders greater than
for states more distant from the GZ. (7) (A picocurie of a radioactive isotope of an
element is a quantity sufficient to produce 2.2 disintegrations per minute. Each
disintegration releases ionising radiation. There are eight important isotopes of
plutonium, but 239Pu is the predominant isotope and has a half-life of 24,390 years.
(8)) Radioactive – plumes and clouds from 40 subsurface blasts travelled beyond site
boundaries, contaminating Utah, including the 100-kt “Sedan” in 1962 and
“Coulomniers” in 1977. Official monitoring of fallout was compromised by failure to
activate radiation monitoring apparatus during nuclear tests (Desert News, Dec 4,
1979, p 8-B).
After a test on May 19,1953, more than 300 mR per hour (mR/hr) were observed “in
and out of cars” in St George. Former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman, Lewis
Strauss noted that “East they got over Pioche and over St George which they
apparently always plaster.” (9). “Estimates of dosage delivered by radioactive iodine
to the thyroids of children in St George, Utah, who were less than five years old in
1953, vary between 500 and 2,500 rads” (Michael May, PhD, Lawrence Radiation
Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif, written communication, Nov 29,1965). These doses are of
the same order of magnitude as those sustained by the Rongelap children, who also
received 175 rad of whole body radiation.(3) Livestock received much higher doses,
and deaths of more than 4,000 sheep in 1953 were associated with the passage of
radioactive plumes or clouds. Harold Knapp, PhD, reported fetal lambs had received
doses of 20,000 to 40,000 rad to the thyroid gland and sheep, had received 1,500 to
6,000 rad to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where the external doses were estimated
to be only 4 rad (oral communication, Nov 5, 1982). Sheep near Cedar City received
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38 to 169 rad of external gamma radiation.(10). Despite reports of high levels of
radiation in Utah and Nevada, and in Salt Lake City, Denver, and points more distant,
there have been few investigations. Important exposures of the Los Angeles
population went virtually unnoticed.(11) An increase in leukaemia mortality in southwestern
Utah (1950 through 1964) was reported in 1965 (Edward S. Weiss, MSPH,
Public Health Service, written communication) and corroborated in a follow-up study
of leukaemia deaths in children 14 years later.(12)
More than 30 years have now passed since the first exposure of people in southwestern
Utah to radioactive fallout. There have been external exposures to
radioactive gases and particulates in the air, and from contaminated soil, and internal
exposures to radioactive isotopes ingested in food and water, or inhaled, and stored
in the body. Many persons in this area milk cows and raise their own produce
and meat and are exposed to resuspended dust from agricultural activities. Of
some 240 longer-lived radionuclides released by the fissioning of uranium and
plutonium, there are radioactive isotopes of every trace element and other
elements important in human nutrition.(8,13) Most are cumulative and become
concentrated in the food chain. (14) The molecular, cellular, and developmental
effects of these radionuclides have been poorly studied. This is especially true
of long-term effects on human reproduction. Because of the possibility of an
effect on residents of the high-fallout areas in the United States, an empirical
investigation of the incidence of all cancer in Mormons was conducted in
communities in south-western Utah.
RESULTS
The age and sex distribution of the study population in 1962 is compared with that for
all Utah Mormons in 1971 (Table 2). Although 59.3% of women in the study group
were of childbearing age in 1962 or the decade before (1,183/1,994), compared with
53.8% for all Mormon women in Utah, only 27.5% of the study population are
children, compared with 31% for the state, an apparent deficit in the fallout area for
1948 through 1962 of about 20%.
Average annual age-adjusted cancer incidence rates in Mormons in south-western
Utah in 1958 through 1966 and in 1972 through 1980 are compared with all Utah
Mormons in 1967 through 1975 (Table 1). The ratio of cancers of the more
radiosensitive organs (identified in studies of Japanese survivors) to other cancer in
the study population in 1958 through 1966 is compared with that ratio in the same
population in 1972 through 1980 and to that for all Utah Mormons in 1967 through
1975. In addition, cancer of certain other organs thought to be sensitive to radiation
are considered separately. These are cancer of bone and brain and malignant
melanoma.
The ratio of cancer of more radiosensitive organs (Table 1) to all other cancers in the
high-fallout area was 24.0% higher in the period 1958 through 1966 than that for all
Utah Mormons, and for the later period, 1972 through 1980, the ratio was 53.5%
higher. Among the fallout effects group, this ratio was 29.6% higher than for Utah
Mormons in the early period and about 300% higher in the later period..
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COMMENT
There was an excess of 109 cases of cancer (288 cases observed [P=.0l] (l6) 179
expected) in this south-western Utah population of 4,125 during the period of the
study in this report (1958 through 1966 and 1972 through 1980), a total of about
72,000 person Years. Leukaemia was preponderant early and persisted later,
compatible with a prolonged period of exposure to radioactive fallout during l951
through 1962 and afterward from the venting of 11 of the underground nuclear bomb
tests (1962 through 1979). This is in contrast to the peak of leukaemia deaths in
about five years among the Hiroshima-Nagasaki survivors after one exposure in
1945. There was an increase of Lymphoma in females of marginal significance
(P=.05) in 1972 through 1980. There was only one case identified as multiple
myeloma, in a 15-year-old boy. One person was reported to have had aplastic
anaemia (woman, aged 23 years), another was reported to have polycythemia (man,
aged 73 years), and one death was attributed to radiation sickness. Major classes of
cancer (chiefly breast, colon, and lung) in the early period (1958 through 1966) had
virtually the same incidence as that for all Utah Mormons, consistent with the longer
latency period for these cancers.
Cancer of the thyroid gland was prominent in the exposed group. A significant (P=.01)
excess was noted early in females, and a notable excess was found in both sexes in
1972 through 1980. Many others in the study group complained of thyroid problems.
There was not an excess of cancer of the breast until the later period (1972 through
1980). There was a slight excess of cancer of the upper GI tract, the stomach, and of
the colon occurring later in females. The incidence of lung cancer was not higher in
the study population than for all Utah Mormons. The low prevalence of smoking in this
group would decrease retention of inhaled radioactive particles of respiratory size.
Moreover, most Utah Mormons live in urban areas with greater air pollution than in
south-western Utah, and so lung cancer rates here similar to those for all Utah
Mormons may actually represent an increase. Females seemed to have no
advantage over males with regard to lung cancer risk. Considering the excess
incidence of other classes of cancer associated with radiation in this area, a larger
study population may demonstrate an excess incidence of lung cancer.
A significant (P=.01) excess of melanoma was found in the later period (1972 through
1980), about equally in males and females. An excess incidence of melanoma has
been reported in plutonium workers, and a possible mechanism for induction of
melanoma by actinides has been described. The actinides are chemically similar to
mostly synthetic, radioactive elements such as actinium, thorium, uranium, and
plutonium. Of the radionuclides of potential importance in routine releases from
nuclear facilities, 47 are actinides. (8) Tests of plutonium dispersion devices at the
NTS as well as the detonation of weapons with plutonium components, has scattered
plutonium over a wide area and this may be related to the excess cases of melanoma
found there.
Plutonium workers have been reported to have a proportional morbidity ratio of brain
tumours (gliomas) eight times greater than expected, (17) and a significant (P=.05)
excess of brain tumours were found in the early period of this investigation, slightly
more in males than females. Females had a slight excess of brain tumours in later
period. Throughout both periods there were five more brain tumours than expected.
Plutonium and other actinides are known to be able induce bone cancer, and a
significant (P=.01 ) excess of this cancer was found both in early and later periods.
Although females had a slight excess bone cancer, males had the most cases, and a
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larger number of cases in later period than earlier. In total, there were eight cases of
bone cancer, and 0.7 cases were expected.
The lower range of whole-body radiation associated with fallout symptoms is about 50
rad, and the group of 134 men and 105 women with a history of fallout effects
probably had much larger doses of radiation than did the rest. That this is case is
supported by the high age adjusted incidence of cancer found for this group. In
general, this group has excess numbers of cancer in the classes found to be in
excess for the group as a whole, but proportionately greater.
Comparison of the ratio of cases of cancer known to be in excess for the survivors of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki with all other classes of cancer can help to confirm that the
excess incidence of cancer in a population exposed to radiation is actually related to
this exposure.(18). In this investigation, this comparison provides assurance that the
excess incidence of cancer is actually caused by the exposures to radioactive fallout.
No other explanations for these effects were discovered in the investigation, i.e.,
smoking, occupational history, or industrial point sources of carcinogens.
The temporal trend of excess incidence of cancer seems to be consistent with the
experience of the Japanese survivors, considering that the exposures to the southwestern
Utah group began six years later and were sustained during a 12-year period
and, to a lesser extent, during a subsequent 18-year period. The Japanese survivors
have had a sudden acceleration of the increase in the cancer death rate, by about 2.4
times in the period 1972 to 1976.(2) It seems probable that the largest increment
of cancer in Utah is yet to come. Additional study periods (i.e., 1981 through
1990, 1991 through 2000, and 2001 through 2010) are necessary to evaluate this
later phase of cancer induction. 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 the multitude of radioisotopes to which people have
been exposed.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s memorandum on casualties expected
from worldwide fallout should lead us to anticipate greater effects in local
populations exposed to much higher concentrations of radionuclides from
fallout in the environment. Mormon populations in south-western Utah and adjacent
parts of Arizona and Nevada have certain statistical advantages for such
investigations, because the cancer incidence data there may be compared with that
for all Mormons in Utah, permitting comparisons of cancer incidence free from some
of the variables that must be dealt with elsewhere. Allowance should be made for
cancer induced by fallout for all Utah Mormons (although less than in south-western
Utah). A burden of radiation-induced cancer throughout the state can be expected,
because an excess of childhood leukaemia has been reported for the entire state,
and this observation is an early warning other classes of radiation-induced cancer to
appear later.
This study was supported by a grant from the Nuclear Radiation Research
Foundation.
The survey received valuable support from many citizens in the high-fallout area,
Philip Williams, MS, trained and coordinated the persons carrying out the survey,
Bruce Ellis, assisted with statistical tests- Frederick Johnson assisted with the data,
Kathryn Von Deusen, MA, and Mina F. Coffey helped prepare the manuscript.
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References
1. Beebe GW The atomic bomb survivors and the problem of Iow-dose radiation
effects. Am J Epidemiol 1981,114:761-783.
2. Kato H. Schull WJ: Life Span Study Report 9: I. Cancer Mortality Among A-Bomb
Survivors, 1950-l978. Hiroshima, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, 1980, pp
12-80.
3. Larsen PR, Conard RA, Knudsen KD, et al: Thyroid hypofunction after exposure to
fallout from a hydrogen bomb explosion. JAMA 1982 247:1571 – 1575
4. Colter MW, Moghissi AA: Three decades of nuclear testing. Health Phys 1977-
33:55-71.
5. Final Environmental Impact Statement, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada,
ERDA1551. Government Printing Office, 1977.
6. Compilation of Local Fallout From Test Detonations, 1945-1962, extracted from
ASA 1251, vol 1, in Continental US Tests, report 1251-1 Ex. US Defense Nuclear
Agency, 1979.
7. Johnson CJ, Tidball RR, Severson RC: Plutonium hazard in respirable dust on the
surface of soil. Science 1976-193:488.
8. Kosher DC: Dose rate conversion factors on calculations for 240 radionuclides of
potential importance in routine releases from nuclear fuel cycle facilities. Health Phys
1980,38:543-621.
9. Health Effects of Low Level Radiation official minutes of the Atomic Energy
Commission meeting No. 1062, Feb 25,1955. Government Printing Office, vol 1,1979,
serial 96-41.
10. Smith RJ: Atom bomb tests leave infamous legacy. Science 1982,218:266-269.
11. Public Health Service Transcription of the Nov 10, 1958, Meeting of the National
Advisory Committee on Radiation, Public Health Service 1958.
12. Lyon JL, Klauber MR, Gardner JW, et al: Childhood leukaemia’s associated with
fallout from nuclear testing. N Engl J Med 1979 300:394-402.
13. Radiological Surveillance Studies at the Oyster Creek BWR Nuclear Generating
Station Cincinnati, US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Radiation
Programs, Eastern Environmental Facility, Radiochemistry and Nuclear Engineering
Branch, 1976.
14. Franke BM, Kruger E, Steinhilber-Sehwab B, et al Radiation Exposure to the
Public from Radioactive Emissions of Nuclear Power Stations:: Critical Analysis of the
Official Regulation guides. Heidelberg, West Germany, Institute Energie und
Umweltforsehung, translated into English by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
1980.
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15. Lyon JL, Gardner JW, West DD: Cancer incidence in Mormons and non-Mormons
in Utah. during 1967-1975. JNCI 1980;65:1055-1061.
16. Bailar JC, Ederer F: Significance factors for the ratio of a Poisson variable to its
expectation. Biometrics 1964,20:639-643.
17. Johnson CJ: An investigation of bone cancer, melanoma, and other neoplasm in
employees of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant in Jefferson County, Colorado.
Read be the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, Los Angeles,
Nov 3. 1981.
18. Johnson CJ: Cancer incidence in an area contaminated with radionuclides near a
nuclear installation. Ambio 1981;10:176-182, 1982,11:371 378, 1983;12:280-281.
Extract from NEW ENGLAND MEDICAL JOURNAL VOL 300 FEB 22 1979
CHILDHOOD ALEUKEMIAS ASSOCIATED WITH FALLOUT FROM NUCLEAR TESTING
JOSEPH L. LYON, M.D., M.P.H., MELVILLE R. KLAUBER, PH.D., JOHN W.GARDNER, M.D., AND
KING S. UDALL, M.D..
From the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Utah College
of Medicine, 50 N. Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, where reprint requests
should be addressed to Dr Lyon.
Supported in part by the Field Studies and Statistics Program, National Cancer
Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,
under a contract (NO1 CP 43382)
Abstract: Continuing concern over the possible carcinogenic effects of low-level
radiation prompted us to study the population of Utah because of its exposure to
fallout from 26 nuclear tests between 1951 and 1958. Certain rural counties (highfallout
counties) received most of the fallout during that period. We reviewed all
deaths from childhood (under 15 years of age) cancers occurring in the entire state
between 1944 and 1975 and assigned them to a cohort of either high or low
exposure, depending on whether they were under 15 between 1951 and 1958. For
reasons unknown, leukaemia mortality among the low-exposure cohort in the highfallout
counties was about half that of the United States and the remainder of the
state. Mortality increased by 2.44 times (95per cent confidence, 1.18 to 5.02) to just
slightly above that of the United States in the high-exposure cohort residing in the
high-fallout counties, and was greatest in 10- to 14-year-old children. For other
childhood cancers, no consistent pattern was found in relation to fallout exposure.
The increase in leukaemia deaths could be due to fallout or to some other
unexplained factor. (N Engl J Med 300:397 402,1 979)
The entire state of Utah experienced a significantly greater number of
leukaemia deaths than expected for the high-exposure cohort as compared to
the low exposure cohort (P = 0.01).
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Radiation Dosage
Unfortunately, the actual amount of radioactive material that fell in various
areas of Utah is impossible to determine from available documents. Monitoring
was often inadequate to measure the radiation exposure, because of variable
weather conditions and unanticipated extension of the fallout clouds into
unmonitored areas. Some tests evidently were not monitored at all, and before
1957, there were no reported measurements of the isotopic composition of the
fallout and its possible entrance into the human food chain. (21)
The approximately 500 kilotons of atomic tests that produced fallout in Utah would
probably produce about 28 kg of a complex mix of radioactive isotopes and an
unknown amount of irradiated iron from the vaporization of the test towers. An
example of an exposure map of one of the larger tests (Shot Smoky, 44 kilotons,
August 31, 1957) is shown in Figure 3, with the 17 fallout counties shown on the map.
Estimates by the Atomic Energy commission admit to a Cumulative external gamma
dose of approximately 4 R in the most extreme southwest county in Utah. However,
no allowance is made for exposure from isotopes in these estimates.
On the basis of experience of other exposed populations, (6) we estimate a marrow
dosage of between 6 and 10 rads would be necessary to produce the excess of
leukaemia deaths that we found.
Cancer Incidence SW Utah
Adjusted Mortality Rates
Fallout Exposure Map 31.8.57
Leukaemia Mortality Rates
Standardised Leukaemia
Mortality
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Why Nuclear Test Veterans Deserve an Honest Response from
Government
1. The circumstances leading to the UKís nuclear bombing of Australia are well
known. Due to a British sponsored scientist (Dr Fuchs) giving details of the US atomic
bomb program to the Soviet Union, the US considered the UK a security risk. As a
result, the UK was refused controlling possession of US made atomic weapons. This
perceived humiliation of the UK led to an intensely strong desire on the part of the UK
to secure its own atomic weapons in a setting of absolute security and absolute
British control in terms of information, technology and weapon effects. Every other
consideration became subordinate to these needs.
As a result of this secrecy, Australian participants (including successive Australian
governments) were not fully nor accurately informed of the agenda, risks, outcomes
and consequences of the A bomb program in Australia. Documents authored by
British authorities in the era of the tests demonstrate literally a desire to deceive
Australians in relation to the nature, effects and actual dosages of ionising radionuclides
released by the A bombs detonated in Australia. Dose rate records of the
Australian A bomb veterans are dangerously flawed, as demonstrated by the findings
of the McClelland Royal Commission.
Dose rates therefore cannot reasonably be used to determine causation of disease in
veterans for the following reasons:
1. Lack of accuracy.
2. A demonstrated intent to conceal effects and doses.
3. A demonstrated intent to conceal types of radio-nuclides released and types of
exposure.
4. Current lack of knowledge of actual whole of life consequences of these unknown
exposures.
5. Current conventional underestimation of whole of life impact of the Australian A
bomb exposures. Direct correlation to Hiroshima is impossible and inaccurate given
that Hiroshima suffered the detonation of a Uranium device. Nagasaki and Australia
experienced the detonation of Plutonium devices. Exposures to external ionisation
effects may be similar in equal circumstances in both cases, however, the radiological
biochemical effects and chemical toxicities produced by internal contamination of
fission products are different. Uranium bombs and Plutonium bombs produce different
amounts and types of fission products.
6. The current assumption that Australian veterans were not exposed to internal
contamination is an assumption . The effects of internal contamination are currently
under estimated on the presumption that excretion of ingested radio-nuclides rapidly
reduces exposure doses. The presumption assumes radio-nuclides in the Gastro
Intestinal Tract do not migrate passed the cells which form the gut lining. However,
radio-nuclides introduced into the body via ingested or inhaled micro-organisms are
as mobile in the body as the micro-organism is, and may be deposited in the body
upon the death of the micro-biological vector. (Such vectors include common bacteria
with an affinity to heavy metals, including radio-nuclides such as Plutonium) The
radio-nuclide would thus be free to irradiate adjacent cells and/or to migrate within the
body according to its biochemical affinities. This factor may account for the failure in
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cases cited in research to find evidence of internal contamination upon autopsy
examination of deceased American Atomic Test Veterans. This effect may also have
a bearing on the unexpected deposition of radio-nuclides outside of the physically
secure but micro-biologically active environment of nuclear facilities. It may also
explain some cases of cancer clusters in the UK and elsewhere.
7. Recent radiological surveys of Australian test sites reveal greater contamination
than British authorities and their Australian sympathizers admitted. Although these
sites were used later for non-nuclear detonations of radio-nuclides, some sites
(notably Taranaki Test Site at Maralinga) were original atomic bomb detonation sites.
If later activities were concealed by dishonest dose rate disclosures, there is little
basis to believe earlier dose rate disclosures were more honest. This allows the fact
that Australian veterans were exposed to higher risks than admitted of suffering
negative health consequences.
8. The statistical dilution of using veterans drawn from a geographically dispersed
people, small in number, with smaller sample sizes and higher background cancer
rates due to regional agricultural economies, localized high background radiation, and
the general effects of atomic bomb fallout on the Central, Southern and Eastern
Australian cancer rates (including the dilution caused by effects from Northern
Hemisphere and French atmospheric nuclear weapons testing). The small sample
size of the Australian veterans compared to even the statistically defined “small”
sample size of the population of atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima plus Nagasaki.
The sample size makes it impossible to discount radiation induced causation, given
that the comparatively much larger Japanese sample is acknowledged as being too
small for the purpose. Nevertheless, delays of more than 37 years have been shown
to have occurred from time of low dose exposure to onset of radiogenic disease. In
Japanese A bomb survivors. (Journal of American Medical Association 5.8.83)
9. The failure so far of veterans to gain compensation and care for illnesses known to
be caused by or facilitated by multiple factors as well as having a radio-genic origin
(eg exposure to smoking, agricultural chemicals, etc). The fact is these factors were
known co-contributors to disease at the time of the tests. The risk amplification
assigned to multiple factors being present should not result in exclusion from
compensation payments or justice. They should have resulted in such exposed
people (and therefore vulnerable to illness) being excluded from atomic test
participation in the first instance. Failure to do this was a failure in duty of care.
The fact is that smoking was part of the Australian military culture at the time and was
encouraged by organised “smoke breaks” and by the inclusion of cigarettes in some
military ration packs. Social pressure was exerted by senior ranks on lower ranks to
induce smoking in non-smokers. The past and current failure of Australian Nuclear
Veterans to obtain justice, care and acceptance relates directly to the 1950s-1960s
needs of Britain to reclaim international credibility after previous serious security
breaches which aided the Soviet Union in a Cold War setting. It is time Australian
Nuclear Veterans ceased paying the price for Britainís decades old credibility needs.
The Cold War is over.
The culture of dismissive derision the veterans have suffered for years must cease.
Justice must be served and compassion must win the day. Failure to care for the
veterans will result in the Australian Government structure being seen as that of a
paid agent of a foreign power.
Throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, the nuclear test veterans witnessed growing
community awareness of the actual effects of nuclear bomb detonations. The logic
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that “if the bombs were as safe as they said, they wouldn’t be weapons of destruction”
is blindingly obvious. The information gained by the community throughout the period
was diametrically opposed to the information given to the test participants during their
military service.
In this period also, and as part of the same growth in awareness, films such as
“Threads” and “The Day After” graphically portrayed the effects of atomic weapons.
Many veterans must have experienced intense periods of depression and agitation
throughout this period. On the one hand the wider community freely expressed
hypotheticals, while on the other the veterans were constrained from expressing their
actual experience by Britainís and Australiaís security needs. The end result was a
pernicious social isolation, heighten by official derision and mis-information in their
regard. This was especially so in specific social and work cultures, especially
government work places, often culminating in harassment and loss of employment.
This tendency exists to the present day. As does Britainís tendency to conceal at all
costs: Recently the European Court of Human Rights condemned Britain for lying
under oath in relation to a case brought by a British Nuclear Veteran. The Australian
government continues to rely on information sourced from the UK in relation to its
consideration of nuclear veterans. Such information is demonstrably highly
dangerous. Australia should look after its own and rely on credible, independent
information. The purpose of compiling this (and future) collection of radiological safety
data is to facilitate honesty in the recently announced survey into the health of
Australiaís Atomic Veterans.
Compared to the other studies listed in this compilation, the South Australian Health
Commissionís 1981 “Survey of Diseases that may be related to Radiation among
Pitjantjatjara on Remote Reserves” is cursory and makes a virtue of its inability to
accurately apply modern research and statistical methods to South Australiaís
indigenous people. It fails to draw on existing case knowledge documented on film by
Sir Douglas Nicholls and by the makers of “Backs to the Blast”. Both films document
obviously patent Beta radiation burns on Aboriginal people. Beta radiation burns are
clearly seen, as they cause a permanent loss of pigment, which then appears white.
The injury sites are generally speckled. International literature dating at least to the
1957 book “Atomic Radiation and Life”, Peter Alexander, Pelican Books, A399. This
publication on illustration page 9 shows Beta radiation burns on the feet of a 7 year
old child, stated as being a “South Sea Island girl”. She was probably a Rongelap
Islander. The US government as of 1995 had paid compensation totalling $762,500 to
61 Marshall Islanders who had suffered Beta radiation burns. In total, for all
radiogenic illness caused to the Marshall Islanders, the US had paid a total of $22
million to 676 Marshall Islanders. This paltry figure exceeds the amount paid to the
few South Australian Indigenous people for damage suffered by nuclear testing in
Australia. The damages so far paid in Australia have related to loss of land, not
radiogenic illness and death, and have been paid only to one community. From the
very first Western Australian nuclear blasts, Australian Aborigines suffered a
vulnerability far in excess of the white population. The toll of death and illness has
never seriously been researched.
The Nevada “Down Winders” are only now winning class and individual actions in the
USA. Their government sat on the truth for many years. It was only due to the fact
that the “Downwinders” were different (they are Mormons) that they suffered in the
first place. They are winning now because of their own determination and their own
unbiased expert research. Government surveys could not be trusted. The scenario is
applicable to Australia.
Paul Langley
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#top
Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright : October 2001
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgement of sources
This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
Extracts from material supplied by ARPANSA is cited on this CD Rom in order to provide evidence and to enable study of the Australian Government’s current position
on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
HOME PROPAGANDA WATER INDIGENOUS LEGAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
US
VETS BOMBS BLACK
MIST LETTERS MEDIA SURVEY
ARL AWTSC HISTORY CAUTION README
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HOME
PROPAGANDA
WATER
INDIGENOUS
LEGAL
BIBLIOGRAPHY
US VETS
BOMBS
BLACK
MIST
LETTERS
MEDIA
SURVEY
ARL
ANALYSIS
AWTSC
CAUTION
README
THE NUCLEAR CENTURY – ONE WORLD OR NONE
A BRIEF TIME LINE
Update 1.3 22/09/96
Dedicated to The Atomic Ex-Servicemen’s Association.
Compiled and written by Paul Langley
SOURCES
Source A – The Chronicle of the Twentieth Century, ISBN 1872031 80 3, Chronicle of
Australia Pty Ltd, 487 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood, Victoria, 3134 and Chronicle
Communications, London. 1990 Jacques International Publishing, Paris for World
English Rights. Copyright for the Chronicle System, Harenberg Communications,
Dortmund.
Source B – The Chronicle of 1990, ISBN 1-87 2031-84-6, Penguin Books Australia
Ltd, 487 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood, Victoria 3134. Other rights as above.
Source C – The Chronicle of 1991, ISBN 1-872031-25-0, Penguin Books Australia Ltd,
487 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood Victoria 3134.
Source D – L The magazine of the Australian Atomic Ex-Servicemen’s Association
“Atomic Fallout” Australian Publication Number QAS4208, Editor : Mr Terry Toon, 23
Eidsvold Street, Keperra, Qld 4054
Source D – Atomic Fallout 1.4, June1985
Source D1 ” ” 1.5, December 1985
Source E – ” ” 1.6, June 1986
LINKS TO YEARS
1901 1933 1951 1962 1974 1986
1905 1939 1952 1963 1976 1987
1907 1944 1953 1964 1977 1988
1908 1945 1954 1965 1978 1989
1915 1946 1955 1966 1979 1990
1919
COLD
WAR
STARTS
1956 1967 1980
COLD
WAR
ENDS
1921 1947 1958 1968 1981 1991
1929 1948 1959 1970 1983 1992
1931 1949 1960 1972 1084 1993
1932 1950 1961 1973 1985 1994
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Source E1 ” ” 1.8, June 1988
Source F – ” ” 1.9, June 1989
Source F1 ” ” 1.10 June 1990
Source G – ” ” 1.11 June 1991
Source H – ” ” 1.12 March/June 1992
Source I – ” ” 1.13 December 1992
Source J – ” ” 2.1 June 1993
Source K – ” ” 2.2 December 1993
Source L – ” ” 2.9 June 1994
Source M – Volume 3 “Progress to a New World Order” – Short-wave Radio
Transcripts and other Media Reports compiled by Paul Langley. Archive tape number
given. Australian National Library deposit number LD94/6407
Source N – Volume 4 as for Source M. Compiler’s notes are bracketed and prefix with
* Compiler: Paul Langley, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre SA August 1994 Size:
20,000 words, 132,000 kb.
Source O – Radiological Health Notes prÈcised by Cpl Paul Langley, RADIAC Centre,
4 Base Workshop RAEME, 1972 – 73
1901 June
TOP OF PAGE
Source A Becquerel presents Radium discoveries. Atoms, thought to be the ultimate
parts of matter, may contain sub units. In 1896, Becquerel discovered that salts of the
metal Uranium emitted rays. He has now shown that these rays act like the artificially
produced cathode rays, recently shown by Thompson to consist of electrons.
1905 July
Source A Ideas on universe are questioned in the light of a new theory proposed by a
German physicist. According to the “Theory of Relativity” of Albert Einstein there is no
such thing as absolute time or motion. The most striking implication of the theory is
that matter and energy are interconvertible, minute quantities of matter being
equivalent to vast amounts of energy.
Physicists speculate radioactivity may arise through the conversion of mass to energy.
(*Energy = Mass x velocity squared, or E=MC squared. Simply, mass is “slow”
energy.)
1907 November
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TOP OF PAGE
Source A Standard Oil boss John D Rockefeller gives 2.6 million dollars for a medical
research institute.
Source A Albert Einstein presents quantum theory of light.
1908 December
Source A Rutherford wins a Nobel Prize for his radioactivity work
Source A Rutherford’s first contribution was to show that the three types of radiation
were positively charged Alpha, negatively charged “Beta” and pure radiation, related
to light and X Rays- “Gamma Rays”. He concluded that the atom is mainly empty
space.
1915
Source A Einstein challenges Newton over gravity. A new theory of gravity, which says
it is the result of the curvature of space due to the presence of matter, was the major
scientific achievement of 1915. It is an extension of his Theory of Relativity. (*This has
implications for nuclear theory as relative velocities and relative masses are affected.
Planetary alignment and positions may impact upon nuclear detonations. See lists of
French detonations for timings.)
Source A The Nobel Prize for physics went to father-son team WH and WL Bragg for
their work on X Rays and crystals.
1919 January
Source A Rutherford splits smallest particle. Atoms have been split for the first time by
New Zealander Prof Ernest Rutherford. He transmuted atoms of nitrogen into those of
oxygen, so partially realising the dreams of alchemy. Rutherford used Alpha particles
to bombard nitrogen, proving atoms are not the building blocks of matter.
Source A President Wilson proud midwife to the League of Nations. 27 Nations
agreed to his proposals. A highly critical study of the Versailles peace treaty, by the
economist John Maynard Keynes, is now the economics book of the year. Keynes
predicts economic disaster as the debt Germany is being asked to repay will create
economic chaos.
1921
Source A Allies occupy Germany to collect debts. Germans agree to Allied ultimatum
with only hours to spare.
1929 June
Source A The German Physics Institute awards its Max Planck medal to Albert
Einstein and Max Plank himself.
Source A The first tiny colour Television (using cathode ray tube) is demonstrated by
Bell laboratories.
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Source A Oct 24 Black Thursday. Wall Street Collapses
1931
TOP OF PAGE
Source A A Commonwealth Radium Laboratory has been set up to research the
health effects of radiation and to store the nation’s supply of Radium.
Source A The world’s first atom smashing machine was tested in Cambridge.
Source A The Adelaide Observatory has joined those of other countries in a major
series of measurements of the precise positions of the stars to determine the
wandering of earth’s axis of rotation.
1932
Source A Atom smashing gets to the heart of the matter. At Cambridge John
Cockcroft and Ernest Walton used their new atom smashing machine to change
Lithium atoms into those of Helium. James Chadwick discovered a new sub atomic
particle, the neutron.
Source A Bell Laboratories reported receiving radio waves from the constellation of
Sagittarius. This giver rise to the new science of radio astronomy.
Source A Aldous Huxley publishes Brave New World.
1933 March
Source A Nazi Party gains power in Germany. Has policy of breeding an Aryan super
race and bases social policy on the concept of “Social Darwinism”.
1939 January
TOP OF PAGE
Source A It may be possible to exploit the energy in the atom, following the discovery
of a new radioactive process: nuclear fission. This could be used to produce weapons
of unprecedented power, or as a virtually inexhaustible source of energy. The process
was discovered by German physicist Otto Hahn. His results were reported by his
friend Lise Meitner, now a refugee in Sweden. (*This induces Enrico Fermi, another
German refugee, in Britain, to present papers to the UK government pushing for a
nuclear weapons program, as the Nazis had the lead.)
1944
Source A A second battle of Britain is being fought with a new and terrible weapon.
V2s, long range rockets, 15 tons in weight and carrying one ton warheads are being
launched at England from Holland and Germany, adding to the havoc caused by flying
bombs. They give no warning as they drop vertically from a height of 50 miles at
speeds faster than the speed of sound.
1945 June
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Source A Britain announces the Vampire fighter, a 500 mph jet.
Source A Delegates from 50 nations signed the World Security Charter to establish an
international peace-keeping body to be known as the United Nations. General Smuts,
the Prime Minister of South Africa summed up its purpose: “It provides for peace with
teeth, for the unity of peace loving peoples against future aggressors; for a united front
amongst the greatest powers, backed by the forces of the smaller powers as well.”
First to sign was China.
Source A Russia will occupy half of Germany.
July 16
Source A First atomic bomb tests take place in New Mexico desert. (*Oppenheimer
worried that atmospheric oxygen might join in the chain reaction, obliterating the world.
Fortunately this didn’t happen.)
August 6
Source A Hiroshima is destroyed by atomic (Uranium) bomb. 9th Nagasaki destroyed
by atomic (Plutonium) bomb. 70,000 perished. More are dying daily. The US President
said if Japan didn’t surrender..:”a rain of ruin from the air, the likes of which has never
been seen on this earth” would destroy Japan. Four hours after the explosion nothing
could been seen of the city but a pall of smoke and fires. The wonder weapon,
described as the greatest scientific discovery in history.
The US released some details of the work done at Los Alamos, which involved a
100,000 workers throughout the USA. Three new cities, a factory covering several
square miles were built from scratch. There was a team of international scientists led
by Dr Robert Oppenheimer of the University of California. Enrico Fermi was also
present. Two gigantic factories one at Oak Ridge and the other at Hanford produced
materials for the bomb. British scientists played a major part in the enterprise, but
when it was realised that a vast operation was needed, all work was transferred to the
USA. 15th Japan surrenders. Radio Japan reported: “We are moved to tears by His
Majesty’s infinite solicitude”.
1945 December
Source A Moscow: Allied Foreign Ministers end 10 day talks with agreement on United
Nations control of atomic weapons.
December
Source A IMF and World Bank established. The idea came from the Bretton Woods
agreement in July 1945.
COLD WAR ERA BEGINS
TOP OF PAGE
1946 January
Source A The United Nations sets up an Atomic Energy Commission (*The
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International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA) London hosts UN talks at the inaugural
session of the United Nations General Assembly. Mr Attlee told the assembly of 51
nations “It is for the people of the world to make their choice between life and death…”
There are Brave hopes for a peaceful new world. “One World” concept born. Euphoria
is premature.
February
Source A Averell Harriman appointed Ambassador to USSR. 15 Soviet spies arrested
in Canada. USSR admits to spying.
Source A Australia seen as ideal for atomic tests due to its vast unpopulated areas.
Source A ENIAC computer in use. The idea originated to assist in gunnery during the
war and to decipher war codes. (*The machines would be needed to design and time
the detonations of nuclear weapons).
July 18
Source A Einstein deplores the use of atomic bomb and says Roosevelt would never
have allowed it.
July 24
Source A An air blast like the rush of a 100 mile an hour wind, an underwater shock
like the thud of a hammer and a majestic plume of smoke and water this morning
marked the explosion of the world’s fifth atomic bomb. The test site was the tiny atoll
of Bikini, in the Pacific Ocean.
1947 January 9
Source A British rocket experts arrived in Australia today to finalise plans for a test site
in South Australia. The project drew some criticism, despite assurances from the
British team that the tests will in no way threaten Aborigines living in their central
reserve, where the base will be located. A committee looking at the project is likely to
reject claims that it will endanger Aborigines. It admits the breakdown of tribal life will
be hastened, but judges this inevitable anyway.
Source A Adelaide born Mark Oliphant (a war time member of the Los Alamos A
bomb team) has warned that an atomic holocaust can only be prevented by
international control of the powerful energy source
February 3
Source A US fears Russia has atomic secrets. Russia has discovered the secrets of
the US A bomb but is unsure how to use them, the Senate Atomic Committee was told
today. Questions asked by Soviet delegates at the UN showed they had seen highly
classified US information on the atomic bomb but did not understand its significance.
July 13
Source A USSR rejects the Marshall Aid Plan and Europe is split. The Plan will
finance the reconstruction of Europe and will be funded by the US.
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August 15
Source A Britain’s first atomic reactor starts at Harwell.
August 29
Source A Plutonium fission suitable for use in atomic reactors is discovered by US
scientists.
Source A The US urges the USSR to take part in four-power talks on Korea.
1948
TOP OF PAGE
Source A Bell Labs invent transistor in USA.
March 20
Source A Relations between East and West deteriorate when Russia accuses West of
having secret plans for Germany, and walks out of the Allied Control Council.
April 1
Source A Russia begins imposing rigid checks on all road and rail traffic between
Berlin and the Western zone.
1948 August 5
Source A US spy mania branded a “Red Herring”. Two US Congressional committees
have begun inquiring into allegations that over 30 US officials belong to a Communist
spy ring, in what promises to be one of the biggest witch hunts of all time. President
Truman denounced it as a “red herring’, designed to divert attention from his efforts to
push anti-inflation laws through the Republican dominated Congress. Before the
House UnAmerican Activities Committee, Whittaker Chambers, a self confessed spy
and now editor of “Time” magazine, will be accusing a State Department official, Alger
Hiss (* Who was instrumental in helping set up the UN), of having given him secret
papers in the 1930s. Karl Mundt and Senator Joe McCarthy say have independent
evidence to support the allegation.
September 9
Source A North Korea proclaims itself a Republic.
September 14
Source A US warns world that it is outgrowing its food supply.
September 21
Source A Australian Dr Herbert Evatt is elected President of the Third session of the
UN Assembly in Paris.
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September 29
Source A Contamination from the Bikini atom bomb tests was far more difficult to
eradicate than anyone anticipated , according to Dr David Bradley. Plutonium was
present but undetectable by normal methods. “I can think of no fact demonstrated by
the Bikini tests which is more important in its widest implications than this difficulty of
riding habitable surfaces of our world of contaminating fission products”, Bradley
warns.
October 1
Source A The US Atomic Energy Commission says Plutonium production is now on a
factory sized scale.
October 2
Source A The USSR drops its demand for a ban on atomic weapons
October 21
Source A General McArthur arrives in South Korea.
October 26
Source A Major Western Powers agree on the principles of NATO.
November 16
Source A Truman refuses four-power talks on Berlin until the USSR lifts its blockade.
November 18
Source A CSIRO attempts to make rain using Radar.
December 6
Source A Chambers tells the House UnAmerican Activities Committee Alger Hiss
passed secrets to him for the USSR.
December 14
Source A Australia begins search in all states for Uranium deposits.
December 15
Source A First French atomic reactor begins operations.
1949
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March 6
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Source A UK succeeds in making Plutonium for the first time, at Harwell.
March 18
Source A Plans for NATO unveiled.
April 4
Source A 12 Nations sign NATO Treaty.
April 6
Source A Truman says he would not hesitate to use A bomb again.
April 8
Source A France, UK and USA reach agreement on the establishment of West
Germany.
April 20
Source A Chinese Communists fire on UK warships, killing 26.
1949 April 26
Source A USSR calls for four power talks to end blockade of Berlin.
May 4
Source A USSR agrees to end blockade of Berlin.
May 13
Source A First UK jet bomber makes maiden flight.
May 20
Source A Western Allies reject talks with USSR aimed at ending Greek War.
May 25
Source A At Big Four talks, US rejects the Soviet claim for reparations from Germany.
June 10
Source A 1984, George Orwell’s nightmare novel about a future world ruled by “Big
Brother”, is not so much a prediction as a warning against totalitarianism. It is not an
attack on the
Labour Party, which he supports. The book is selling fast.
June 13
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Source A General MacArthur accuses USSR of inciting unrest in Japan.
June 30
Source A Mao says USSR is true ally of China.
Source A America is not going to hell, says US President Truman, as he tried to calm
a wave of anti-Communist hysteria. The House UnAmerican Activities Committee is
fuelling the hysteria, which among other things, wants to screen all books used in US
schools. Alger Hiss, after testifying that he was not a spy and had never passed on
secrets to the Soviets, remains under suspicion.
July 8
Source A The jury at Alger Hiss’s perjury trial is dismissed for failing to agree on a
verdict.
July 13
Source A The Pope says any Catholic aiding Communism faces excommunication.
1949 July 26
Source A UK Privy Council upholds the Australian High Court ruling that bank
nationalisation is invalid.
July 31
Source A Australian troops take over coal mines and coal transportation as coal strike
worsens.
August 27
Source A Rich deposits of Uranium found at Rum Jungle in the Northern Territory.
September 23
Source A USSR explodes its first atomic bomb, and sends the “needle off the
diplomatic Ritcher Scale”. The USSR calls for a ban on atomic weapons at the UN.
The West believes the USSR must have had help. The explosion was revealed after
rainwater was found to be radioactive.
September 30
Source A Mao Tse-Tung is elected Chairman of the Peoples Republic of China.
October 5
Source A The UN flag is hoisted over the new UN building in New York.
December 26
Source A Einstein publishes his new “Generalised Theory of Gravitation”. He has
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searched for 30 years for a theory unifying the forces nature: gravity,
electromagnetism, and the two nuclear forces.
Source A At Harwell, a new atom smashing machine starts work.
Source A The CSIRO abandons secret nuclear work.
1950 January 4
TOP OF PAGE
Source A UK asks USA for a stockpile of atomic weapons.
January 10
Source A The spread of Communism in SE Asia is a major issue.
January 14
Source A US staff are ordered out of China.
1950 January 19
Source A China recognises North Korea.
January 25
Source A Alger Hiss is the latest victim of the anticommunist hysteria. and received a
five year sentence for perjury.
January 31
Source A USSR recognises North Vietnam.
Source A President Truman gave go-ahead for research and production of a
Hydrogen Fusion bomb.
February 3
Source A Top nuclear scientist Dr Klaus Fuchs was today charged with giving Soviet
agents atomic secrets. He had been given full access to US and UK research for 7
years.
February 9
Source A Anti-Red crusade is launched in US. McCarthy shot to prominence when he
accused the US Federal Government of being infiltrated by Communists. He claimed
to have a list 205 State Department employees who were Communists.
February 15
Source A China and USSR sign friendship Pact.
February 28
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Source A French government passes bill limiting sale of Coca Cola.
October 1
Source A General MacArthur tells North Korea to cease hostilities as South Korean
troops cross border. President Truman attempts to control MacArthur.
October 16
Source A France abandons 250 miles of the Vietnamese-Chinese border region.
October 20
Source A Writs are issued challenging the validity of the Australian Communist Party
Dissolution Bill.
1950 October 27
Source A US scientists use bi-metallic conductors to convert atomic energy directly
into electricity.
Source A UN troops advance to North Korean-Chinese border.
November 22
Source A Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian rebels meet.
October 27
Source A Massive Chinese force ejects UN troops from the Manchurian border.
1951
TOP OF PAGE
February 17
Source A UN troops pushed back to the 38th Parallel in Korea.
(*General MacArthur wants to lay trail of radioactive waste along Korean-Chinese
border, US government forbids it).
March 9
Source A The attempt by Prime Minister Bob Menzies to ban the Communist Party of
Australia has failed in the High Court.
March 12
Source A Alleged spy Alger Hiss loses Supreme Court Appeal against his perjury
conviction.
March 15
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Source A Iran in turmoil after sections of government attempt to take over control of oil
fields from Anglo-Iranian Oil Corp. The bid to seize the oilfields was seen in London as
a surrender to extreme nationalists and Islamic Fundamentalists.
March 19
Source A France, West Germany Italy and the Benelux countries sign a treaty and
create the European Coal and Steel Community.
1951 March 30
Source A General MacArthur wants to invade China. UN troops have again crossed
into North Korea.
Source A New Yorkers Julius and Ethel Rosenberg have been found guilty of
espionage in America’s first atomic bomb spy trial. They were convicted of passing
atomic secrets to the Soviets. Rosenberg 32, an Army Signal Corps Engineer during
the War, and his wife Ethel, 35, continue to protest their innocence.
April 5
Source A The Rosenberg’s are condemned to die via the electric chair.
April 11
Source A Truman fires MacArthur.
April 29
Source A China seizes the assets of the British Asiatic Petroleum Company.
May 12
Source A The Hydrogen bomb comes a step closer with a test of an atomic weapon
on Bikini Atoll.
May 14
Source A South Africa bans coloured people from voting.
May 18
Source A UK’s first four engine nuclear bomber makes first flight.
May 20
Source A Iran issues formal notice to UK that it is taking over the Anglo-Iranian Oil
Company installations.
May 25
Source A UK Foreign Office officials Burgess and Mclean disappear without leave.
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August 1
Source A President Truman ends tariff privileges for all Communist countries.
1951 August 10
Source A UK signs trade Pact with Cuba.
August 12
Source A Over 1 million young people take part in anti-US demonstrations.
September 1
Source A US signs defence pact with Australia and New Zealand, forming ANZUS
group.
September 9
Source A China occupies Lhasa in Tibet.
September 10
Source A Anti-British riots sweep Egypt.
September 27
Source A Iranian troops seize British oil facilities in Iran.
October 3
Source A UK’s first atom bomb tested in the Indian Ocean.
October 15
Source A Egypt rejects defence pact with UK.
October 19
Source A British troops invade Egypt and seize Suez Canal.
1952
TOP OF PAGE
Source F1
Fallout from Monte Bello test equivalent to “18 Chernobyls”. RAN ships sail through
waters heavily contaminated with plutonium. These vessels include HMAS Macquarie,
Culgoa, Shoalhaven, Hawkesbury, Tobruk, Murchison and Sydney.
Source E Rear Admiral Martell states in (now declassified) document that personnel
involved in Monte Bello UK atomic tests must have “some degree of risk” and states
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that health effects may be “long delayed” and that an illness “unconnected with
operation might have caused the same symptoms”.
Source A
January 16
Source A Australia allows Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to set up refinery near
Fremantle.
February 18
Source A Menzies says UK will begin testing atomic bombs in Australia this year.
February 26
Source A Winston Churchill confirms UK will test atomic bombs in Australia, probably
off Western Australia. The UK claims the tests will not endanger people or animals.
March 9
Source A Australia seen as Atomic storehouse. UK atomic agency chief has praised
South Australia’s initiative in developing radioactive materials. Dr CF Davidson said
Australia was likely to become one of the biggest producers of radioactive materials. A
US expert said Rum Jungle uranium field is the most promising development he had
seen anywhere for a long time.
April 1
Source A The US Atomic Energy Commission begins a new series of test blasts in
Nevada.
Source A Australia says the uranium produced at Radium Hill in South Australia will go
to UK and USA.
April 22
Source A 35 million Americans watch on TV the most powerful atomic explosion yet at
Nevada.
April 26
Source A French forces launch big offensive in Vietnam.
May 8
Source A UN bombers attacked North Korean city of Suan in a raid that lasted from
dawn to dusk.
May 14
Source A The Monte Bello Islands off WA are named as the site for Britain’s first
atomic test.
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1952 October 3
Source A Britain’s first atomic weapon has been successfully detonated in the Monte
Bello Islands off the North West Coast of Australia. The blast was watched by
scientists and servicemen on UK and Australian warships.
October 5
Source F Declassified Message S296 “Hurricane (1952 Monte Bello atomic
detonation) CTF4 has informed NEAHQ and Met Wellington (NZ) that as cloud is
believed stagnating in Monte Bello area, Dr Penney advises their attempts to obtain
long period samples from Townsville and New Zealand be abandoned. Broome is
continuing samplings searches vide their A542, 4 October and requirement will
continue for one flight daily for further three days including D plus five days. Have
requested NEAHQ to dispatch further supplies of filters to arrive Broome about 6
October. Received by secure means.”
November 20
Source A John Foster Dulles is selected as Secretary of State in USA
November 30
Source A Island disappears as America tests the first Hydrogen bomb. All that was left
of the island in the Eniwetok Atoll was a mile wide crater on the sea floor. The
hydrogen bomb is exploded by using an atom bomb as a detonator.
1953
TOP OF PAGE
Source E “Kitten” code name for explosive testing of detonator mechanisms for atomic
bombs. Tests heavily contaminate Emu Field site near Maralinga. January 3
Source A Australia-US agreement for sale of Rum Jungle uranium.
February 11
Source A US President Eisenhower turns down Rosenberg’s appeal for clemency.
April 15
Source A Australian Atomic Energy Commission is set up.
April 17
Source A US government regards Charlie Chaplin as a “dangerous Alien”. He vows
never to return to US.
April 25
Source A DNA discovered.
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April 28
Source A Laos falls to Communists.
May 3
Source A Woomera missile launched is watched by Menzies.
May 4
Source A Mark Oliphant urges Australia and Britain to establish atomic power stations.
May 8
Source A An atomic bomb nearly twice as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb, is
exploded in Nevada.
May 31
Source A US warns of “Domino Effect” in Far East.
June 4
Source A The greatest atomic bomb blast yet is detonated in Nevada. it is twice the
size of the Hiroshima bomb.
June 19
Source A Mr and Mrs Rosenberg were killed by electric chair. A crowd of 5,000
denounced the execution. (*See film “Daniel” for an exposure of their innocence, and
the conspiracy behind their deaths.)
June 24
Source A Atom bomb tests for Woomera. UK’s next atom bombs will be exploded
from Woomera. The actual site was not named. Acting Prime Minister of Australia
gave safety guarantees for Aboriginals and wild life.
July 27
Source A Guns fall silent in Korea, after 2 million lives had been lost.
August 1953
Source A Shah of Iran flees after his attempt to take over government fails.
August 14
Source A USSR gains Hydrogen bomb.
August 22
Source A Shah of Iran returns home after successful coup.
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September 8
Source A Menzies gives assurance that no lives will be endangered by atomic tests at
Woomera.
October 15
Source A UK explodes atomic bomb west of the Woomera range.
(Totem 1, 14.10, 21.30Z, 10 kiloton) Date for this detonation given as 14.10.53 by
Atomic ExServicemens Association.
Source D RAAF Canberra bomber flew through atomic cloud, and were subjected to
internal and external hazard. Aircraft washed down at Woomera. Decontamination
staff were also exposed.
October 18
Source A Dust clouds over Canberra are not dangerous according to the Australian
National University.
October 24
Source A McCarthy accuses former President Truman of aiding communists.
October 27
Source A Another atomic bomb is exploded west of Woomera.
1954
TOP OF PAGE
January 12
Source A Burmese Government and three international oil companies agree on the
creation of Burmah Oil Co.
January 21
Source A US launches first nuclear powered submarine, the Nautilus.
January 31
Source A The Big Four are divided on the reunification of Germany.
February 2
Source A The Senate votes $214,000 for McCarthy’s committee. Senator Fulbright is
alone in opposing it.
February 10
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Source A President Eisenhower says it would a tragedy if the USA become involved in
Indo-China.
February 18
Source A McCarthy begins investigation of US Army personnel.
March 1
Source A UK Atomic Energy Authority formed.
Source A US explodes second Hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll.
Source A Earthquake measuring 5.4 on Richter scale hits Adelaide.
March 14
Source A French forces are under siege in the Vietnamese town of Dien Bien Phu.
March 22
Source A The hydrogen bomb has claimed its first victims. The crew of a Japanese
fishing vessel suffered burns and radiation sickness. Their vessel had been fishing 70
miles from Bikini. To the crew it seemed the sun was rising in the west. A few hours
later a fine white ash started drift down. They started feeling dizzy and sick, with
itching on the skin. All are now in hospital, and some are seriously ill. Their boat is
heavily contaminated. The bomb was 600 times more powerful than the bomb which
destroyed Hiroshima and equivalent to 12 million tons of TNT in explosive force. The
US is now stockpiling hydrogen bombs of this type and would soon explode even
bigger ones.
April 2
Source A Indian Leader Nehru calls for a halt to the build up of nuclear weapons.
April 5
Source A Churchill says he and Roosevelt agreed in 1943 to use an atomic weapon
only by mutual consent.
April 7
Source A President Eisenhower ordered greatly increased production of weapons.
April 13
Source A UK and US study proposal for a NATO equivalent for South east Asia and
the Western Pacific.
April 14
Source A Menzies gives Petrov asylum in Australia.
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April 22
Source A USSR breaks off diplomatic relations with Australia.
April 27
Source A Petrov says Burgess and Mclean went to Moscow.
April 29
Source A Scientist J Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, has been
declared a security risk by the US. The President suspended Oppenheimer’s security
clearance following claims he knew Communists and had delayed the development of
the Hydrogen bomb.
May 8
Source A Dien Bien Phu falls to Vietnamese Communists.
May 24
Source A IBM reveals electronic brain. A typical installation will cost $25,000 a month.
June 1
Source A Atomic scientist Robert Oppenheimer is found to be loyal and discreet, but is
denied security clearance.
June 2
Source A McCarthy alleges serious Communist infiltration of the CIA and nuclear
weapons plants.
June 6
Source A President Eisenhower prevents McCarthy from investigating CIA.
June 15
Source A Dr Edward Teller claims Oppenheimer’s lack of moral support delayed
development of Hydrogen bomb.
June 16
Source A Oppenheimer’s successor says H bomb could not have been developed any
earlier.
June 30
Source A Opening of Peter McCallum Clinic for Cancer patients.
July 21
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Source A Peace agreement on Indo-China signed in Geneva. Country divided into 2
from 17th parallel. France believes an honourable peace has been reached in
Vietnam.
July 24
Source A China apologises for shooting down a British airliner.
July 27
Source A 65,000 pull out of Suez Canal zone.
November 27
Source A Ex-State Department employee Alger Hiss is released from prison after 44
months.
December 2
Source A Senator Joe McCarthy is condemned by the US Senate for conduct
unbecoming a senator. Today’s decision is the beginning of the end of his influence.
December 17
Source A The British Petroleum Co is formed, owning 40 percent of the new National
Iranian Oil Company.
1955
TOP OF PAGE
January 1
Source A US gives $216 million to South Vietnam.
January 2
Source A Panamanian President Jose Remon is assassinated.
January 20
Source A UN’s World Health Organization says atomic waste can be a serious health
risk.
February 1
Source A The British Petroleum refinery at Fremantle begins operations.
February 15
Source A UK reveals plans for 12 nuclear power stations to be built over next decade.
February 28
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Source A Missing British atomic scientist Bruno Pontecorvo is found to be working in
the USSR.
March 31
Source A It is decided to send Australian troops to Malaya.
April 4
Source A The site of the British tests in South Australia is named Maralinga, meaning
“Thunder” in Aboriginal.
April 18
Source A Albert Einstein dies.
May 8
Source A 25 Hiroshima victims arrive in USA for plastic surgery.
May 10
Source A Kremlin proposes cuts in nuclear weapons.
July 15
Source A Nobel Prize winners oppose the Bomb.
September 13
Source A Australian troops arrive in Penang.
December
Source E UK Chef atomic test scientist WG Peney and UK Ministry of Defence design
method of deceiving Australian scientists in believing fallout less than was actually
produced by atomic bombs. Ref Letter 953/12/55 (Declassified)
1956
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UK exposes live animals to radiologically hazardous materials at Maralinga.
April 17
Source A Asbestos declared dangerous
April 29
Source A US is now capable of making intercontinental ballistic missiles.
May
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Source E1
Dr Hedley Marston, senior biologist at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation begins biological survey into the effects of the atomic tests in
Australia. He and his team collect thyroid glands from cattle and sheep in north and
north east areas of Australia, likely to have been traversed by the fallout clouds. He
finds that extensive areas of Australia have been contaminated, including thickly
populated areas. He concluded the third blast resulted in fallout deposition in a band
1,600 miles wide right across the continent. He found that Adelaide had been
contaminated along with the country surrounding it. He feared that as his findings
indicated the presence of bone seeking Strontium 90, this radio-nuclide was now in
the Australian food chain. He communicated to the CSIRO his view that, given the
official version of events up to July 1956, either monitoring equipment is useless or
someone is lying.
May 16
Source A UK explodes atomic device on the Monte Bello Islands.
Source A Prof. Titterton defends safety of atomic bombs. He said radiation was no
threat in the vast Australian desert.
May 21
Source A USA explodes Hydrogen bomb on Bikini Islands.
June 20
Source A Civil aircraft are grounded when an atomic cloud drifts inland after
yesterday’s atomic bomb blast on Monte Bello Island.
June 22
Source A A Queensland miner has measured high radioactivity in rainwater,
suggesting that a cloud from Wednesday’s explosion at Monte Bello could have been
blown inland. The miner recorded counts of 2,000 units of radioactivity. The grounding
of all civil aircraft in the north and the direction of the winds since the atomic device
was exploded suggest that the atomic cloud went inland. Officials refused to comment,
citing a security ban on information. Another miner at Marble Bar said his Geiger
counter measured 500 after a light shower of rain. The normal reading is 15.
June 28
Source L The vessel Komei Maru, loading coal at Newcastle, NSW, measured
radioactivity when at sea 130 miles east of Townsville on 25.6.56. 200 counts a
minute were recorded by a Geiger Counter. The ship was slightly radioactive when in
port in Newcastle. July 9
Source H
75 cattle die mysteriously on board a ship steaming off the North west coast of
Western Australia. On arrival at Fremantle, the crew refused to handle the remaining
cattle, and sent a request to their union for assistance as they believed the cattle were
suffering radiation sickness.
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July 21
Source A The World Bank refuses to help build the Aswan dam in Egypt.
July 26
Source A UK fury as Nasser seizes Suez Canal.
October
Source E1
Sappers of 7 Indep. Field Squadron hurry into the contaminated area after an atomic
detonation to release trapped servicemen.
1957
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February 13
Source A UK to boost its output of nuclear weapons.
February 22
Source A UK’s Vulcan nuclear bomber enters RAF service.
February 28
Source A London: The risk of radiation during atomic tests in Australia is raised in
Australia by a British Cancer specialist, Professor Alexander.
March 5
Source A UK is to triple nuclear weapons production by 1965.
March 24
Source A At a meeting in Bermuda, UK and USA applaud European Common Market.
USA will supply UK with guided missiles.
March 25
Source A Six nations: France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland and
Luxembourg sign the Treaty of Rome, creating the European Common Market.
Millions of TV viewers watched the signing.
April 1
Source A West German scientists refuse to work on nuclear weapons.
April 30
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Source A US Sixth fleet arrives in Beirut amid mounting tension.
May 2
Source E1
Australian Minister for Defence, Sir Philip McBride, spoke in the Defence Debate in
the House of Representatives on the Government decision to establish an
independent authoritative body, to be known as the National Radiation Advisory
Committee, to advise it on radiological surveys and measurements in Australia, under
the Chairmanship of Sir MacFarlane Burnett. He said: ” I do not want to belittle
possible hazards of radiation and fallout. We must continue to keep careful watch on
radiation arising from any source.”
In the subsequent debate in Parliament, a question was directed to the Minister for
Supply, the minister responsible for the atomic tests, on a statement by the Nobel
Prize winner, Dr Linus Pauling, that the British atomic tests would cause thousands of
deaths from leukaemia. See entry for May 1987.
May 15
Source A UK detonates first Hydrogen bomb in Indian Ocean.
May 31
Source A Writer Arthur Miller refuses to fink on his friends to the House UnAmerican
Activities Committee.
June
Source H Disease of epidemic proportions hits Ernabella between March and June
1957. This is the nearest Aboriginal Mission station to Maralinga. 20 children died and
two adults. A pathological investigation was made but the results kept secret.
June 6
Source A UK hands Christmas Island to Australia.
July 22
Source A BP and Shell quit Israel under pressure from Arab states.
July 29
Source A John Foster Dulles arrives in UK for disarmament talks.
August 2
Source A USSR is cool toward a proposal for joint military inspections.
September 14
Source A UK conducts first Maralinga atom bomb test.
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Source E Biak tests at Maralinga contaminate 90% of Queensland.
October 1
Source A UN reports that half the world is underfed.
October 25
Source A First UK nuclear civil defence manual recommends wearing gloves and hats
and using lots of soap and water.
1958
TOP OF PAGE
Source I UN General Assembly release report No 17 (A/3838 – Extract from the
Report of the United Nations Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (*Parts of
this report were used in health notes created at RADIAC, RAEME, 1972) para 49
states “Exposure of gonads to even the smallest doses of ionising radiations can give
rise to mutant genes which accumulate, are transmissible to the progeny and are
considered to be, in general, harmful to the human race. As the persons who will be
affected will belong to future generations, it is important to minimise undue exposures
of populations to such radiation and so to safeguard the well being of those who are
still unborn.”
March 6
Source A The TUC and British Labour Party call for end to H bomb testing.
March 7
Source A Sydney: 350 Australian scientists urge Canberra to ban nuclear tests.
April 4
Source A 3,000 anti-nuclear protesters set off on a march to Aldermaston.
May 4
Source A Eisenhower rejects Polish proposal for a nuclear free zone in Central
Europe.
May 31
Source A USSR agrees to early talks with the West aimed at ending nuclear test
explosions.
July 5
Source L Doug Rickard, an 18 year old employee of the Department of Supply in the
health physics team at Maralinga, finds a two mm long pellet of Cobalt 60. He
eventually found nine such pellets. This indicates that UK may have been working on
a “dirty bomb”, one in which the radiological hazard of the bomb is enhanced. On
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complaints to the AWSTC, Prof Titterton had stated that the use of Cobalt was not
conveyed to the Health Physics team, as “they would find out anyway”. The Cobalt
had been placed by the British in between the health survey marker pegs, and in
those locations, there was no need for monitoring. Workers walking over the spots,
however, were intensely irradiated unknowingly. A 25 year security clamp was placed
on all references to Cobalt during the UK tests. Titterton’s excuse for not informing
Australian workers about the presence of Cobalt (an extremely dangerous substance)
was that it would be an interesting exercise to see if they could find it! Doug Rickard
suffered ablation of the bone marrow and was diagnosed with myelo-fibrosis and
myelo-metaplasia. His bone marrow is unable to produce red blood cells, leaving the
spleen to do it.
September 7
Source A UK’s Black Knight missile launched at Woomera.
September 19
Source A UK takes delivery of US Thor missiles.
December 8
Source A US, UK & USSR agree on draft treaty to limit nuclear testing.
December 13
Source A UN rejects a call by Algiers for its independence.
1959
TOP OF PAGE
January 2
Source A Castro gains power in Cuba.
Source A Movie “On the Beach” is to be made in Australia. It is a story about the last
people left on earth after a nuclear war.
January 16
Source A UK unfreezes Egyptian assets.
January 24
Source A UK and USSR expand trade and cultural exchanges.
January 24
Source A US and UK scientists create controlled nuclear fusion.
March
Source I Australian navy finds evidence of visits to contaminated areas on Monte Bello
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by unknown persons, probably fishermen.
April
Source K Menzies Government attends international Conference on the Dumping of
Radioactive Waste at Sea.
Source K Orders given for No 10 Squadron RAAF to dump 15,776 pounds of
Plutonium waste in steel containers in sea off Fraser Island. One such container failed
to sink and was found in New Zealand.
July 6
Source L Planned Limits of Radiation for Atomic Tests Participants issued by Army
Director General Medical Services
November 20
Source A UN bans French from nuclear testing in Sahara.
November 26
Source A Che Guevara becomes head of Cuban National Bank.
1960
TOP OF PAGE
January 14
Source A USSR to cut armed forces by 1.2 million over two years.
February 13
Source A France explodes atom bomb in Sahara.
February 25
Source A Australia agrees to make available two satellite tracking stations for the
USA.
September 30
Source A 15 new nations admitted to UN.
October 12
Source A USSR’s Khrushchev thumps shoe on desk and calls Philippines a stooge of
the US at the UN.
October 26
Source A South Vietnamese Army clashes with Viet Cong guerrillas.
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November 1
Source A UK allows US nuclear subs to use Holy Loch in Scotland.
November 9
Source A Kennedy elected US President.
November 21
Source A Congolese Army battles UN troops.
December 27
Source A France explodes third atomic bomb in Sahara.
1961
TOP OF PAGE
August 23
Source A Western powers place tanks and 1,000 along wall Communists have built
between East and West Berlin.
September 12
Source A Nuclear protesters Bertrand Russell and Arnold Wesker are jailed.
September 13
Source A UN troops crush Congo rebels.
September 28
Source A Bob Dylan makes debut in New York. Protest movement gains voice.
October 23
Source A A massive nuclear bomb, as big as 30 megatons, is exploded in the USSR.
October 25
Source A US and UK tanks face Soviet tanks over Allied entry rights in Berlin.
November
Source D Operation Featherbed – Top Secret, withheld from Australian public until
Royal Commission. Apparently, an underground blast which Britain had covered up
and denied initially to the Royal Commission. Emu Field site determined by UK to be
strongly contaminated
1962
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TOP OF PAGE
Source I UN publishes report supplement No 16 (A/5216), United Nations report on
the effects of Atomic radiation.
January 4
Source A President Kennedy authorises more aid to South Vietnam. The program will
cost more than last year’s $136 million aid package.
January 15
Source A EEC nations reach agreement on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
January 20
Source A Six anti-nuclear protesters are jailed under the Official Secrets Act.
January 21
Source A US Union Oil Co describes Moonie find as Australia’s first commercial oil
discovery.
January 25
Source A Bertrand Russell calls atomic tests “butchery” and attacks conviction of antinuclear
protesters.
January 29
Source A UK and USA walk out of the nuclear test ban talks with USSR.
April 8
Source A Cuba sentences 1,179 Bay of Pigs invaders to 30 years jail.
April 24
Source A Kennedy says atmospheric testing of atomic weapons will be resumed.
May 17
Source A Menzies announces building of $6 million US naval base at North West
Cape in WA.
May 24
Source A Australian military advisers to be sent to Vietnam.
July 9
Source A US H bomb detonation in Pacific lights up the night sky from Hawaii to New
Zealand.
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July 23
Source A 200 million viewers in EEC watch US TV via satellite for first time.
October 1
Source A UN takes control of New Guinea from Holland.
October 15
Source A Amnesty International formed.
October 22
Source A Kennedy announces arms blockade against Cuba due to presence there of
Soviet nuclear missiles.
October 24
Source A US blockade of Cuba begins.
October 26
Source A Heavy fighting between Chinese and Indian troops on mutual border.
October 28
Source A USSR promises nuclear missiles in Cuba would be returned to USSR. World
sets back from the brink of nuclear war.
November 12
Source A UK ready to sign partial nuclear test ban treaty with USSR and USA.
November 20
Source A Kennedy lifts blockade of Cuba.
October 26
Source A US agrees to remove nuclear missiles from base in Turkey.
December 7
Source A UK’s second underground nuclear test takes place in Nevada.
1963
TOP OF PAGE
January 2
Source A 50 die as Viet Cong shoot down 3 US helicopters.
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January 9
Source A President of Congo is placed under arrest by UN troops. Congo is forced to
heel by UN.
January 14
Source A France vetoes UK’s entry into EEC. January 16
Source A USSR says nuclear war would kill 800 million and warns that Russia has a
100 megaton bomb.
January 20
Source A USSR agrees to on site inspection of nuclear tests.
March 3
Source A Kim Philby disappears in Beirut. (*It is later confirmed he joined Burgess and
Mclean in Moscow).
March 6
Source A ALP accuses Government of secrecy of the uses of the North West Cape
US communications base.
March 10
Source A US nuclear sub Thresher sinks in the Atlantic.
March 15
Source A Aldermaston marchers arrive for a protest by 70,000 against nuclear
weapons.
March 20
Source A Federal ALP Conference meet to decide policy on a US radio
communications station at North West Cape. (*provides ULF radio communications for
US nuclear submarines).
September 14
Source A South Vietnamese government begins arresting civilian leaders.
October 7
Source A Kennedy signs Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
November 22
Source A Kennedy murdered.
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1964
TOP OF PAGE
January 23
Source A UK troops fly to Uganda to crush Army mutiny by soldiers angry at their low
pay.
January 25
Source A Launch of Echo C, the first joint US-Soviet space project.
June 5
Source A Blue Streak missile launched from Woomera.
September 3
Source A State of Emergency declared in Malaysia as Indonesian troops invade.
October 16
Source A China explodes first atomic bomb.
1965
TOP OF PAGE
April 2
Source A US increases financial and military aid to South Vietnam.
April 10
Source A Richard Nixon arrives in Moscow.
April 29
Source A Robert Menzies commits Australian troops to fight in Vietnam.
April 30
Source A Military Junta gains power in Dominican Republic after successful coup and
calls for more US military aid.
May 16
Source A Second Chinese atom bomb detonated.
June 2
Source A First Australian troops arrive in Vietnam.
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June 23
Source A Robert Kennedy proposes a nuclear arms limitation treaty.
June 30
Source A Robert Menzies declares war against North Vietnam.
1966
TOP OF PAGE
June 30
Source A Frances leaves NATO.
July 2
Source A France explodes nuclear bomb on Mururoa Atoll, sending a radioactive
cloud drifting toward South America. Australian scientists expect to see increased
radiation, but claim it will not affect life. Australian Government strongly condemns
test.
July 5
Source A Prime Minister Holt pledges to go “All the way with LBJ”.
July 7
Source A Warsaw Pact countries offer to send volunteers to North Vietnam if Hanoi
wants them.
1967
TOP OF PAGE
January 19
Source A US deaths in Vietnam reach new heights.
February 13
Source A Australian unemployment stands at 1.9%, the highest since 1963.
May
Source D Department of Supply offers for sale six Mustang aircraft at the heavily
contaminated Emu Field site for sale.
June 17
Source A China detonates its first H bomb.
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1968
TOP OF PAGE
June 7
Source A New Zealand government protests to France over its plans to continue
nuclear testing in Pacific. New Zealand is concerned over nuclear contamination.
July 1
Source A 36 nations sign Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty in London, Moscow and
Washington.
August 22
Source A Russian tanks roll into Prague to crush Prague uprising.
August 24
Source A France explodes its first H bomb at Mururoa.
August 29
Source A Chicago police were accused of Gestapo tactics when they dragged
Democrat speakers from the floor of the Democrat convention and brutally beat anti-
Vietnam protesters in Grant Park.
October 31
Source A President Johnson orders a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam.
1970
TOP OF PAGE
March 5
Source A Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty comes into effect.
March 9
Source A US Troops disperse violent attacks near Seattle by American Indians.
April 30
Source A Nixon sends US troops into Cambodia.
1972
TOP OF PAGE
SUPER POWER “DENTE” ERA BEGINS
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May 29
Source A President Nixon and Mr Breznhev signed documents aimed at reducing the
danger of nuclear war.
June 1
Source A Iraq nationalises UK based Iraq Petroleum Company.
June 11
Source A Libya says it is giving aid to the IRA.
June 30
Source A Greenpeace witnesses on the protest vessel “Greenpeace III” watch French
H bomb blast form a distance of 125 miles from Mururoa Atoll. They reported a
sudden glow that lasted four minutes and excessive winds and turbulence.
1973
TOP OF PAGE
March 29
Source A Last US troops withdraw from Vietnam.
April 20
Source A Australia fails to convince France to end its nuclear tests in Pacific (*It was
reported to the Australian Army’s RADIAC Centre that radioactive Iodine 131 was
found in high
levels in Queensland cow’s milk after French nuclear detonations.)
May 22
Source A Australian protest Ketch Warana sails for the Pacific.
May 31
Source A US Senate votes to cut off funds for the bombing of Cambodia.
June 22
Source A International Court of Justice orders France to stop nuclear tests in Pacific
after Australian representations.
June 28
Source A New Zealand Frigate HMNZS Otago sails to protest against French nuclear
tests.
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July 10
Source A French government orders its navy to clear HMNZS Otago and other protest
vessels from nuclear test area in South Pacific.
July 22
Source A French test another H bomb near Mururoa Atoll. HMNZS was only 22 miles
from the blast, which was set off at an altitude of 2,000 feet. An American warship,
Corpus Christi, was nearby. The Otago, under orders from the New Zealand
government, defied French instructions and harassment by French aircraft, and
remained in the area.
July 31
Source A Prime Minister Gough Whitlam tells US leaders his government is not hostile
to US but stresses that Australia is not a US satellite.
Nov
Source O
Capt Smiley and WO Officer Peacock show film to Army RADIAC staff of military
personnel decontaminating RAAF planes after they had flown through Maralinga
atomic cloud. Staff verbally warned not to conduct their activities in same manner as
personnel on film. If they did, severe radiation induced injury and illness would result.
Source O
4 Base Workshop RAEME RADIAC Calibration handbook, including “Effects of
Radiation”, part 10 , “Background Radiation”, part 11, and “Effects of Radiation”,
addendum, completed. Text based on several sources, including English translations
from the Russian language. Text, for use by Australian military, gives threshold dose
for leukaemia as being “not resolved. ..the threshold for leukaemia, if it exists,
probably lies somewhere between zero and 460 rad. The notes give a summary of
delayed effects of radiation as: Shortened life span. Increased incidence of leukaemia.
Cancer. Cataract. Genetic damage. Despite this knowledge, the Australian
government in 1994 is attempting to impose a six year statute of limitations on claims
against it for radiation induced illness.
1974
TOP OF PAGE
November 24
Source A USSR and USA agree on limiting nuclear arms.
Source A This year it became clear that genetic engineering would soon be a reality.
1976
August 30
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Source A New Zealand is embroiled in a bitter row over the USS Truxtun, which is
nuclear powered. Dock workers walked off the job when the vessel docked. It is the
first visit by nuclear vessel since Prime minister Muldoon reversed the ban on such
vessels imposed by the previous government.
September 9
Source A Chairman Mao dies.
October 28
Source A Uranium mining has given a conditional go ahead to Uranium mining in
Australia.
November
Source A An exiled Soviet scientist claims hundreds died in an atomic waste explosion
in the USSR in 1958.
November 17
Source A China explodes its most powerful H bomb to date.
November 24
Source A 6,000 die in Turkish earthquake.
1977
TOP OF PAGE
Source A 10,000 people lay in Melbourne street to simulate a nuclear disaster.
1978
April 7
Source A President Carter postpones production of the Neutron bomb.
April 25
Source A Moscow says it will join the US in deferring production of the Neutron bomb.
May 26
Source A Canada tells UN it will end its nuclear weapons capability.
October 1
Source A Soviet Foreign Minister and US President Carter met to discuss strategic
arms limitations.
1979
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TOP OF PAGE
March 31
Source A Atomic leak crisis in US. An explosive bubble of hydrogen inside the crippled
nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island is posing the threat of an explosion. A cooling
system fault caused the problem.
June 18
Source A US And USSR sign SALT treaty limiting nuclear weapons.
Source A The estate of nuclear worker Karen Silkwood wins 10.5 million dollar
settlement for the (*deliberate) nuclear contamination she suffered in 1974. (*She died
when her car was run off the road while she was conveying documents to Union
officials which showed unsafe practices at the Kerr-McGee fuel processing plant
where she worked. It later transpired that a
school canteen near the plant had also been contaminated.)
July 20
Source A Sandinistas victorious in Nicaragua. Somoza claims he was ousted by a
Communist Conspiracy.
August 15
Source A An Adelaide report says it will be 50 years before Maralinga atomic test site
is safe. (*This is wildly optimistic and fails to take into account the Plutonium dust in
the area. The UK lied to Australia about this.)
1980
TOP OF PAGE
May 3
Source A Several Aborigines died after a “rolling black mist” descended on their camp
in the wake of one of Britain’s 1953 atom bomb tests in South Australia, witnesses
have claimed. A team of the Aboriginal Health Service will soon visit Wallatinna, about
170 kms north of the Emu Field test site. Aborigines say many of their number went
blind, some permanently, developed rashes and were racked by fits of vomiting and
diarrhoea when the mist descended.
June
Source A Soviet troops are to be withdrawn from Afghanistan.
June 12
Source A Ten million face famine in East Africa.
June 17
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Source A Nuclear Cruise missiles to be based in UK.
1981
TOP OF PAGE
January 7
Source A France becomes sixth country to sign a nuclear safeguard agreement with
Australia.
March
Source K “Australian” newspaper publishes story on the very high death and disease
rate among atomic test veterans, forcing Fraser government to undertake health
study. In 1979, a bus load of school children, the article reports, stayed overnight in a
contaminated area of the atomic test sight called Emu Field. It is not fenced or
marked, though it is contaminated.
June
Source F Widow of deceased exserviceman wins appeal for War pension, backdated.
Her deceased husband served in Hiroshima, Japan in 1947, and died of lung cancer
circa 1981. The review Tribunal stated: “Incapacity from carcinoma of lung with
lobectomy accepted under Section 101 of the Repatriation Act 1920 as being related
to war service with effect on and from 20.5.1981.” (*One has to ask how many people
have died from cancers caused by the UK, US and French nuclear tests in Australia
and Oceania)
1983
TOP OF PAGE
March 10
Source A Unemployment in Australia reaches 10.7%, the highest since the
depression.
March 23
Source A US President Reagan proposes “Star Wars” missile defence system, using
beam weapons in space to destroy incoming nuclear missiles.
June 8
Source A Hawke says Uranium sales to France might be banned unless France
makes concessions on nuclear tests in the Pacific.
June 24
Source A Space Shuttle “Challenger” blows up after launch.
July 14
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Source A First suspected case of AIDS contracted in Australia is notified by a hospital.
1984
TOP OF PAGE
April 27
Source A In Adelaide, a former RAF technician says there were three unpublicised
atomic tests at Maralinga in 1963, killing Aborigines and deforming fauna.
May 3
Source A UK government confirms that it held secret nuclear tests at Maralinga in
1963.
June 22
Source A A Soviet weapons stockpile blows up, causing a massive explosion detected
by US spy satellites. Western intelligence agencies thought it was a nuclear explosion.
An unknown number of Russians died. It occurred near Murmansk.
October 3
Source D The Advertiser reports that human screams were heard from a bunker
sandbagged shut. The screams came after the detonation of a UK atom bomb on
October 4 1956 at Maralinga. The bunker was 500 metres from ground zero.
Australian Servicemen heard the screams. Also reported was the submission by
Aboriginals that death and illness following the tests caused massive social upheaval.
In relation to the Monte Bello tests, a naval exserviceman stated that crew were
exposed to fallout and detonation areas wearing only shorts in 1952. His crew had
been told to shut their eyes and turn away when the 1952 bomb went off. A Geiger
counter on the HMAS Hawkesbury, also in the detonation area, “never stopped going
off and its red light never stopped flashing” after the detonation.
Source D The Australian of 3.10.84 reported on “ignorance, negligence and secrecy at
UK nuclear tests, with widespread exposure to radiation by service personnel and
civilians. Inadequate safety, poor monitoring, lack of protective clothing, and failure to
monitor the health of those protected were noted by the Royal Commission.
Aborigines had continued to move through the test zone during the tests. Monitoring of
contamination was inadequate. Men were permitted to keep radioactive souvenirs.
Australian Army Engineers had recovered contaminated equipment without protection
and without training.
Source D The Courier Mail reported that no warning had been given to sailors
subjected to the Monte Bello blasts. No training was given in the danger of radiation.
1985
TOP OF PAGE
January 4
Source A In London, the Australian Royal Commission on British atomic tests hears
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that Menzies said “What the bloody hell is going on, the cloud is drifting over the
mainland”.
January 25
Source A New Zealand stands firm on reimposed nuclear ship ban.
January 31
Source A Finish divers retrieve a stray Soviet missile from lake.
February 1
Source A 13 nations and the UN World Banks set up fund for Africa.
February 4
Source A New Zealand declines request from US nuclear vessel to visit NZ.
February 9
Source A New Zealand excluded from ANZUS.
February 17
Source A General Westmoreland withdraws a $120 million libel suit against CBS,
which had accused him of lying about troop statistics in Vietnam.
February 20
Source A Thatcher tells US Congress she supports “Stars Wars”.
March 1
Source A Pentagon accepts “Nuclear winter” theory postulated by US and Soviet
scientists.
March 11
Source A Mikhail Gorbachev attains supreme power in Soviet Union.
April 7
Source A Gorbachev announces a ten month freeze in deployment of medium range
missiles.
April 24
Source A Congress rejects President Reagan’s request for funds
for Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
April 28
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Source A Australian Nuclear Disarmament Party spilts.
June
Source D RAAF records show 1,173 RAAF personnel involved in British Atomic tests.
Records confirm aircraft contaminated by Plutonium. All staff handling aircraft in any
way could become affected by radiological hazard.
July 11
Source A France blows up Greenpeace protest vessel “Rainbow Warrior”, killing one.
August 1
Source A US votes to impose sanctions on South Africa.
August 23
Source A The head of West German counter-intelligence was an East German spy.
August 27
Source A Relations between New Zealand and France deteriorate over bombing of
Rainbow Warrior.
November 19
Source A Reagan and Gorbachev open talks.
November 21
Source A Two French agents plead guilty to bombing Rainbow Warrior.
December
Source D1
Atomic Ex-Servicemen publish classified British report on steps taken to overcome
particulate radiation contamination of naval vessels. Report based on experience and
implies RAN personnel lived in contaminated environs and were subject to both
internal and external radiological hazards for long periods of time.
Source D1
Atomic Ex-Servicemen publish extract from McClelland Royal Commission detailing
testimony of Mr Neville O’Brien, present at the Monte Bello atomic tests of the 1950s.
He stated that there was no radiological safety training, that he experienced flash
burns, was not issued with protective measures prior to atomic blasts and was wearing
only shorts at the time of the blast.
Clothing worn during the tests and during the voyage was taken from the crew and
jettisoned into the sea immediately prior to docking.
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Source D1
Atomic Ex-Servicemen publish classified UK document which lists aims of atomic tests
in Australia. Among these aims: to acquire data on Beta radiation burn hazard on
troops from direct fallout, and the extent to which gamma radiation scintillates into slit
trenches.
Source D1
Dr Keith Lokan tells Royal Commission plutonium contamination at Maralinga will last
longer than 24,000 years because: “24,000 is what is needed to the quantity of
radioactivity to one half and another 24,000 years to reduce it to one quarter and so
on.” Internal hazard of plutonium ingested by man and animals is not mentioned in this
extract.
Source D1
The Royal Commission finds that radiological protection of personnel was inadequate.
Many people were likely to have been exposed to harmful radiation or to have come
into contact with radioactive substances. There was lax application of precautions.
There was lax record keeping. There was lax monitoring. Many have died from
illnesses which are radiation induced. Scientific reports written by test scientists are
misleading and prejudiced. The reports deserve the strongest censure. The
Department of Health report of 1983 contained inherent limitations and mathematical
errors. The UK and Australian governments were unable to produce proper records of
dose, exposure, and work and proper medical records. Compensation should be paid
and the Report concludes than as the tests were aimed at producing a war fighting
technology, atomic test veterans should be treated as closely as possible to returned
service personnel. Further the Royal Commission found: “There was a hierarchy set
up by the security system and the military ranks at the time which led to an elitism
isolating upper ranking military and scientists from actual activities of the participants.
The need to know principle divided the elect from the masses and has often become
ingrained to the point of instinct. There has also been shown a latter day scientific
detachment and contempt of what some scientists regard as ignorant and strident
lament daring to comment on matter proper only for specialist examination. These
matters have underlain the evidence of some witnesses.
Service personnel and their families have been given incorrect information or denied
their records. Scientific knowledge at the time was sufficient to give warning of the
hazards service personnel and civilians were exposed to during the Australian tests.
Low level radiation hazards is an ongoing debate and its parameters are given in the
Greenpeace submission RC 471.
December 5
Source A Australian Royal Commission on British atomic tests condemns Britain for
breaching safety standards and recommends it pay compensation.
December 10
Source A Nobel prize goes to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear
War.
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1986
TOP OF PAGE
April 30
Source A Soviet Nuclear Reactor on Fire at Chernobyl. It could be the world’s worst
nuclear disaster. The USSR took four days to admit to the event. The top of the
reactor was blown off when the core overheated. Russian reactors are constructed
from graphite, which acts as the moderating material. It is highly combustible. A river,
the air and soil have been contaminated. The Russians have asked for help. The long
term effect of the fallout over Europe will be increased cancers.
May 14
Source A Fear of melt down at Chernobyl.
June
Source E Atomic ExServicemens Association takes common law action. The Royal
Commission’s findings listed lack of knowledge, lack of Australian scientific
involvement in the detonation of atomic devices over mainland Australia, knowledge
that weather over Monte Bello would be unfavourable to safe detonations, long term
consequences of Plutonium contamination ignored, Prof Titterton had conflicting roles:
Political and Safety, he concealed information from Australian government, genetic
effects of radiation were considered unimportant. There were serious departures from
radiological safety procedures.
Protection measures were inadequate. Diagnosis of low level, but health significant
exposures are unmeasurable. Heritable diseases and cancers caused by radiation
exposure cannot be identified separately. Fallout was deposited across Australia, and
it is probable that cancers and other effects have increased Australia wide. All nuclear
ex-servicemen have increased risk of cancer. Fallout from the Totem 1 blast on
inhabited areas was high and did exceed the limits proposed in Report A32. It was
negligent to allow aircrew to fly through the Totem 1 mushroom cloud without
instruction or protection. No proper decontamination system for aircraft existed at
Woomera before Totem 1. Tank crews in a contaminated Centurion tank for the
journey to Emu Field to Puckapunyal were exposed to radiation hazard. UK AWTSC
gave seriously misleading advice re safety of firing G2 and were irresponsible.
Fallout exceeded levels agreed on and Aboriginal people were known to be living in
high fallout areas. Maralinga Village was contaminated. Radiological records are
considered inaccurate and incomplete. Titterton withheld information regarding the
existence of Cobalt 60 contamination.
Maralinga is a radiological hazard and must be cleaned up.
Source E Dr Rosalie Bertell condemns Aust Government safety study of veterans as
inadequate.
Source E 29 RAN were exposed to radiological contamination as a result of the UK
atomic tests held on Monte Bello Islands. Some vessels entered contaminated areas
repeatedly. Most recent date given as 1984.
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1987
TOP OF PAGE
May
Source E1
Atomic ExServicemens Association investigate Dr Linus Pauling’s claims of increased
leukaemia’s and digestive system cancers due to UK atomic testing. Over the years, it
must be noted, the survival times of leukaemia victims have been increased due to
better treatments. The investigation revealed the following table, sourced from the
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Report Number No. 3308-0 for the period 1968 to
1978.
Leukaemia Deaths, Digestive organs cancer deaths
Dr Lines Pauling’s insight has proved to be correct. See entry for May 1957.
November 18
Source A US Congressional report on the Iran-Contra affair lays the blame for
corruption and deceit on President Reagan.
December 8
Year
Leukaemia Deaths
Digestive System Cancer
Deaths
68 714 5,788
69 683 5,897
70 722 6,018
71 796 6,467
72 774 6,167
73 777 6,319
74 796 6,467
75 746 6,623
76 819 6,789
77 821 6,791
78 824 6,977
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Source A Reagan and Gorbachev sign the first ever treaty to cut nuclear arsenals.
1,752 Soviet and 859 US missiles with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles will be
dismantled.
1988
TOP OF PAGE
Source F1
US Government compensates Radiation exposed veterans – Public law 100-321 (HR
1811) May 20 1988:
Presumption of liability written into US law for the following cancers: Leukaemia,
thyroid, breast, pharynx, esophageus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, multiple
myeloma, lymphomas, bile ducts, gall bladder, liver. Liability to pay compensate
invoked by illness in veterans who participated in atmospheric atomic detonations, or
who occupied Hiroshima and Nagasaki or who were POWs in radiation affected areas
of Japan.
President Reagan issues statement on May 20 1988 which says:
“The Act gives due recognition for the unusual service rendered by Americans who
participated in the military activities involving exposure to radiation generated by the
detonation of atomic explosives. The Nation is grateful for their special service, and
enactment of HR 111 makes clear the Nation’s continuing concern for their welfare.”
The Australian government responded with silence, and Prime Minister Bob Hawke
called Australian nuclear veterans “subversives”.
June
Source E1
Six RAN ship’s captains of vessels involved in Hiroshima and Monte Bello committed
suicides.
Low level radiation exposure produces nervous system disorders and brain changes.
After HMAS Macquarie’s duties at Monte Bello in 1952, over 100 seamen received 3
months detention. Archive records show a senior officer was involved in brutal
bashings on the ship and the crew were ordered to drink only seawater.
1989
TOP OF PAGE
Source F HTLV-1 discovered in 1988 by Latrobe University. Virus active in Aboriginal
groups who live in areas of North-West and Central Australia heavily contaminated by
Plutonium from the 12 UK atomic tests. The virus is also common in Japan. Australian
Atomic Ex-servicemen have been asked to cease donating blood. Cattle are also
dying from a similar virus in areas of Queensland heavily contaminated.
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Source F1 Widow of Ex-Serivceman granted war widow’s pension because his service
in Hiroshima resulted in:
a) The effects of radiation b) Infection by the virus HLTV-1, identified in the Hiroshima
area, caused in the veteran an immuno-suppressed state which: activated Epstein-
Barr Virus, dormant in his system, in which circumstance: are associated with the
development of Hodgkin’s Disease, or: some other as yet undescribed virus, which:
caused the veteran’s Hodgkin’s disease, from which he died. Repat notes, edited,
V86/3077.
Source F Press report: atomic ex-servicemen die from cancer at five times the rate of
non exposed people of their same age. Normally there is a 20 percent death rate in
the age group. In one group, there is a 20 percent survival rate. One ship, HMAS
Macquarie, present at Monte Bello, only 20 former crew out of the original 150 survive.
Source F A 52 page booklet is required to list all the Australian atomic ex-servicemen
who have died.
1990
TOP OF PAGE
Source G Circa 1990 press report from Japan – The Nagasaki Peace Institute will offer
its expertise to Australian Atomic ExServicemen in campaigning for aid from the
Australian government.
January 23
Source B GEC says it will buy Ferranti Defence Systems for $310 million.
January 24
Source B Soviet navy opens fire on Azerbaijani ships blockading Baku.
January 27
Source B In Yugoslavia at least 10 Albanians are killed fighting security forces in
Orahovac and Pec.
January 28
Source B Romanian revolution underway.
January 29
Source B US to reduce military personnel in UK by 2,650.
February 1
Source B Federal troops and tanks sent into Kosovo to put down ethnic clashes.
Source B Bulgarian Communist leaders quit.
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February 7
Source B Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party backs end to its 72 years
monopoly on rule.
February 9
Source B US and USSR agree to destroy a large part of their chemical weapons
stockpile.
February 10
UK to keep its nuclear arsenal as protection against hostile nations in Middle East.
February 11
Source B Nelson Mandela freed in South Africa.
February 13
Source B NATO and Warsaw Pact agree to troop cuts in Europe.
February 20
Source B USSR allows republics to break away after referendums.
February 21
Source B Leukaemia threat haunts nuclear workers: Male workers at Britain’s nuclear
plants may be advised not have children. A firm link between exposure of fathers who
work at the Sellafield nuclear plant and leukaemia in their children has been
established.
February 27
Source B Exxon Corp indicted to face charges over 1989 Alaskan oil spill.
March 11
Source B Lithuania declares independence from USSR.
March 13
Source B
US Economic sanctions against Nicaragua are lifted.
March 30
Source B Soviet Troops take over Lithuania’s publishing house.
Source B Omar Latif, an Iraqi, is accused of trying to smuggle nuclear triggers to Iraq,
and is deported.
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April 11
Source B Iraqi Supergun parts intercepted.
April 13
Source B Designer of Iraqi Supergun, Dr Gerald Bull is murdered.
Source B Bush and Thatcher hold talks on Europe’s future in Barbados.
April 19
Source B Ceasefire declared in Nicaragua.
April 25
Source B UK is found guilty of breaching EC Human Rights rules in regard to a secret
MI5 operation against civil liberty and nuclear protesters. The operation against socalled
“subserves” started in the 1970s.
April 27
Source B Long term effects of Chernobyl disaster documented. About 300 people in
the affected area have died of radiation related illness. There has been a large rise
childhood Thyroid cancer. The affected republics are seeking billions of Roubles to
clean up radioactive contamination, which was blown over a far wider area than first
admitted. 200,000 people need to be immediately evacuated. The disaster occurred
four years ago Protesters in affected areas took to the streets, carrying banners. One
read “I want to live”.
April 28
Source B The 12 EC leaders agree to seek political union of Europe. May 16
Source B Global warming agreement signed at UNCED conference in Bergen,
Norway.
May 24
Source B USSR holds first anti-nuclear congress.
UK scientist warns Ozone layer over Europe is depleted.
May 30
Source B Russian Republic votes Yeltsin in as President.
June 3
Source B US-Soviet nuclear arms reduction agreement signed, hailing “new era”
between the two nations.
June 18
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Source B UK announces 600 million pound defence cuts.
June 20
Source B John Major calls for single European Currency.
June 24
UK’s Sizewell B nuclear power station rises to 2.6 billion pounds.
June 30
Source B Single currency implemented for both East and West Germany.
July 3
Source B Hero of Chernobyl dies of Leukaemia in US. Anatoli Grishchenko piloted a
helicopter over the reactor in 1986, dumping sand and concrete over the burning core.
He died today aged 53.
July 9
Source B A 15 mile stretch of beach is declared unsafe after contamination caused by
the 1983 Sellafield nuclear leak washes ashore.
July 13
Source B Yeltsin looses Presidential elections to Gorbachev.
July 16
Source B Ukraine becomes a sovereign state.
July 23
Source B British Nuclear Fuel is fined 1,000 pounds for breaching safety regulations.
July 26
Source B Thatcher denounces plans for a single European currency and a Central
European Bank.
August 2
Source B Iraqi forces seize control of Kuwait.
August 5
Thatcher wants a European “Magna Carta” to protect European Human Rights. She
argued for a stronger United Nations.
August 8
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Source B Iraq defies UN and stays in Kuwait.
September 9
Source B Superpowers show unity Kuwait during a summit in Helsinki.
September 12
Source B
The Second World War was laid to rest in Moscow today as the four allied powers
signed the treaty which hands back full sovereignty to Germany, which will soon be reunited.
October 8
Source B UK joins the European Monetary System [EMS].
Source G The “News” newspaper, Adelaide 15.10.1990: Fallout worse than feared – A
shock report has found levels of radioactive fallout at Maralinga in SA are higher than
previously known and may cost $300million to decontaminate. 100 square km of the
3000 square km restricted area at Maralinga is May 26 contaminated with Plutonium.
COLD WAR ENDS
TOP OF PAGE
November 19
Source B The Cold War officially ended when 22 heads of state agreed to start
dismantling Europe’s massive armouries.
November 27
John Major replaces Margaret Thatcher as UK Prime Minister.
November 30
Source B UN backs use of force to free Kuwait.
December 1
Source B Food rationing starts in Leningrad.
December 12
Source B US sends food aid to Soviet Union in attempt to prevent famine.
December 13
Source B UN launches appeal as threat of famine in Sudan and Ethiopia looms.
1991
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TOP OF PAGE
ERA OF GEORGE BUSH’S “NEW WORLD ORDER”
January 17
Source C Operation Desert Storm launches Gulf War.
February 5
Source C US to close Holy Loch nuclear sub base.
March 7
Source F “Father” of British A bomb dies.
Lord Penney dies at age 81
He directed the tests of the new plutonium device in the Monte Bello Islands, off
Western Australia. In 1953 after a second series of tests in South Australia UK was
acknowledged as the fourth nuclear power.
He was deeply distressed when 30 years later the Australian Royal Commission into
his tests found Aboriginals might (*were) have been harmed.
He agreed he had devised a way of misleading Australian scientists about the
radiation levels in nuclear dust clouds. He made valuable contributions to the
development of the atomic bomb.
In later life he campaigned for a complete ban on nuclear weapons testing.
April 18
Source C UK confirms that new bunkers to be built at US bases in UK will be for
nuclear weapons.
May 30
Source C Ethiopia forms new non-Communist government.
June
Source G Royal Commission Document R49.001 documents Sir Ernest Marsden’s
view of the health effects radioactive wheat from Western Australia on its consumers:
High incidence of leukaemia. High levels of haemophilia reported around Perth WA.
High levels of soil radioactivity in Niue Island New Zealand. Some WA wheat was 27
time more Alpha radioactive than wheat from other sources.
Source G Widow’s pension granted to widow of exserviceman who died of cancer. He
had visited Hiroshima, Japan in 1952 enroute to the Korean War. He was one of
thousands of Australian soldiers who camped 60 km from Hiroshima. His cancer was
diagnosed in 1980, 25 years after his discharge from the Army.
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Source G It is documented that Centurion tank Mk5/1 No 169000, used at Maralinga,
was sent to Vietnam and used in action after storage at Puckapunyal. This tank is
contaminated and presented all who had contact with it with a radiological hazard.
June 4
Source C 37 percent of population in Malawi infected with AIDS.
Source C Albanian Communist government collapses.
June 5
Source C Soviet Union pleads for economic aid “with no strings”
July 4
Source C Britons are evacuated from Yugoslavia.
July 6
Source C BCCI bank forced to close due to massive fraud.
August 1
Source C After nine years of talks, USA and USSR signed a new START agreement
to cut strategic weapons by a third.
August 19
Source C Gorbachev toppled by coup
August 21
Source C Coup collapses
August 27
Source C Moscow says that Soviet nuclear weapons will remain under central control.
October 4
Source C UN says Iraq was 18 months from producing nuclear bomb.
November 28
Source C UN backs peace keeping force for Yugoslavia.
November 29
Source C Soviet Union virtually bankrupt and the State Bank faces collapse.
1992 March
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TOP OF PAGE
Source H Aust Government writes off millions of dollars worth of contaminated aircraft.
Source H US government grant its atomic ex-servicemen automatic pension rights on
diagnosis of 15 types of cancers including cancer of the salivary gland and cancer of
the urinary tract, including kidneys and bladder. (*To this day, the Australian
government does not recognise these diseases in Maralinga and Monte Bello
veterans, even though, for example, cancer of the salivary was extremely common in
livestock after the UK atomic tests).
Source H It is revealed that in 1957 the Australian Radiation Laboratory and Federal
Health Department surveyed the presence of Strontium 90 in bone tissues of
Australians. This was as a result of the 1957 fallout clouds drifting over Australian
cities. As a result, the government mutilated dead bodies to remove bones from
deceased babies and some adults for tests.
Permission from parents was not sought. 27 hospitals were involved in the secret
operation.
Source M KOL ISRAEL, 1.30PM 5.8.92 11.588MHZ Tape 34/92
Iran denies that it is building nuclear weapons. The Iranian Ambassador to the UN
says all of his country’s nuclear technology is for peaceful purposes. He added that
Iran’s nuclear facilities are open for inspection by the International Atomic Energy
Agency.
It has been reported in Los Angeles that Iran, Syria and Libya are using equipment
and know how supplied to them by Western companies, to develop Nuclear, Chemical
and Biological weapons in addition to ballistic missiles. The report said Iran might be
capable of producing nuclear weapons within five years.
The US Pentagon denies a Congressional report that it planned on training Iraqi
military personnel just 3 months before Iraq invaded Kuwait. The Pentagon says there
was some discussion on military exchanges but no decisions were taken. A leading
Congressman on the Foreign Affairs committee, Sam Denison [phonetic], said the
Department of Defence tried to arrange a training program with Iraq three months
before the invasion. The proposal called for training Iraqi soldiers in electronic
countermeasures, aerial reconnaissance and field operations. The Defence
Department spokesman said the report was a low level one and never approved by
the US government. “It was in the US interests to try to pursue military to military
exchanges with Iraq to try to get the government of Iraq to improve relationships,
which is an important nation in the Middle East, to try to steer that nation’s military in
the right direction”:
Pentagon spokesman. The origins of the plans remain murky, it is unclear whether the
White House, State Department or Pentagon first proposed to try to improve military
relations with Iraq. A move which was AFTER Iraq used chemical weapons, and
AFTER a threat to “burn down half of Israel”.
Source M RADIO DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 3.00PM 5.8.92 21.700MHZ
tape 34/92
The first Russian to head a weapons inspection team in Iraq arrived in Bahrain
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yesterday, saying his group had a wide ranging mission. His team includes Americans,
British, French, Germans and Australians, as well as other Russians. It will spend ten
days in Iraq. The team was going to carry out several inspections with only short
advance notice to the Iraqi authorities and would be a test of the Iraqi pledges of
better cooperation.
Source M RADIO MOSCOW WORLD SERVICE 1.30PM 8.8.92 21.690MHZ tape
34/92
The Geneva Conference on Disarmament has agreed on the phrasing of an
International Convention on Chemical Weapons. The discussion took a total of 24
years. On the 26th of this month, the Chemical Weapons Committee is due to meet
again to endorse the final draft. After this, it will be presented to the United Nations
General Assembly.
The Russian Health Agency has advised citizens against picking up, buying and
eating mushrooms. It has advised in the strongest terms to exclude mushrooms from
children’s diet.
Recently hundreds of people in Russia and Ukraine, were reported to have poisoned
themselves with mushrooms. A few dozen, including children, died. Experts feel the
formerly edible mushrooms have started producing toxic agents, owing to overall
pollution of the environment.
Source M RADIO DUBAI UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 3.00PM 20.8.92 21.700MHZ
tape 38/92
At a luncheon yesterday, Major Karen Jansen of the US Army Chemical Corp [on
secondment to the UN] told reporters that UN inspectors still have incomplete
knowledge of Iraq’s major weapons programs. The gaps, though important, are not
huge. Jansen led the UN inspection team that was locked in a 3 week dispute over the
inspection of the Iraqi Agriculture Ministry last month. She said the Commission is still
missing data on the suppliers of materials used in Iraq’s Chemical, Biological, Nuclear
and long range ballistic missile programs.
Source M
VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, 10.35PM 30.8.92 15.155MHZ tape 42/92
South Korea is reportedly considering dropping a demand that North Korea open its
military bases to nuclear inspections, to help revive talks on improving North – South
relations. South Korea may offer the compromise to help resolve the crucial nuclear
issue with North Korea. North Korea denies it is on the verge of producing a nuclear
weapon, and says inspections already conducted by the International Atomic Energy
Agency are sufficient.
The US Defence Department is reportedly seeking defence force personnel cuts
which could free as much as 80 million dollars in military spending by 1997. The New
York Times is reporting that the force reductions would be below the minimum level
the Bush Administration has said would be acceptable. The Defence Department is
planning the personnel cuts because it expects military spending will be lowered in the
years ahead.
Source M KOL ISRAEL, THE VOICE OF ISRAEL, JERUSALEM. 1.30PM 31.8.92
11.588MHZ tape 42/92
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The Israeli Prime Minister said the collapse of the Soviet empire, the Gulf War, and
the emasculation of the Former Soviet Union had opened a window of opportunity, but
it might remain open for only 3 to 5 years. Israel’s most implacable enemies, Syria’s
President Assad, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Yasser Arafat, no longer enjoy the Soviet
military Umbrella. Adjusting to the new reality, Israel was trying to find out whether
Syria had changed its attitude to Israel or only toward the United States. The Prime
Minister also said that the pace of the arms race in the Middle East was so rapid, that
in a few years the opportunity for peace could be lost, due to the build up of missiles
with non conventional warheads [i.e. NBC missiles].
Source M RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL 11.30PM 7.9.92 tape 45/92
The Bombay Atomic energy plant has been leaking radioactivity, possibly for several
years. There was evidence that the leakage had taken place for a number of years,
due to lapse in nuclear safety procedures.
The South Korean President is to make a visit to China at the end of September for
talks with his Chinese counterpart. The visit marks the end of 4 decades of Cold War
hostilities.
The Israeli Prime Minister is facing his first challenge over his plans to grant self rule
to the occupied territories. The Israeli Finance Minister said aid to the occupied
territory will be cut by 830 million doll ars in 1993. A member of the Ultra orthodox
Jewish Party said he will leave the government if Rabin gives in over the territories at
the Middle East Peace talks in Washington, due to restart next week.
Source M VOICE OF AMERICA 9.30PM 11.9.92 6110MHZ Tape 46/92
China has agreed to provide Iran with a nuclear power station, despite US fears that it
could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction. Iran said the 300 mega watt
plant is for peaceful purposes, and will be open to inspection. Earlier this week Russia
said it would sell Iran at least two 430 mega watt nuclear plants.
Source M CHANNEL 9 TV ADELAIDE S. AUSTRALIA, 9.00AM 20.9.92 tape 50/92
Reports of a new balancing act in the Middle East, with Israeli Intelligence claiming
that China, Argentina and Pakistan are supplying nuclear components to Iran. Israeli
Intelligence: “they are going nuclear, they are going chemical weapons, and they are
going in the direction of biological weapons.” Although Tehran’s moves were aimed at
countering Iraqi aggression, Iran could also use the weapons against Israel.
Source M RADIO MOSCOW 7.30PM 17.11.92 21.690MHZ tape 60/92
Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin, has arrived on a visit to the Republic of Korea. He
and the Korean President will discuss a wide range of questions including the situation
in the world and North East Asia, also Bi-lateral relations, primarily those in the
economic field. A number of documents are to be signed, among them a Treaty on the
principles of relations between the two countries.
America’s Department of State has said it has no proof that Iran is buying nuclear
weapons in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Source M BBC 10.30PM 14.12.92 9.740MHZ tape 68/92
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The United States and Russia have said they have made progress on a new treaty to
reduce their strategic nuclear weapons, but unresolved problems mean it is still not
certain they can conclude the treaty as the Americans want, before President Bush
leaves office next month. The Russian Foreign Minister said after talks with the
American Secretary of State Mr Eagleburger, in Stockholm yesterday, that he believed
that an agreement is possible before Mr Bush steps down. But Mr Eagleburger said
they were not there yet. The BBC State Department correspondent said the main
stumbling block appears to be whether the Russians will have to destroy their multihead
missile silos, which they would like to use for single war-head missiles. The
proposed Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as START 2, aims to reduce
intercontinental nuclear weapons further than was agreed in earlier missile reduction
talks.
Opening the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Stockholm, the
Swedish Prime Minister said that Europe was at an important point of transition, and if
the CSCE could not act over the former Yugoslavia, it could not hope to address the
various conflicts facing it. The CSCE, which links the United States and Canada with
the countries of Western Europe and the former Soviet Bloc, more than 50 nations,
will be considering how to assist United Nations peace keeping operations in Bosnia. It
will also evaluate conflicts in the former Soviet Union, and review its future role.
December
Source I There is documentary evidence of tens of thousands of veterans’ cancer
deaths and illness from exposure to harmful radiation and fallout. The Australian
people must be made aware of this.
Of the approx 45,000 Australian Service personnel who served in radiation affected
areas of Japan for the period ending 30.6.1951, only 18,000 survive.
Of the 30,000 Australian UK atomic test veterans, only 5,000 veterans, all with
illnesses, could be traced via electoral records.
Source I Cattle infected with a disease similar to AIDS were killed for human
consumption at Rockhampton. (An area heavily affected by UK test fallout including
plutonium) (*This area was also affected by the French atmospheric testing) The
slaughter is being investigated by State and Federal departments of Primary Industry.
A mob of 90 cattle had been slaughter and only 4 had passed inspection. CSIRO said
it was unbelievable such a high incidence of cancer could occur. Rockhampton
Community Health medical officer, Dr Ken Burns said it was hard to say if the cattle
virus was related to the high Emerald Leukaemia incidence.
On 10.3.89 the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin asked on its front page about the beef-
AIDS link and censured the Minister for panning the problem.
Source M BBC 11.30PM 25.12.92 9.740MHZ tape 70/92
The experts who annually assess the military threat to international stability say this
year, while the risk of global nuclear war may have been greatly reduced, the number
of regional conflicts shows little sign of diminishing. A survey by the authoritative
magazine “Jane’s Defence Weekly” , concludes that the number of possible
“flashpoints”, the places where the threat of war is very real, has actually increased
since 1991. Jane’s identifies over 70 areas of the world where wars or insurrections
are currently taking place, or where potential conflicts or tensions may spill over into
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bloodshed in the next year or so. High on the list are the relatively new wars in Bosnia,
and in the successor states to the former Soviet Union. But more long standing
conflicts, such as those in Afghanistan, Cambodia and in the Middle East, continue to
take a steady toll in lives. The survey says the number of open conflicts have actually
dropped by three, but it highlights 12 new flashpoints which have developed or flared
up since last year. One of the most serious of these it says, is in the Serbian Province
of Kosovo, where any serious outbreak of inter-ethnic violence between Serbs and the
majority Albanians, carries the threat of intervention of neighbouring states. The report
also mentions Kashmir, the subject of a long running territorial dispute between India
and Pakistan. With the growing proliferation of nonconventional weapons, such as
nuclear and chemical arms, the world is living in the most dangerous decade of the
century. The conflicts in Somalia and the former Yugoslavia indicate that International
bodies, such as the United Nations, do not pay enough attention to areas of tension
before they escalate into conflict. The main concern in 1993, the report says, will be
determining whether peace making will replace peace keeping as the primary
International method of resolving disputes, if only to save human lives.
1993
TOP OF PAGE
Source M RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL 12.30AM 3.1.93 17.650MHZ Tape 72 &
73/92
US President George Bush has arrived in Moscow for the signing of the START II
Disarmament Treaty. He will hold talks today with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
START II calls for a reduction of 2/3rds by both country’s nuclear arsenals over the
next ten years. This means that the US and Russia will cut their strategic nuclear
arsenals from the present 10,000 warheads to a maximum of 3,500 for the US and
3,000 for Russia. START II eliminates all land based multiple warhead missiles which
are the core of the Former Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal. However the US will retain
most of the sea based missiles which are a key element in US nuclear firepower.
START II must now be ratified by the US Senate and the Russian Parliament. US
Senate Ratification is expected to be easy, but ratification by the Russian Parliament
is uncertain. Another problem is the implementation by Ukraine of the START I Treaty.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, Ukraine became the world’s third largest nuclear
power with 1,600 warheads. START I called for the destruction of these warheads, but
Ukraine says that the financial aid offered by the US for their destruction is insufficient.
Source M RADIO MOSCOW 2.30PM 3.1.93 21.690MHZ tape 73/92
The American President regards the new [START II] treaty as the most significant one
in the history of humanity. He shares Mr Yeltsin’s notion of new wisdom in the Russian
American partnership and stressed that the President elect Bill Clinton fully supported
the signing of the START II, and would a hundred percent partner in constructing
relations with Russia. Yeltsin is very confident there will be no pause in the Russian-
American dialogue.
The United Nations Secretary General has said that the main task of the United
Nations is to be prepared to provide a worthy solution to the problems of the future
century. A Radio Moscow commentary:
Of course it is impossible to say what the United Nations will be like in the first century
of the 3rd millennium, as it is difficult to forecast its tasks and problems that humanity
may come up against in seven years, including this year of 1993.
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Who could have imagined five years ago the collapse of the Socialist camp and even
the Soviet Union. Probably the zig zags of history may offer small or big surprises. But
one can predict with more or less degree of certainty, that quite a few of the present
problems will assume a more acute form to find a solution in the 21st century.
First, global problems. The United Nations Secretary General places environmental
protection at the fore. It has many aspects. One of them being atmospheric pollution.
A problem that 20 years ago was of little concern, has now turned into a problem of
humanity’s survival. In Germany, only 30% of the trees are healthy, although these are
the main suppliers of oxygen into the atmosphere. There are fewer trees today. They
are felled in large numbers today in South America and in Siberia. German scientists
have proposed to plant forests on millions of hectares in Russia. The rich nations do
not want to pay for the project, and no one of course, will force them to. It is not a
reproach, but the United Nations will have to exert a lot more effort to move the
problem from a standstill.
The North-South problem will seem to aggravate further. Somalia is a graphic
example. We must only welcome the deployment of troops in Somalia to distribute
food among the hungry people. And what will happen when the military leave the
country? Is it only Somalia that needs help? How to protect Africa from the spreading
famine, the continent where the population is growing fast, while agricultural
production is falling. Evidently, the
United Nations which in 1995 will mark its 50th Jubilee, needs to be reorganised, and
its activities must be improved as the problems it faces become more and more acute.
Maybe the organization will remain the last hope of humanity, and it must perform its
mission, relying on the support and trust of all of its members.
For decades the main wish of Radio Moscow listeners has been that of Peace. The
nuclear catastrophe that has threatened humanity has overshadowed everything else.
People of all religious beliefs have prayed for peace to spare the human race from a
nuclear holocaust. The wish for Universal Peace remains important and urgent today,
when we celebrate the start of a new year. It can be regarded as quite symbolic that in
these days of a new year, that the United States and Russia will sign a new and
important treaty known as START II. Despite the anxieties and dangers of the world
today, it is a fact that reason has prevailed over narrow ethnic ambitions and the
ruinous arms race. What the World Community achieved last year, should inspire
hope that current problems will be overcome. There is no doubt that the problems
facing us today, despite their complexity, could be coped with easier compared to
what it has taken to reach amenity over the nuclear danger. There is no doubt that
success was achieved because people acted together. Current problems can hardly
be solved by individual actions. Only by collective actions could our two mighty States
cope with today’s problems, as well as resolve last years issues.
As of January the 1st, the European Community has begun to live in conditions of a
Single Market. This will be marked by the elimination of Customs Services on inner
borders. There will no longer be control over the transportation of goods from one
country to another. The Single Market space of 12 West European countries,
operating according to common laws, promises unprecedented prospects. Favourable
conditions are being created for production growth. Expenditures will be lowered, and
unified standards for products will be introduced. It is believed that all of the 345
million people in the European Community will benefit from such a practice. Only
Customs Officers and smugglers are an exclusion. They are forced to acquire new
professions. Western Europe is beginning to live like a Single Market and has made
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an important step towards integration. It could be regarded as an important
achievement though possibly many would like more.
Source M BBC 9.30PM 3.1.93 9.740MHZ Tape 1/93
President Bush and the Russian leader Mr Boris Yeltsin have signed the START II
Treaty in Moscow. In the speeches that followed President Bush highlighted the
benefits of nuclear cooperation between the two countries and said they could now
employ their collective capabilities to resolve crises around the world.
Bush: “Today the Cold War is over, and for the first time in history an American
President has set foot in a democratic Russia and together we now embark on what
must be the noblest mission of all. To turn an adversarial relationship into one of
friendship and partnership.”
President Yeltsin described the treaty as a significant step towards fulfilling mankind’s
centuries old dream of disarmament. The START II Treaty becomes the core of the
system of global security guarantees.
14,000 missile warheads are to be withdrawn from service under START II. Many will
be dismantled and eliminated altogether by the year 2003, or even earlier if the US
supplies financial assistance for the destruction of former Soviet weapons.
Source M RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL 12.30AM 17.1.93 17.650MHZ tape
2/93
China is upgrading its Soviet designed missiles with secretly obtained US missile
technology. “Aviation Week” also claims Patriot missile technology is being used by
the Chinese in an attempt to design missiles capable of skipping through US defence
systems.
Source M UNITED ARAB EMIRATES RADIO 4.00PM 26.1.93 21.700MHZ Tape 4/93
The American Treasury Secretary Mr Lloyd Benson, stirred up controversy among oil
energy executives when he said that President Clinton may use a broad based energy
tax to reduce the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office said that the fiscal 1993
deficit will reach a record 310 billion Dollars.
Source M BBC WORLD SERVICE 11.30pm 27.1.93 9.740MHZ tape 4/93
Western powers will shortly pay the money they agreed to give Russia, and other
former Republics of the USSR, badly needed financing to help make their crumbling
nuclear power stations safe. In the past month there has been two accidents at the
Chernobyl plant, which so dramatically caught fire and released a plume of radiation
five years ago. The attempt to cope with that still continues. There are Western plans
also for the cleaning up the Urals contaminated by earlier radiation spills. Yet despite
those accidents and public fears of nuclear disaster that they generated, Russia has
launched new plans to build a chain of nuclear power stations. Can they afford to?
And will anyone allow it? On the line now I have nuclear expert John Large. John, first
these various clean up plans. The Russians complain the money for them has been
endlessly delayed. Is that fair?”
John Large: “No money has been forth coming from the West. In fact the assistance
that is coming from the West seems to be directed at the front end of the nuclear
power reactors, and not necessarily at the massive industry that the Soviets built up to
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support their civil and military nuclear programs.”
BBC: “But you can understand that can’t you, if some of these boiling water reactors
or pressurized water reactors are unsafe, might go off the West has an interest.”
Large:” Of course it does, but of course, the problem is two fold. First there is the
nuclear safety of the reactors themselves, and then the tremendous environmental
damage and impact that the supporting nuclear industry has had. The thing here is
whether Russia has the infrastructure to make nuclear plant safe. It’s all very well to
put it in Western type technology, but you need a very well trained workforce, a very
highly organised inspectorate to maintain nuclear safety.”
Source M RADIO MOSCOW 2.30pm 30.1.93 21.690Mhz tape 4/93
The International Atomic Energy Agency has expressed concern over plans to restart
the Armenian nuclear power plant, which was shut down in the wake of a powerful
earthquake four years ago. Armenia is having to re-commission the plant because of
energy shortages caused by the war against neighbouring Azerbaijan. IAE experts say
it will be impossible to maintain the station’s nuclear reactor cooling system and fuel
shortages, which may make a highly dangerous situation.
The leader of the UN weapons inspection team in Iraq has said that Iraq has agreed to
supply a list of foreign suppliers of components and technologies used in the
development of Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons. A few days ago, Iraq supplied
a list of Western suppliers helping to develop its nuclear program.
Source N RADIO MOSCOW 11.30AM 14.5.93 21.690 MHZ tape 19/93
On Friday Russia is withdrawing from combat duty four regiments
of the Strategic Missile Force. Even though the START II Treaty has not been ratified
yet, 10 intercontinental missiles are being removed from their positions.
The US Defence Secretary has announced the end of the Star Wars era. The United
States no longer intends to deploy weapons in space.
June
Source J
New evidence suggests UK deceived Australia in the 1960’s about radioactivity at
Maralinga to avoid paying the cleanup costs. Declassified US documents show the UK
should have known the amount of Plutonium at Maralinga was 10 times greater than it
stated to the Australian Government in 1968. The Federal Government is still pushing
the UK for $101 million to clean up and re-fence the Maralinga area and a further 45
million to compensate Aboriginals who own the 3,000 square kilometre site.
Source K ExServicemens Association print Long term effects of Nuclear explosions
taken from US documents. Listed is the contamination of water supplies, and exposed
personnel would be also exposed to contaminated water supplies, malnutrition and the
risk of infection. Communicable diseases take on immediate importance due to
suppression of the immune system, and the effectiveness of many body mechanisms.
Following exposure psychological effects occur. (*These include antisocial behaviour,
as water in the brain is partially converted into hydrogen peroxide as a result of
ionising radiation.) Long effects include greater risk of cancer, and the knowledge that
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offspring for many generations may suffer genetic effects. This is true of Hiroshima
survivors, who show a marked increase in chromosome damage.
Source K Maralinga Rehabilitation project announced. Also includes Emu, 200 kms
from Maralinga.
Source K Ozone depletion and nuclear test link discussed. (*Global 2000 Report to
President Carter had established this in 1970s)
Source N BBC 11.30PM 8.11.93 9.740MHZ
The Russian Defence Minister is in Beijing seeking closer cooperation with the
Chinese. The Russian Newsagency IntaTass quoted the Defence Minister as saying
that he intended signing a military cooperation agreement and arrange closer ties
between the armed forces of the two countries. This is the first such high level military
visitor to China since the collapse of the Soviet Union two years ago.
Russian arms sales to China in 1992 were worth nearly 2,000 million dollars, the
prospects of future exports were good. Russian officials have tried to allay
international concern by stressing they would avoid technology transfer, and would
ensure all the weaponry sold to China would be defensive in nature. But China’s
neighbours in Asia are concerned that by supplying Beijing with sophisticated fighter
planes and surface-to-air missiles, Russia is helping to build the kind of naval and air
force which will make China a military power throughout Asia. These neighbours are
unlikely to be reassured by any new commitment from technology transfer. The
American government says that Moscow’s control of personnel in the defence sector
has slipped and that up to 1,000 Russian scientists, technicians and engineers are
now working in China’s military-industrial-complex, many of them without Moscow’s
approval.
With just over a week before he attends the first Asia-Pacific Summit [APEC] in
Seattle, President Clinton has sent a clear signal to North Korea, which is still refusing
to permit full international inspection of its Nuclear establishments. He was speaking
on the American television program “Meet the Press”:
Clinton: “North Korea cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb. We have to be
very firm about it. This is a very difficult moment in our relationship with them. They
know that any attack on South Korea is an attack on the United States.”
Well Mr Clinton’s warning to North Korea comes after months of tension as North
Korea, long suspected of running a clandestine nuclear weapons program, threatened
to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Washington persuaded it not to, but
from the tone of Mr Clinton’s interview, in the course of which he also said he had
been consulting Japan, South Korea and China, it would appear that Washington’s
talks with North Korea have come to nought.
Source N VOICE OF AMERICA 10.30pm 10.11.93 15.160mhz tape 54/93 tape 54/93
A new study documents the environmental impact of US nuclear weapons tests
conducted back in the 1950s. Scientists say children who grew up near the western
US test ranges have had as adults more tumours of the thyroid gland than their peers,
and some of the tumours are cancerous. The US government carried out more than
100 nuclear weapons explosions above ground in the western US state of Nevada
between 1951 and 1958. The blasts deposited radioactive fallout in Nevada and in the
adjacent state of Utah. Researchers at the University of Utah studied 2,500 adults who
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were school children in the region at the time to determine if the fallout had any lasting
effects. It did. Primarily because the children drank milk from cows that ate exposed
grass. There is a clear association between the amount of exposure a person had to
the radio-iodine in fallout from nuclear weapons testing and the subsequent
vulnerability of developing a thyroid tumour, either a benign one or a malignant one.
The University team estimates in the Journal of the American Medical Association that
there were only 8 more tumours in the study group than would have occurred
naturally, with three of them malignant. Because the study population was small the
chance for statistical error was high. So the number of extra thyroid tumours could
have been as low as one or as many as twelve. The number of cancerous ones could
vary between none and six. Furthermore, children are the most sensitive to radiation
induced thyroid problem, therefore the impact on the area’s population as whole would
have been proportionately smaller. The same group reported that their study of area
residents who died between 1952 and 1981 showed a slight excess of acute
leukaemia or cancers of the bone marrow. Most of the disease showed up in people
under age 20, but again, association for the overall population was weak. The findings
come down in the middle between those who think the nuclear tests caused
widespread illness and death and those who doubt the health risks. Despite the
apparent small health impact of the above ground US nuclear testing, the group
indicates it is of little consolation to those who did get cancer as a result. There were
at least several dozen cases of cancer produced by fallout from nuclear weapons
testing and there possibly could have been a hundred or even a few more than that. It
is an unfortunate legacy.
Source N NORTH KOREA 5.11PM 18.11.93 15.187MHZ tape 56/93
The Republic wants friendly relations between countries on the basis of independence
and equality. Our Republic has various external policies to develop friendly and
cooperative relations with different countries. In cooperation with other Non-Aligned
countries we are actively trying to develop a Non-Aligned Movement in order to build
an independent New World. The Americans seek to develop good relations with Asian
countries.
We are striving to build an independent peaceful and prosperous New Asia and will
strengthen contacts with other Asian countries and develop economic and cultural
exchanges and cooperation. The Democratic Republic of Korea will contribute to
global independence by following through its external policy of independence.
Source N VOICE OF AMERICA 11.30PM 18.12.93 9.760MHZ tape 65/93
Ukraine is continuing to press its demands in talks with Russia and the United States
on compensation for giving up nuclear arms on its territory. Ukraine is also demanding
security guarantees during the week long talks which are continuing in Kiev. Russia
has announced that Ukraine’s stand on the matter will amount to the emergence of a
new nuclear power. Ukraine is one of four republics in the former Soviet Union to
possess nuclear arms.
Source N THE AUSTRALIAN 30.12.93 PAGE 1
US admits up to 800 people underwent radiation experiments
The Untied States Secretary of Energy, Ms Hazel O’Leary, said yesterday 600 to 800
Americans took part in government radiation tests after World War 2 but most had
known what was involved and had given their consent.
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However, appearing on the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour television program, Ms O’Leary
said she was “horrified” that subjects, including some who were mentally retarded, had
been tested without consent or with inadequate consent. In what is becoming a
scandal over US involvement in the experiments conducted during the 1940s and
1950s, authorities yesterday vowed to find surviving subjects of the tests, who were
exposed to potentially harmful levels of radiation. It was also revealed that at the time,
some of the tests were compared to experiments in Nazi concentration camps. On
Sunday, the Boston Globe carried the latest report of such testing – researchers in
Massachusetts fed radioactive milk and cereal to mentally retarded teenagers. The
newspaper said researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology [MIT] fed the milk to at least 49 mentally handicapped teenagers between
1946 and 1956. [* The effects of ingestion of radio-nuclides had been known since
World War I, when instrument dial painters, using Radium paint ingested the
substance and later developed cancer of the mouth, jaw and digestive tract. US
researchers discovered Bremsstrahlung X Ray creation via shielding material only due
to the fact that US scientists fell victim to the effects of radiation unexpectedly. The US
has monitored the radiological health effects on the populations of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki. From the 1940s up to the present time, populations within the former Soviet
Union have been subjected to radiation exposures due to both accidents and
“experiments”.
1994
TOP OF PAGE
Source L Royal Commission document R030.022, Army File number 100-1-10 Atomic
Trials Buffalo Policy, Military Command Adelaide 1956 Australian Services Task
Force, Marling.
This document states “all personnel at Maralinga are considered to be subject to
radiation hazards”
Source L Atomic Ex-Servicemen publish Royal Commission findings: Menzies decided
to make available Australian soil to UK atom bomb tests without reference to his
cabinet. He made decision without reference to scientific knowledge of the hazards
involved. The Australian Government decided to expose people to hazards.
Documents of the time reveal that authorities knew the deliberate exposures were
unethical. (*It is for this reason that successive Australian governments have refused
to release full details and acknowledge the reality of people’s suffering). AEA editorial
note: governments continue to block investigation into the deaths of test participants,
Aborigines, and the general public from cancer related to the UK atomic tests.
Source L AEA issue warning on the proper disposal of out of date smoke detectors.
The radio-isotope used in these devices is Americium, which is more water soluble
than Plutonium.
22.8.94
Source: Advertiser 22.8.94 Dr Linus Pauling, who won the Nobel Peace Prize and a
Nobel Prize for Chemistry, died at the weekend at his home in California. Dr Pauling,
93, was one of the most revered and ridiculed scientists of this century. The only man
to win two unshared Nobel prizes in different fields and the recipient of dozens of
other honours, Dr Pauling was once ranked by the British journal “New Scientist”
alongside Isaac Newton, Marie Curie and Albert Einstein as among the 20 most
HISTORY Page 66 of 69
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important scientists of all time. His pioneering work in chemistry in the 1920s and 30s
on the structure of molecules established him as a giant of contemporary science.
In the 1950s and 1960s he was at the forefront of a campaign against nuclear tests
and was given some of the credit for the ban on detonating nuclear devices in the
atmosphere.
In 1962 he picketed the White House in an anti-nuclear demonstration and a few
hours later was received there as a guest of President Kennedy.
But he was also the target of derision from colleagues for his tireless promotion of
vitamin C.
In his 1970 book Vitamin C and the Common Cold, he set out his theory that large
doses of the vitamin can help prevent or treat illness.
He later suggested it was beneficial for just about any ailment. But most independent
tests failed to support his claims.
The Australian government is currently attempting to impose a six year statute of
limitations on claims against it for radiation induced illness. See Nov 1973.
Nuclear Test Date and Place
Earthquake Date, Place and Casualties
7/45, New Mexico (Trinity Test)
7/46 Bikini, Pacific (US)
4/48 Marshall Islands (US)
9/49 USSR
5/51 US
10/51 Indian Ocean (UK)
4/52 Nevada
10/52 Monte Bello Is (UK-AUST)
11/52 Pacific (US)
5/53 Nevada
6/53 Nevada 8/53, Ionian Islands, 1000
27/10/53 South Australia
1.3.54 Bikini Is (US) 1.3.54 Adelaide SA 5.4 on Richter Scale 9/54,
Algeria, 1,000
5/56 Monte Bello
5/56 Nevada 12/57, Iran, 2,000
HISTORY Page 67 of 69
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, , ,
2/60 Sahara (France) 3/60, Morocco
12/60 Sahara (France)
10/61 USSR
7/62 Pacific (US) 9/62, Iran, 20,000
12/62 South Australia 7/63, Skopje
5/65 China
7/66 Mururoa (France)
6/67 China
9/68 Mururoa 9/68, Iran, 11,000
6/72 Mururoa 12/72, Managua, 10,000
5/74, China, 20,000
12/74, Pakistan, 4,700
2/76, Guatamala, 12,000
5/76, Italy, 2,000
7/76, Tangshan
11/76, Turkey, 6,000
3/77, Rumania
9/78, Iran
10/80, Algeria, 20,000
11/80, Italy, 3,000
10/83, Turkey, 2,000
9/85, Mexico, 2,000
8/88, India, 500
11/88, China, 1,000
12/88, Armenia, 100,000
1/89, USSR
10/89, San Francisco
12/89 Newcastle
HISTORY Page 68 of 69
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12/89, Newcastle
8/53, Ionian Islands, 1000
9/54, Algeria, 1,000
12/57, Iran, 2,000
3/60, Morocco
9/62, Iran, 20,000
7/63, Skopje
9/68, Iran, 11,000
12/72, Managua, 10,000
5/74, China, 20,000
12/74, Pakistan, 4,700
2/76, Guatamala, 12,000
5/76, Italy, 2,000
7/76, Tangshan
11/76, Turkey, 6,000
3/77, Rumania
9/78, Iran
10/80, Algeria, 20,000
11/80, Italy, 3,000
10/83, Turkey, 2,000
9/85, Mexico, 2,000
8/88, India, 500
11/88, China, 1,000
12/88, Armenia, 100,000
1/89, USSR
10/89, San Francisco
12/89, Newcastle
HISTORY Page 69 of 69
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Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright : October 2001
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgement of sources
This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
Extracts from material supplied by ARPANSA is cited on this CD Rom in order to provide evidence and to enable study of the Australian Government’s current position
on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
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This CD Rom contains images of a Pacific Island child suffering radiation induced
hair loss and Beta Radiation burns to her feet. It also contains images of an
Australian Aboriginal person suffering Beta Radiation burns to her arm and leg.
This CD Rom also contains SA Government measurement data relating to the
Radiological contamination of South Australian drinking water. South Australian
drinking water is perfectly safe to drink and use. Modern radiation detection
equipment is very sensitive. The vast majority of measurements included in the data
from SA water sources are extremely low.
Of interest is the clear increase in measurements as a result of the French
Atmospheric Nuclear Tests in the mid 1970s. Of interest also is the absence of data
from the period of British atmospheric nuclear tests.
Monitoring of South Australian water storages was undertaken during the time of the
nuclear tests. The timing of this monitoring did not allow sufficient time for full
deposition of fallout via drainage and erosion. Monitoring results for the period 1960-
1963 have not been supplied to me.
In any event, we are left to ponder what the readings might have been. From a
Radiological stand point, current South Australian water is of a very high quality.
The water monitoring data is included to inform the reader of our history. The
message is: This is our history, let’s not repeat it and let’s care for our Service
personnel and civilians who were affected.
Core sampling of water storage sediment may enable a reconstruction of the
amounts and type of fallout fission products which concentrated in SA water storages
in the era of nuclear weapons tests in Australia.
The vast bulk of drinking water is now filtered. It is held in storage long enough to
ensure that radioactive isotopes present precipitate out or decay.
In fact, South Australian tap water generally has a lower reading than some bottled
“Spring” waters, especially some imported brands.
Paul Langley
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Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright : October 2001
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgement of sources
This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
Extracts from material supplied by ARPANSA is cited on this CD Rom in order to provide evidence and to enable study of the Australian Government’s current position
on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
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The CD Rom was researched, written and designed by Paul Langley. Produced by
Paul Langley.
All sources of information are noted within the text.
Material provided by the Australian Atomic ExServicemens’ Association has been
used with permission.
Part proceeds from the sale of this CD Rom are donated to the Association’s Fighting
Fund.
Thank you for purchasing this CD Rom.
September 2002
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This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
Extracts from material supplied by ARPANSA is cited on this CD Rom in order to provide evidence and to enable study of the Australian Government’s current position
on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
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Inquiry into the provisions of the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) Bill
2006; and, the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) (Consequential
Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2006
Submissions received by the committee
Sub No.
1 Mr John P (Jack) Lonergan (PDF 98KB)
1A Mr John P (Jack) Lonergan (PDF 39KB)
2 Maj (Ret'd) Alan Batchelor (PDF 77KB)
2A Maj (Ret'd) Alan Batchelor (PDF 1149KB)
3 Australian Nuclear Veterans Association Inc. (PDF 95KB)
4 B.C.O.F. National Research, Commemorative & Welfare Association (A.C.T. Inc.) (PDF 68KB)
5 Australian Student Environment Network (PDF 38KB)
6 Mr George Dale Hess (PDF 17KB)
7 Mr Adam Wolfenden (PDF 13KB)
8 Friends of the Earth, Australia (PDF 74KB)
8A Friends of the Earth, Adelaide (PDF 14KB)
9 Mr Patrick T Byrt (PDF 26KB)
10 Ms Sue Roff (PDF 106KB)
11 Mr Charles Norman Geschke (PDF 478KB)
12 Mr Paul Langley (PDF 1465KB)
13 Mr Philip Crouch (PDF 54KB)
14 Ms Cate Kyne (PDF 13KB)
15 Pat Mackle (PDF 33KB)
16 Ms Jacqui Caldwell (PDF 15KB)
17 Mr Luke Digance (PDF 13KB)
18 National Servicemen's Association of Australia (PDF 17KB)
19 Mr Reuben E Lette (PDF 16KB)
20 Regular Defence Force Welfare Association Inc. (PDF 40KB)
21 Centre for Sustained Arid Towns (PDF 13KB)
22 Mr Ian Batchelor (PDF 42KB)
23 Ms Bettina Quatacker (PDF 19KB)
24 Mr Adam Breasley (PDF 21KB)
25 Chris White (PDF 44KB)
26 Injured Service Persons Association (Peacetime Injuries) (PDF 62KB)
27 RLS National Headquarters (PDF 26KB)
28 Ms Ann Munslow-Davies (PDF 283KB)
29 Australian Veterans and Defence Services Council Incorporated "AVADSC" (PDF 39KB)
30 Department of Veterans' Affairs (PDF 162KB)
31 Ms Michele Madigan (PDF 574KB)
32 Climate Change Action Group (PDF 15KB)
Parliament of Australia:Senate:Committees:Foreign Affairs, Defen… http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/fadt_ctte/nuclear_tests_bi&#8230;
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33 Assoc Prof Tilman A Ruff, University of Melbourne (PDF 100KB)
34 Submission withheld
35 Mr Mathew Douglas Wright (PDF 153KB)
For further information contact:
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Department of the Senate
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Phone: +61 2 6277 3538
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Dear Mr Langley
Thank you for your email. Your submission has been approved by the
Committee and made public. It is now on the Committee website.
(Submission 12).
Yours sincerely
Kathleen Dermody (Dr)
Secretary
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
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T: 02 6277 3538
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http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/fadt_ctte/nuclea…missions
/sublist.htm
1
Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade
Inquiry into the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests
(Treatment) Bill 2006
Email: fadt.sen@aph.gov.au ]fadt.sen@aph.gov.au
Dear Sir or Madam,
A Submission to the Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence
And Trade Inquiry into the Australian Participants in British Nuclear
Tests (Treatment) Bill 2006. By Paul Langley,
Port Willunga SA 5173, former Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical
Engineers (RAEME) Storeman Technical Clerk Radiological Safety NCO,
4 Base Workshop RAEME Bandiana Vic, Radiac Centre, 1971-1973. Army
Number 45942. Exposed to Ionising Radiation in the course of duties.
NB: PART 1 OF 3
The “Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Debates HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES Official Hansard, TUESDAY, 10 AUGUST 1999, THIRTYNINTH
PARLIAMENT FIRST SESSION—FOURTH PERIOD
BY AUTHORITY OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CANBERRA”
records the following statements and promises to include Indigenous Australians
in the Health Survey:
“Kaldor, Professor John: Expert Report
(Question No. 764)
Mr Laurie Ferguson asked the Minister
Assisting the Minister for Defence, upon
notice, on 22 June 1999:
Has he received an expert report by Professor
John Kaldor reviewing the methodology used by
the Scotland-based Australian researcher Sue
Rabbitt Roff on the health of British and New
Zealand nuclear veterans and their families; if so,
(a) on what date, (b) has Ms Rabbitt Roff been
provided with a copy and given a chance to
respond; if not, why not, (c) what was the cost of
the report, (d) are copies available to the public; if
not, why not, and (e) has he accepted Professor
Kaldor’s recommendations; if so, will he provide
details of further action to be taken to address the
situation of Australian military and civilian personnel
2
who participated in British nuclear tests in
Australia.
Mr Bruce Scott—The answer to the honourable
member’s question is as follows:
Yes.
(a) Thursday 15 July 1999.
(b) Professor Kaldor had discussions with Ms
Rabbitt Roff during the preparation of his report.
A copy of his report will be provided to Ms Rabbitt
Roff. She may choose to comment.
(c) Professor Kaldor is still to submit his account.
(d) Yes.
(e) I have announced the compilation of a
nominal roll of ex-service personnel involved in the
testing and also civilians, aborigines and pastoralists,
for whom information is available. This
nominal roll will be used to conduct mortality and
cancer incidence studies of Australians involved in
the UK nuclear tests. This will enable the Government
to determine if current compensation and
assessment arrangements are sufficient.” End quote. Emphasis added.
The failure of the Australian Government to include Aborigines and pastoralists in
the survey as promised is a glaring omission and when questioned the Minister
responsible provided the following information in an email response to me:
“The Hon Bruce Billson MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence
Federal Member for Dunkley
Mr Paul Langley
paulieremylangley@ yahoo .com.au
Dear Mr Langley
Thank you for your emails of 2,9 and 10 March 2006 concerning the Australian
Participants in the British Nuclear Test Programme – Cancer Incidence and
Mortality Study.
The Federal Government recognises the concerns of Australian Defence Force
participants in the UK atomic test program, particularly those who witnessed the
explosions at Monte Bello Islands, Emu Field and Maralinga between 1952 and
1957.
My Department and the Department of Defence have taken the lead on a study
into the death rate and incidence of cancer in former participants of the British
3
Atomic Testing, called the Australian Participants in the British Nuclear Test
Programme – Cancer Incidence and Mortality Study. The study has involved staff
from a number of other Departments, and independent experts have
conducted analyses of the data collected.
The study has also involved close consultation with a Consultative Forum
comprising representatives of the veteran community, including atomic test
participants. An independent Scientific Advisory Committee, and a Dosimetry
Subcommittee and Exposure Panel have advised on technical aspects of the
study.
This study is now approaching completion, and will produce two reports on the
areas of Dosimetry and Mortality and Cancer Incidence. Final clearance for the
study reports has been obtained from the study's Scientific Advisory Committee.
As such, the reports will soon be presented to the Government, which will
consider its response to the study.
While the Australian Government recognises the effect of the atomic tests on
Indigenous Australians, having extended compensation eligibility to them under
the Compensation (Commonwealth Government Employees) Act 1971,
Indigenous Australians have not been included in the current study.
Indigenous Australians were excluded from the study because there is no
available list of Indigenous Australians who were present in the areas of
the tests at the time. In the 1950s and 1960s the indigenous population was
not counted in the census and there were no records kept of Indigenous
Australians who lived in the test areas.
However, I assure you that all reasonable steps were taken to include in the
study all relevant aspects of Indigenous people's experience of the atomic tests.
Thank you for taking the time to write to me with your concerns.
Yours sincerely
Signed Billson MP Minister for Veterans Affairs
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6277 7820 Fax: (02) 6273 4140
b.billson.mp@aph.gov.au”
End quote
The assertion that “Indigenous Australians were excluded from the study
because there is no available list of Indigenous people who were present in the
areas of tests at the time” is open to critical questioning.
4
Firstly there is a wealth of published material dealing with Indigenous Australian
individuals and groups affected by the testing of atomic weapons in Australia. A
partial list includes the “McClelland Royal Commission”, Commonwealth of
Australia, (short title), which records testimony of affected people and provides
maps of fallout over Indigenous living space. “I’m the One that Know this Country
. The Story of Jessie Lennon and Coober Pedy” by Jessie Lennon, Compiled by
Michele Madigan, ISBN 0 85575 351 X, Aboriginal Studies Press for AIATSIS,
the writings of and about Yami Lester –
http://www.aboriginaleducation.sa.edu.au/pages/Learners/Yami_Lester/ ,
Yami’s book, ISBN 1 86465 025 Yami: The autobiography of Yami Lester.
The publications in the form of Video, internet and a book of the Irati Wanti
Campaign, eg http://www.iratiwanti.org/home.php3.
Press reports such as The Adelaide Advertiser of Monday May 12 1980,
front page, “A – Test Mist “may” have killed 50” by Robert Ball and Peter
de Jonno, citing Dr T. M. Cutter.
State and Federal Hansard records such as:
I020 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD REPRESENTATIVES
20 MARCH 1980 Mr UREN (Reid) (12.35) – Health inquiry(Question No. 921 )
Mr Uren
Question No. 3515 Mr Uren Health of Australia's nuclear veterans
Question No. 2746 Health of US Servicemen
2186 SENATE 14 MAY 1980 QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE MARALINGA
ATOMIC TESTS Senator ELSTOB – inquiry into deaths of Aboriginals
2288 SENATE 15 MAY 1980 MARALINGA NUCLEAR TESTS MINISTERIAL
STATEMENT Senator CARRICK (New South Wales – Minister for National
Development and Energy) – by leave – Inquiry into deaths of Aboriginals
Senator CAVANAGH (South Australia) ( 12. 56pm)- Cancer etc among victims of
tests, the Marston report, Rocky Flats, USA experience
2480 REPRESENTATIVES 30 APRIL 1980 Emu Atomic Weapons Test Site
{Question No 5895) – IRAC report
2846 REPRESENTATIVES 15 May 1980 NUCLEAR TESTS Mr MacKELLAR
(Warringah – Minister for Health ) – Radiation exposure
3220 REPRESENTATIVES 22 May 1980 ATOMIC WEAPONS TESTS IN
SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Question No 5785) – Health effects and compensation
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 22 MAY 1980 REPRESENTATIVES ABORIGINES
AT MARALINGA : EXPOSURE TO RADIATION (QUESTION NO 5782)
ATOMIC WEAPONS TESTS AT MARALINGA AND EMU (QUESTION NO.
5783) Maralinga workers
OPERATION BRUMBY AT MARALINGA QUESTION NO 5784 – Australian
personnel involved
ABORIGINES AT MARALINGA : EXPOSURE TO RADIATION (QUESTION NO.
5786)Contamination of Aboriginal people at Maralinga.
This list is cursory.
The records of the South Australian Department of Human Services, whose
precursor, the SA Health Commission, received requests for information relating
to Dr Cutter’s knowledge of harm to Indigenous Australians from the A-Tests (as
5
reported by the Advertiser of 12 May 1980) from Federal Senator Chaney (then
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs), these records consist of documents from Sen.
Chaney, operational documents fulfilling the request, and documents of
communication to Sen. Chaney. Federal Hansard fails to record any outcome.
A letter to me from Mr Jim Dadds, FOI Officer, document numbers 99/03212,
00299/0347 which denies me access to these documents. The letter is dated 27
September 1999.
Australian National Archives search keyword “RADIAC” for files relating to the
use of atomic weapon radioactive fallout measuring instruments, their use in the
field and their development and service records,
Email to me from Australian National Archives dated 30/7/02 11:33 am re
Photocopy request for item AWM 207 981/F42/12HQ ANZUK FORCE RADIAC
EQUIPMENT quote “ unfortunately this file does not contain any pages. This file
was received by the War Memorial in this condition. If you have any further
questions please do not hesitate to contact me or (deleted) on (02) 6243 4587,
Thank you (deleted) Research Support Officer Australian War Memorial." End quote
Instructive as how the military / political complex suppresses information.
ARPANSA Records. The hearings in Adelaide regarding the proposed siting of a
National Radioactive Waste Repository adjacent to Coober Pedy. The testimony
of A Test survivors and their kin was recorded by ARPANSA. In the presence of
representatives and members of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of
Australia.
“Through the Smoke”, thesis, University of Melbourne, by Eve Vincent
“Maralinga Chronology The Atomic Weapons Tests in Australia and Their
Radiological Impact” ISBN 0-646-42490-4, ebook, by Paul Langley
State Library of South Australia “The bombs & beyond [electronic resource] : a
display for the SA Museum” / by Paul Langley ; music by David Langley
“Report of the Select Committee Appointed to Inquire into Native Welfare
Conditions in the Laverton – Warburton Area Presented by Mr. W.L. Grayden on
12th December, 1956, First Session of the twenty – Second Parliament” Western
Australia.
Provenance Notes and dialogue by Jack Horner,for the film “Warburton Range
Film 1957” AIATSIS.
Warburton Range Film 1957 by William Grayden with Pastor Doug Nicholls, late
Governor of South Australia. AIATSIS
6
The US Deparment of Energy Human Radiation Experiments Website, ordered
by President Clinton. Search database using the keywords “Emu”, “Totem”,
“Indigneous Australian” all registered dozens of finds. This site has been ordered
shut and truncated by President Bush.
The testimony of USAF B29 bomber aircraft flight crew who chased the clouds
created by the Totem Atomic bombs at Emu Field South Australia 1953.
No attempt has been made to make available the debrief session notes of these
sorties.
"Back to the Blast", Composite Films, 1982.
(This film shows Beta Radiation burns suffered by an Indigenous person.)
I submit the evidence shows that sufficient information exists relating to
Indigenous Australians affected by the Atomic Bombs to enable their inclusion for
consideration in the current matter. Their exclusion is a breach of their rights as
Australians and is a form of defacto apartness enforced by a government in
possession of the facts. Many of these facts are unpalatable and consist of
matters which at the time of the tests related to National Security. This is
because the diet and lifestyle of Indigenous Australians approximated that of
many of the populations of the Soviet Union. In particular the dietary uptake of
Calcium and radio Strontium of Indigenous people compared to White
populations rendered Indigenous populations more vulnerable. Source: Report
on Project Gabriel, US Atomic Commission Division of Biology and Medicine
Washington DC July 1954, author censored, declassified 1987.
No study of the Australian Indigenous diet has ever been undertaken in the
context of Radiological Safety. In contrast, the White Australian diet was studied
from this perspective from 1953 to 1973.
Part 2 of this submission will study this aspect of official ignorance,
Part 3 of this submission will deal with the misdiagnosis of Beta Radiation Burns
(caused by Strontium 89, a high energy Beta emitter of short half life) suffered by
Indigenous Australians and which is of an order of harm many times greater than
that suffered by the Marshallese.
Paul Langley 25/10/06
Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade
Inquiry into the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests
(Treatment) Bill 2006
Email: fadt.sen@aph.gov.au ]fadt.sen@aph.gov.au
Dear Sir or Madam,
NB: PART 2 OF 3
A Submission to the Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence
And Trade Inquiry into the Australian Participants in British Nuclear
Tests (Treatment) Bill 2006. By Paul Langley, Port Willunga SA 5173,
former Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical
Engineers (RAEME) Storeman Technical Clerk Radiological Safety NCO,
4 Base Workshop RAEME Bandiana Vic, Radiac Centre, 1971-1973. Army
Number 45942. Exposed to Ionising Radiation in the course of duties.
“Indigenous Australians were excluded from the study because there is no
available list of Indigenous Australians who were present in the areas of
the tests at the time. In the 1950s and 1960s the indigenous population was
not counted in the census and there were no records kept of Indigenous
Australians who lived in the test areas.” : Billson MP Minister for Veterans
Affairs, email to me, March 2006.
The Minister not only raises the issue of the availability of information relating to
Indigenous people. In addition he raises the concepts being “present in the areas of the
tests” , “time”, and “living in the test areas.”
In order to determine who was present in the test areas, how time impacts upon the
radiological safety of these people and the manner in which they lived, including all
aspects of lifestyle, most importantly infrastructure and diet, we need to define the terms.
Concept One – “Test Area”.
The very first test, Hurricane, produced fallout clouds which traversed the north of
Australia. Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft tracked these clouds to Fiji. (Source:
“The McClelland Royal Commission”)
Is Fiji to be included in the “Test Area”?
The official view seems to be that the test areas relating to the atomic blasts consists only
of those areas officially designated as such and sign posted as such (but only in English)
at the time. This is not the view of many people who were affected by the tests. In fact,
William Grayden MP reported in 1956 that the WA government was considering moving
Indigenous children in the Laverton – Warburton Range area further westward for their
welfare. This would have meant separating the children from their families. It wasn't
undertaken. However, Grayden surmised that the effects fallout (recorded as it was by the
nearby Giles Atomic Test Weather and Fallout monitoring station) upon these children
was one of the motivators behind the consideration of the idea.
The Australian Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee did produce nine fallout maps.
These maps were produced by the 28 monitoring stations laying out strips of sticky paper
in the open. Radioactive fallout landing on the sticky paper was, after a period of
handling, transport and time, measured and the maps produced. These nine maps can be
found within the body of the “McClelland Royal Commission” report.
There are four issues which come out of the production and presentation of these maps.
1. There were 12 atomic bomb tests, not nine, so we are lacking fallout maps for the
Hurricane, Totem 1 and Totem 2 tests. This is a careless oversight given the
controversy which still surrounds the Black Mist Incident. (A controversy which
does not exist in the minds of those who witnessed the deaths and illnesses).
2. The maps clearly show fallout was deposited outside the designated “test areas”.
3. The 1954 “Report on Project Gabriel” by the US Atomic energy Commission
Division of Biology and Medicine Washington DC, states that : “ The objective
of Project Gabriel is to evaluate the radiological hazard from the fallout of debris
from nuclear detonations in warfare. Comparisons have been made between total
debris production and total fallout from test site survey world wide gummed (or
sticky) paper collections. The gummed paper is here assumed to have an accuracy
of 100%, although it is probably less than 50%.” End quote. Australia used the
same fallout method. The maps were produced on the assumption that the
gummed or sticky paper was 100% accurate. In fact, the method under reads by
50%. We need to double the dose. The reason for the inaccuracy is the small size
of the fallout particles rendered the gum or stickiness of the paper inadequate and
the effect of wind, rain and handling, plus the delay in reading the paper (which
involved the time in transporting the paper strips to the Eastern states) meant short
lived isotopes decayed prior to reading. Although this decay could be factored in,
the inadequacy of the retention method (gum) meant the fallout particles fell off.
4. The maps are presented as nine discrete entities, which exist without reference to
each other. From the point of view of the nuclear scientist, this may be OK. From
the point of view of the biologist or medical doctor, it ignores the fact of bio
accumulation. For humans, all exposures to ionizing radiation are additive. This
gives rise to the concept of the Allowable life time dose. So, from the point of
view of people who were subject to fallout from all of the bombs, we can simply
add them up to see those areas of high fallout bioaccumulation and repeated
exposure dose. The easiest way to do this is to print the nine maps onto
transparent sheets and overlay them. The result is as follows:
This map is a contrast map showing areas of repeated dosing of radioactive fallout. It
is not a calibrated map, It does not take into account the effect of decay between
bombings. But neither does the Allowable Lifetime Dose as prescribed by the IAEA.
The biological effect of exposure is permanent and cumulative. The different
approaches to this matter by nuclear scientists and biologists and doctors explains
the unending tension between the nukers and the health professionals.
Importantly, it shows that the effects of the tests ranged far beyond the
designated “test areas”, includes Indigenous land, people, and food and explains at a
glance why Indigenous people were so vulnerable: They ate soley local food, which
had minimal processing such as peeling or washing. Indigenous people had no drains
or laundry facilities so any removed contamination was not moved off site. In fact,
the military’s poison was blown and washed onto Indigenous people. Indigenous
people wore little clothing, none of protective value, didn’t change clothes daily,
couldn’t shower daily and didn’t live and work in hard, sealed buildings.
In contrast Prof Penney’s aluminium caravan at Maralinga was steam cleaned daily
while his personnel largely lived in tents and were sprayed with DDT.
I submit the whole of Australia was part of the test area and scientific studies of the
White Australian diet, from Perth to Cairns, over many decades, bear this out.
Sources which give the results of the radiological monitoring of foodstuffs
comprising the White Australian diet include:
Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee Report Number 2, Strontium 90 and
Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment during 1969 and some results for
1970.
"The Australian Journal of Science, Vol 24, Number 10, April 1962,
"Strontium 90 in the Australian Environment, 1957 to 1960".
Australian Radiation Laboratory Report "Public Health Impact of Fallout from
British Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia, 1952 – 1957" by Keith N. Wise and John R.
Moroney, published by the Department of Health, Housing and Community Services.
But no study of the Indigenous diet was ever carried out by Australian authorities. In
fact the publication “Public Health Impact of Fallout from British Nuclear Weapons
Tests in Australia, 1952-1957”, by Keith N. Wise and John R. Moroney, Australian
Radiatin Laboratory, Commonwealth of Australia, ARL/TR105, ISSN 0157-1400,
May 1992, states the following on page 2 :
“Two population groups are excluded from the (Exposure Dose) calculations. They
are the Aboriginals living away from population centres and the personnel involved
directly in nuclear test activities. Otherwise the total population is represented in the
estimated radiation doses”. End quote.
It is therefore little wonder that the Minister wrote me ““Indigenous Australians
were excluded from the study because there is no available list of
Indigenous Australians who were present in the areas of the tests at the
time. In the 1950s and 1960s the indigenous population was not counted
in the census and there were no records kept of Indigenous Australians
who lived in the test areas.”
He is merely carrying on a tradition of non disclosure commenced in 1952.
What would he find if Indigenous people were included?
The Movement of Calcium and Strontium Across Biological
Membranes” – Proceedings from a Conference held at Cornell
University, Ithaca, New York, May 13-16, 1962, Academic
Press
This important publication examines the means by which Radio Strontium infiltrates
the human body. In this publication Comar writes of the “English Diet” consisting of
calcium enriched food such dairy milk (which by virtue of lactose, enhances calcium
absorption), of the body’s discrimination ratio in favour of Calcium over Strontium
and of the protective effect of the dairy cow’s udder in also favoring calcium over
Strontium.
If one has a diet lower in calcium concentration and devoid of lactose, in an
environment of incoming atomic fallout, one WILL absorb more radio strontium than the
people enjoying a calcium enriched diet.
For example:
These facts show that Indigenous Australians have repeatedly been ignored when
publically released health surveys and radiological safety data have been released.
Unlike the White diet or “English Diet” (as it is officially called in august
publications), the Indigenous Australian diet has never been publically studied from a
radiological safety perspective. In science, that is a call for more research, more
inclusion. In Australian politics, it is the basis for a Minister of the Crown to state to
me: “Indigenous Australians were excluded because there was no available list” or
data. It is time the list and data were either released or created.
No knowing is not a basis for exclusion from study. The converse is true. For every
bomb detonated in the atmosphere during the Cold War, it was the Calcium dilute
diet which caused the greatest bio accumulation of radio Strontium. Australia’s
Indigenous people suffered disproportionately and should not be ignored again.
Part 3, the final part, of my submission follows. Paul Langley 25/10/06
1
Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade
Inquiry into the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests
(Treatment) Bill 2006
Email: fadt.sen@aph.gov.au ]fadt.sen@aph.gov.au
Dear Sir or Madam,
NB: PART 3 OF 3
A Submission to the Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence
And Trade Inquiry into the Australian Participants in British Nuclear
Tests (Treatment) Bill 2006. By Paul Langley, Port Willunga SA 5173,
former Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical
Engineers (RAEME) Storeman Technical Clerk Radiological Safety NCO,
4 Base Workshop RAEME Bandiana Vic, Radiac Centre, 1971-1973. Army
Number 45942. Exposed to Ionising Radiation in the course of duties.
ACTUAL HARMS SUFFERED BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
Much has been made of Project Sunshine and Strontium 90. That Strontium 90 in dairy
milk was the main contributor to the White Australian radiological exposure dose.
But in comparison, those without dairy were worse off:
“The main contributors of Sr90 in the former Soviet diet were cereals and whole
grain (UNSCEAR 1977). Milk and milk products are the major contributors of Sr90
in western countries. Other food products that may contain Sr90 include fruits,
vegetables (carrots, cabbage, potatoes), meat eggs, spices, and seafood.
The National Academy of Sciences, in 1973, stated, in “Radionuclides in Food”, that
“Although Dairy products represented 58 percent of the dietary calcium, they
provide less radiostrontium per gram of calcium than did any of the other items. If
an attempt is made to reduce radiostrontium intake by eliminating milk from the
diet and increasing the vegetable portion to make up the deficit of calcium, the
resulting intake of Sr90 is greater than that from the diet containing the milk
products”. (Source: US Nuclear Information Centre, citing the US National Institute of
Health, 2004)
This understanding is crucial in order to appreciate the predicament of Indigenopus
populations. While we Anglos and Euros complain about the Strontium in the milk of the
era, Indigenous Australians were WORSE OFF BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T TOTE
DAIRY COWS WITH THEM AND GOATS MILK IS FAR WORSE. MISSION
STATIONS PROVIDED GOATS MILK (Sources: Jack Horners notes to the Warburton
2
Range film, 1957, the US DOE HREX site, oral history section. Dr Goldman on the
harms of goats milk).
Additional Sr89 contamination of “close in” Indigneous land in Australia eg Wallatinna,
Mable Creek etc worsens the Indigneous situations compared to urban populations.
There are two types of Radio Strontium created by atomic bombs.
Strontium 89 and Strontium 90. Stontium 89 is a potent emitter of a high energy Beta
radiation. It is short lived. (days). It is produced in much greater quantities (esp in Curies)
than Strontium90 when an atomic bomb is detonated. Strontium 90 is an emitter of soft low
energy Beta radiation. It is long lived. All the Strontium 89 created by the British bombs in Australia
has decayed to stable Zirconium. The Strontium 90 will be around until about 2016.
Project Sunshine studied LONG TERM HAZARDS not short term hazards.
For the people alive at the time of the tests, it was the IMMEDIATE HAZARDS which
produced immediate health effects. These have never been publically studied, as the
immediate hazards are TACTICALLY SIGNIFICANT and hence are militarily
important. Strontium 89 will knock out troops. Strontium 90 is far less likely to on its
own. The following chart gives a clue via the delivered dose:
3
US map (US DOE) showing the proportions of isotopes in fallout. Compare Strontium 89
to Strontium 90. Note: Atmospheric testing ceased in 1963.
The situation was worse for Indigenous people. They not only got the fallout in their food,
they got in on their skin and hair.
4
The SA Museum will confirm photos of an Indigenous lady who, as a young girl, went to
sleep on the ground after witnessing a Totem atomic blast. The photos, taken
by Michele Madigan, show the lady’s breast and areas of her arm are depigmented. The
photos were taken in the 90s. The lady woke up the day after the bomb detonation with
her breast and arm turned white. This is Beta Radiation Burn. Also known as Local
radiation injury. The IAEA has a set procedure for diagnosis and treatment, and the
information sheets include photos. From the damage to skin, an exposure dose can be
calculated.
Jessie Lennon in her book “I’m the one that Know this Country” writes about the
appearance of the Black Mist. She states: “ It started to look hazy… Smoke and bluish
smoke ."
Jessie noted two types of smoke present in the Black Mist, and it is a common
observation amongst Indigenous people who witnessed the Black Mist.
Turning again to the US “Report on Project Gabriel” we find on pages 4 and 5 the
concept of Fractionalisation. The various components created by the atomic blast as
gaseous and molten material condense out and form solids at differing rates. It doesn’t all
solidify at once. And so the smoke formed by the differing condensed particles is of at
least two types.
This is confirmed by observations made during the US Operation Sandstone:
3351_ — OPERATION SANDSTONE RADIATION INJURIES ( ENCL: EXHIBITS
A – P, RE SAME, DTD 5/17 – 8/17/48 ) 03/31/2006 10:20 AM
http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/lanl/doe_marshall_isl/3351_.html Page 1 of
2
OPERATION SANDSTONE RADIATION INJURIES ( ENCL: EXHIBITS
A – P, RE SAME,
DTD 5/17 – 8/17/48 )
Local PDF: 3351_.pdf
Remote PDF: http://worf.eh.doe.gov/data/ihp2/3351_.pdf
Author: CLARK J C
Document Date: 07/27/48
Pages: 0048
Document Number: 0403351
Document Type: RT
Location: ENEWETAK ATOLL, PACIFIC PROVING GROUNDS,
MARSHALL ISLANDS
Subject Area: MEDICAL MATTERS
Kijiner Code:
Keywords: GAMMA RADIATION, ZEBRA EVENT, RADIOLOGICAL
PERSONNEL, RADIATION
MONITORING, RECOMMENDATIONS, PHOTOGRAPHIC FILM
DOSEMETERS, MEDICAL
SURVEILLANCE, RADIATION DOSES, PERSONNEL DOSIMETRY,
SANDSTONE OPERATION,
5
PROCEDURES, BETA LESIONS, PROTECTIVE CLOTHING, YOKE
Original Doc Number:
Source Agency: LASL
http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/ doe/lanl/doe_marshall_isl/3351_.html – 2k –
US military personnel suffer Beta Radiation burns and observe two types of
fractionalized condensate from a nuclear blast. They are rushed to Los Alamos
hospital for specialized treatment and are banned from contact with ionizing
radiation for the rest of their careers.
This is in remarkable agreement with Jessie Lennon’s observations. She lost
family members, a baby and a son. The hospital refused to give a cause of
death.
Early this year, Michele Madigan interviewed another Indigenous lady who
witnessed the Black Mist. The lady experienced skin burns which did not heal.
Later these skin burns were diagnosed as psoriasis. Her son suffers in the same
way (he witnessed the blast and black mist also). They have been given powerful
and toxic medicine, the son has to bath regularly in a tar based treatment.
This is a common story. Skin conditions diagnosed as anything but Beta
Radiation Burns, even though the circumstances in which they arose indicate
radiation may be a cause.
As the IAEA states, “Radiation must be considered”.
One would not expect an untrained person, out to gather opals and rabbits as
one able to concoct a story about fallout smoke which includes an observation
consistent with Fractionalisation. But a scholarly article written by a former
Maralinga Range Safety Officer casts doubts upon the Indigenous experience of
the bombs. And that is handy for the government. That author fails to consider
just how in conformity with trained observation the Indigenous witnesses were at
the time. They saw a fractionalized set of atomic fallout clouds at ground level,
the same clouds both the USAF and the RAAF admit to loosing track of.
In any event the only difference between Jessie’s experience and the US
Operation Sandstone military Beta burn victims is the trip to Los Alamos Hospital
and the complete lack of radiological health after care. Instead Indigenous people
received and receive denial and exclusion.
What should have happened to the victims of the Black Mist and other victims
suffering Beta radiation burns from the use of atomic bombs in Australia is
contained in the IAEA publication “Diagnosis and Treatment of Local Radiation
Injuries, Module XIII”. This is available at :
www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/eprmedt/Day_3/Day_3-10.pps
6
In considering a new radiological health survey of the USA, in 2003 the American
CDC stated the following : “Although a large number of summary reports related
to nuclear weapons fallout have been published, many of the primary
documents upon which these summary reports are based will be lost
forever if they are not protected soon.” And: “ The Need for Original Data:
In over ten years of dose reconstructions the Centre for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) has always tried to locate and use original data….If
there is ever going to be a study of the health effects of all nuclear
weapons tests using original data the information collection phase must be
done soon.” (App D 1, “Report on the Feasibility of a study of the Health
Consequences to the American Population from Nuclear Weapons Tests
conducted by the United States AND OTHER NATIONS”)
Its about time Australia started cooperating with the United States of
America in its search for original data.
Every Indigenous Australian who suffered Beta radiation burns from atomic
fallout bears a biometric dose rate marker of immeasurable value and
knowledge potential on their skin.
Dose rates need not be reconstructed but observed.
Such observations will contradict official dose rate estimates.
Affected Indigenous Australians are passing away and they are an immense
loss to the nation and the world, as unique people and as people who bear
witness to the truth of events in both their souls and their bodies.
What is the Australian Government waiting for? We cant have an accurate
history taught to future generations if the original data isn’t gathered. The truth
should be gathered and presented in the open, not buried.
Paul Langley 25/10/06
Final

The Maralinga Chronology 2

October 16, 2011

Partial

Background – The Atomic Ex-Servicemenís Association
Together with the older members of the Atomic Ex-Servicemenís Association, we do
at least know what to ask for on our regular rounds of letter writing and archive
searching. Lots of information has gone “missing” from government information and
book depositories, usually just prior to the Association finding its location or prior to
the expiration of secrecy time limits.
Many Association members and their families have spent the years since the period
1952-1963 looking for answers to the suffering and premature death visited upon
them. It is now 1996 and more than forty years since the British and Australian
governments nuked Australians at Monte Bello Island, Western Australia. In a search
for answers and justice lasting this long, for the sake of sane persistence, one must
have a sense of humour. It also helps to know that for centuries, the ignorant have
claimed the aware to be crazy. It is routine for atomic test, decontamination and
monitoring personnel to be so labelled as soon as we open our mouths on the
subject.
Younger people qualifying to join the Association are urged to do so, for it is up to us
to persist with the vision held by the dwindling numbers of original veterans and seek
their goals with them and for them. If you as a serving or former member of the
Armed Services, or as a civilian government employee, were exposed to ionising
radiation in the course of your duties (eg monitoring contaminated areas while on
service with either Australian Forces or Joint Defence Facilities, handled calibration
check sources, repaired radioactive equipment or served in armoured vehicles in
Australia or Vietnam where those vehicles had previously seen service at Maralinga
(eg Centurion tank # 169041, Centurion tank Mark 5/1 #169000 on service with A and
B squadrons, 1 Armoured Regiment, Puckapunyal & Vietnam, and dozens of other
vehicles – etc), please join the Association.
As you will come to realise, every person in Australia living since 1952, is at least
entitled to consider themselves associated in the Anglophile proxy nuclear war held
on Australian soil.
BETA1 Beta Radioactivity in SA water 1965-1979
BETA2 Beta Radioactivity in SA water 1980-1995
ALPHA Alpha Radioactivity in SA water 1980-1995
OLSEN2 Letter from Mr John Olsen
SAWATER2 Letter from SA Water Corp confirming earlier results are not
available in SA
MAP Map showing fallout path after a Maralinga atomic test
Introduction CONTENTS
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The ones least considered and those who suffered the most of course, were not even
citizens of this country at the time. Many, many Aboriginal people died, suffered
illness, and were dispossessed. At least one family died on being forced to walk from
Maralinga to West Australia. They literally obeyed the order to “go straight to WA, and
not to leave the track”. There was of course, insufficient food and water to be found in
the immediate vicinity of the track leading west, and the two little ones with their
parents collapsed and died before reaching their goal.
The compassion of the UK and Australian governments at the time can be gauged by
the fact that a vast army of 2 (two) rangers were appointed to ensure that the
Maralinga range, some hundreds of square miles in area were clear of Aboriginal
families. 1
Although one family was found sleeping in a bomb crater mere weeks after the
detonation and one charred body found at another location, the number of A bomb
deaths suffered by Aboriginals throughout Australia will never be known. 2
The only time the government of the day showed any concern for the safety and
welfare of Australians was the day upon which a radioactive fallout cloud, generated
by an A bomb blast at Maralinga, arrived aver Canberra and remained there for a
short period. Prime Minister Menzies is quoted as demanding “What the bloody hell is
happening”. Perhaps Bob was worried that Parliament might not be able to raise a
quorum in the following weeks. The Australian National University told the press that
the dust cloud was perfectly safe, although the fact that the cloud was a nuclear
debris cloud was not disclosed. I do not know if any journalist present at the
pronouncement had the presence of mind to ask why the ANU felt it necessary to
make public announcements regarding what was being presented as a typical dust
storm. Australia has many dust storms.
It is a dry and empty land, an ideal place to play about with the building blocks of
matter. The wind, desert storms and miles of emptiness would keep the mess left in
the play pen out of public view. Anyone who knew and talked would be forever after
presented as ignorant, mentally ill, or the victim of drug or alcohol induced delusions.3
Out of the 40 million dollars recently paid to Australia by the UK, expressly for
compensation to those affected, only 6 million dollars has so far been paid to victims
and the remnants of a community.4
Monte Bello veterans are expressly excluded from consideration under the terms of
payment conditions specified by the UK and Australian governments. So far, no
atomic test veteran has received payment from the this pool of money. Some of the
money has been used to compensate survivors of the Voyager Disaster. There is no
doubt that the payments are valid. The source of the funding, reducing the available
pool for the express purpose for which it was created is a matter of concern for
afflicted A bomb veterans and families 5
The Government contends that the money was paid for no specific reason by the UK
to Australia.
The Ones Least Considered CONTENTS
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Australian water storage facilities generally hold water which has fallen over large
catchment areas. The dry, unstable and in many places, damaged soil is highly
mobile and is moved over vast areas by wind and water. Any additional condiments,
such as radioactive isotopes, resident in the dusty interior, may very well be washed
toward and into drinking water catchments.
It is now admitted that the UK government lied to Australia. 18 Kg of Plutonium dust is
missing from Maralinga. Experts assure us that it is, by now, so finely spread that it
poses no risk to life. 6
The worst thing one can do to Australian desert soil is to plough it. At the end of the
British atomic tests at Maralinga the most contaminated soil was ploughed. This
lowered the radiation count as measured by instruments at the time. It was an action
which ensured that over the course of the following years, the dust was more mobile
and the soil more fragile than had the poison been properly removed or indeed, had
nothing at all had been done.
The veterans of the British bomb tests, knowing with a growing certainty over the
years (they were told little at the time, were lied to and learnt the hard way – by
watching their mates die of new viral illnesses and unusual illnesses, by watching
many of their children suffer genetic illness, and by conversing with veterans from
other countries), that they had ingested radioactive elements, became interested in
preventing any further damage to themselves, their families and their future
generations. 7
It is generally agreed by medical experts that “we are what we eat and drink”.
To this end it is important for atomic test veterans to know what additional radioactive
body burden eating and drinking is imposing upon them. Hence the Association has
for many years asked State and Federal governments for the results of the monitoring
of the Australian water supply
Presumably to avoid panic, compo payouts, embarrassing the Poms or so as not to
encourage the Kremlin, all requests for the information were refused. For more than
forty years British scientific naivetÈ, obstruction and lies have held sway over
Australian scientific and political thought. For the last 25 years, and in particular since
the end of the Cold World War (where the opponents dropped bombs on their own
poorer quarters or shot up subsidence farmers in South America, South East Asia,
the Middle East etc. usually via proxy) m 1989, Australian Atomic bomb blast veterans
have been denied dose rate information which is of importance to their health, well
being, peace of mind and empowerment as a socially isolated minority group in
Australia. (The first effect of exposure to ionising Radiation is social isolation.)
For the rest of us, the disclosure of information relating to the radioactivity of drinking
water may well be of academic interest only. 8 While the figures are not cause for
panic, they are cause for concern and a reappraisal of history in my opinion. If 320
Dust, wind, rain and reservoirs CONTENTS
Trying to gauge the facts CONTENTS
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million people in the European Union can be told that certain European rivers and
lakes produce fish containing fifty times the allowable limit of Strontium 90 without
rioting in the streets (although thereíd be nothing new about that), then the figures you
are about to read should, as a proud Aussie, cause you to do no more than to reach
for another tinnie while you read.
The units of measures quoted in the figures are very small. They reveal peaks when
Fallout from the French atmospheric tests landed in South Australia. They reveal
recent peaks which suggest that the dust from the British tests hasnít yet settled. The
figures are not large. They are significant enough at times to be of concern to
veterans who ingested Plutonium, Cobalt 90, Strontium etc at Maralinga, Monte Bello
and other places. Had governments of the day said to these veterans “Look, the
measurement in water is above background at the moment, make sure its filtered and
hereís a gadget to test your rain water tank with”, veterans would have wept with
gratitude.
No such luck though.. There hasnít been a mass migration of atomic veterans to
Easter Island or Tibet. I guess most would rather live to be fifty or sixty in Australia
than to live to 70 or 80 anywhere else. The tragic thing is of course so many didnít live
past their 30s or 40s. 9
The figures which show above background level radiation in SA water are cause for
concern in one area at least. Domestic rain water tanks which predate the end of UK
bomb tests in Australia should, in my opinion, have been deemed unsafe by
governments from 1969. For example, on one day in the mid fifties, Adelaide received
a dose rate in fallout of 900 times normal background.10
The fallout lands on the roof, is washed into the rain water tank and is concentrated
there. Over the following years, the radioactive heavy elements sit in the silt and
sludge in the bottom of the tank, and thus presents an ongoing and growing radiation
ingestion hazard to the house hold user. When these rain water tanks are discarded
or are left to corrode and fall to bits, the concentrated fallout material is re-released
into the environment.
Mr John Scott, a Labour Party MP in the 1980s, spoke out on this issue until his
retirement from politics. His views and knowledge were not acted upon. To do so
would be to admit to the original impact of the UK atomic tests in Australia. 1l The
Menzies government, at British insistence, banned Sir Mark Oliphant from having
anything to do with the British tests in Australia. Such was the paranoia and fear of
competent observation and independent research data.12
Failing to heed reality has been a hallmark of Australian governments. Since the first
A bomb was exploded off West Australia, this skill has been honed and refined to the
level of high art.
During this Royal Commission, brought about by atomic bomb veterans risking years
Rain Water Tanks CONTENTS
The Royal Commission into the UK A bomb tests in Australia
(The McClelland Royal Commission) CONTENTS
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in prison by disclosing knowledge, the British and Australian government appointed
experts to present the government point of view. On the Australian government team
were people who had acted on behalf of the British during the tests and who had
served on safety committees, formed at the time of the tests to gather, consider and
control information, with a view to ensuring that the Australian public saw itself as
being safe during the time the 12 British nuclear weapons were dropped upon our
country. The safety committees were highly competent at what they did. l3 These
people maintained a high position in scientific circles for many years and their
opinions had to be regarded by their peers. It would have been culturally
inappropriate to do otherwise.
Jill Fitch was a Commissioner of the Royal Commission and a co-author of the
Mclelland Royal Commission Report l4
In late 1994, at the request of the Australian Atomic ExServicemens Association, I
started my research into the monitoring of SA water by writing to Dr Andrew Langley
at the SA Health Commission (absolutely no relation to me, I picked him to start with
because he is known in the community due to his role in monitoring hazardous
waste). On 3.2.95 I received a reply from the SA Health Commission.
The reply was written by the Director of the Radiation Protection Branch of the SA
Health Commission; Ms Jill Fitch.
Ms Fitch advised that there werenít enough “resources” in the SA Health Commission
to search the records to “obtain the detailed information that you request.” A
computer scan of Ms Fitchís letter to me is included on page 9. Her decision, honestly
based on the facts, didnít please us.
The present Liberal SA State government did, as promised prior to their election, sell
major components of the previous E&WS department to a private body, known as SA
Water. The successful tendering companies are French and British based
multinationals.
There was a large amount of public concern at the change. but the people spoke at
the ballot box and it wasnít the sort of thing a government could sort of half do. Mr
Brown, the then Premier, and Mr Olsen, the then Infrastructure Minister, couldnít sort
of “almost sell” SA Water and sort of have a private mob “almost” doing their
contracted work. (Although, given the difficulties imposed at some facilities driven by
profit making imperatives, one could reasonably think that the privatisation is almost a
success).
Needless to say, when the veterans association learnt that French and British
companies had won the contact to operate SA Water Corp, we became extremely
concerned.
I rang up Mr Olsenís office. I asked how could Mr Olsen justify handing over the
Back to the Future CONTENTS
Privatisation of SA Water Results in Publication of previously
defacto secret data CONTENTS
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radiological monitoring history data to the French and British, together with the
responsibility for future monitoring when Australians had for years been denied the
same information?
I was asked what I was got to do about it. Well, I replied there wasnít much I could do,
but there was a fair amount that Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, UK, and USA
atomic veterans groups could. (This network of veterans had their first meeting in
Alberta, Canada, in June l995. Not a squeak about it the Adelaide press, though the
Advertiser was told).
I followed up with a letter to Mr. Olsen, in which I volunteered to dig around in the
State Archives myself, seeing as the Health Commission was so short of resources.
I received a pleasant letter from Mr Olsen who basically said, OK, its not a problem,
the information will be coming from SA Water Corp as soon as they can do it. They
didnít need me to ferret around in the records room after all.
SA Water Corp sent me the test result data for the period 1966 to 1995 for all SA
water storages and major supply pipelines on 16.2.1996. It took them a few days to
provide at a time of great upheaval. Atomic Veterans had been asking for over 40
years for the same data. Releasing the truth in 1996 will not help the Soviet Union.
The Cold War is over . The data raises many questions in my mind, there is plenty left
to do. It has been suggested to me that the data may have been rigged or tampered
with. Thinking about it, I reject that idea. If the data is false, why would it have not
been released earlier?
Regardless of the conclusions one reaches after obtaining official versions of events,
members of the Atomic Ex-Servicemen’s Association remain curious about
information which suggests that a SA government report dating from the 1970s,
classified secret, exists. This report is said to document radiological monitoring of SA
water which resulted in readings of 1,600 picocuries/litre during the 70s. I have been
unsuccessful in proving the existence of this report. I am not a professional
researcher.
I would recommend that everyone with a rain water tank which has been in use prior
to the end of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons to either have it removed and
replaced or to have its sediment tested by a competent authority. The Radiation
Protection Unit of the SA Health Commission may be able to refer you on to
someone.
The data supplied by SA Water been entered into a Microsoft Excel version 5
spreadsheet from which the following graphs have been produced. Monitoring
occurred at different storage sites at differing times. A zero reading includes “none
detected” as well as “test not performed”. For the Alpha radiation readings, the
smallest test result is given as <10 millibecquerels/litre. Due to the demands of the
software used, these readings are shown as 10 millibecquerels/litre.
The original SA Water radiological monitoring data sheets, sent to me under the cover
The Data as Presented Here CONTENTS
Provenance CONTENTS
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of SA Water Corpís letter reference MFI 100876, SA Water 10713/96 is held by the
Legal Deposit Unit of the Mortlock Library of SA.
A Picocurie is an extremely small amount of radioactivity. A millibecquerel is even
smaller. Beta radiation and Alpha radiation is virtually harmless when outside the
body. The top (dead) layer of skin stops it. Inside the body both Alpha and Beta
emitting isotopes can accumulate in certain tissues and powerfully irradiate and
damage nearby living cells. Hence the concern of already Irradiated atomic veterans.
If after reading the graphs, like the Microsoft advert on TV, you start to wonder
"Where would you like to go today?", think hard about where else in the world to go to
escape the costs and consequences of nearly 50 years of Cold World War. And
maybe think about the families who have fought it, and who still fight so that in some
small way, the means could move a little closer towards justifying the ends There are
fewer and fewer survivors of the UK Bomb tests left on earth. Their stories must not
be forgotten. They are not subversives, or in any way the undesirables Australian
Governments have made them out to be. In the face of what is known about the
actions and behaviour of the English and Australian governments, the veterans have
a right to feel betrayed by the governments in which they had placed their trust and
which they sought to serve. Donít get sucked in. Its your democracy, use it or loose it.
This article, although written for the Atomic Exservicemens Association, has not been
commissioned by the Association. It does not necessarily reflect the Associationís
views on all issues.
Further Information:
Atomic ExServicemens Association C/o Mr Terry Toon, tel: (07) 355 9308,
Queensland, Australia

1The book “No Conceivable Injury”, Milliken, Robert, A363.179/14, Penguin, 1986, 01400S43SX; the
records of the Atomic ExServicemens Association
2 Commonwealth Parliamentary Hansard as summarized below:
30.4.80 Questions, page 2480
Uren: Asks for a radiological Safety and future land use study of the Emu Atomic Test site in SA.
Thompson: Replies that Australian Ionising Radiation Advisory Council has submitted a report on these
matters.
14.5.80 2186-2187 The Senate
Elstob, Chaney: Elstob asks what plans the government has of investing the deaths and illness of
Aboriginals and other people who were exposed to fallout of the Maralinga Atomic Tests. Many
Aboriginals died immediately after the tests”. There are reports of mass burials. Chaney replies that the
government was awaiting a report by the SA Health Commission
15.5.80 2255-2294 The Senate
Carrick, Cavanagh, Jessop, Melzer: Carrick (falsely; see findings of McClelland Royal Cornmission) that
all servicemen present at Atomic tests at Maralinga were subject to stringent safety procedures , and
that all personnel received exposures of less than background (this is also false, and logically Cavanagh points out that cancer among Maralinga workers is higher than the rest of the community.
Records formation of Atomic Veterans Association, sponsored by Australian Council of Trade Unions,
the Public Service Unions, the Australian Council of Churches, Aboriginal groups and politicians.
Records Adelaide Advertiser articles documenting Impact on people. Questions anyoneís ability to
police the miles and miles of flash, blast and fallout areas in the desert, home of the then nomadic tribes
of the area (after the blasts, surviving Aborigines were forced to live in concentrated group in outposts
such as Yalata.

“At least 52 of the 2,000 Australians exposed to Maralinga nuclear bombs had died of cancers, with
seven others still fighting cancer at that time. Calls for inquiry Quotes RAAF NCO who witnessed
Aboriginals wandering through contaminated sites. He also states that the area around some military
camps at Maralinga were contaminated. Quotes fallout occurring outside expected areas, quotes the
grey mist which rolled through Aboriginal camps, and quotes the fallout figure over Adelaide and
surroundings countryside as being “900 times the usual levels of radioactivity”.. Quotes the Marston
CSIRO report. Senator Melzer condemns the government for following the “Titterton Line”. Quotes Prof
De Bruinís concern over serious health problems of Atomic Veterans and over the contamination of the
site of the site. Quotes the finding of Plutonium on site as an example of the falsehoods Prof Titterton
was capable of when he deliberately stated, falsely, that there was no Plutonium at Maralinga. Quotes
existence of suppressed 1957 report documenting widespread nuclear contamination of Australia.
Quotes the Marston Report “extensive areas of Australia have been contaminated” “What has
happened to the Aboriginal people living in the centre of Australia? What has happened to the men and
women who were involved in the area? The Senator then asks ëthat there be no more cover ups…”
Debate then adjourned.
22.5.80, 3219-3220
House of Representatives, Questions.
Uren: Refers to Perth Daily News of 27.12.76, including article documenting a military witness stating
that many Aboriginals walked across contaminated ground.
D Anthony: Replies falsely that there was no health problem among Aboriginals as a result.(See
McClelland Royal Commission findings for the truth)
Uren: Asks for the numbers of Australian participants in British nuclear tests.
D. Anthony: Falsely replies that it would not be possible to establish the overall number of Australians
who were enjoyed at Maralinga.”
Uren: Asks if there is evidence that Aboriginals suffered as a consequence of exposure to radiation
resulting from British atomic weapons testing in SA.
Viner: Replies that government has written to SA Health Minister for advice. (The tests were a Federal
responsibility, and the aftermath remains so to this day.)
The Chronicle of the Twentieth Century, ISBN 1 872031 So 3, Chronicle of Australia Ply Ltd. 3134
Maroondah Highway, Ringwood, Victoria, 3134 and Chronicle 3 Communication, London. 1990 Jacques
international Publishing Paris for World English Rights. Copyright for the Chronicle System, Harenberg
Communications, Dortumund , summarised as follows:
September 8. 1953 Menzies gives assurance that no lives will be endangered by atomic tests at
Woomera. October 15, 1953 UK explodes atomic bomb west of the Woomera range. (Totem 1, 14.10,
21.30Z, 10 kiloton) Date for this detonation given as 14.10.53 by Atomic ExServicemens Association.
RAAF Canberra bomber flew through the atomic cloud, and were subjected to internal and external
hazards. Aircraft washed down at Woomera. Decontamination staff were also exposed.
October I8, 1953 Dust clouds over Canberra are not dangerous according to the Australian National
University.
4 The Keating Government approved the payment of $6 million as compensation for an entire
community early in 1995.
5 The Atomic ExServicemens Association advise that no payments have been made to atomic
veterans. The then Minister for Primary Industry and Energy stated that the 6 million dollar payment
marked the final phase of the Governmentís implementation of the recommendations of the McClelland
Royal Commission. He apparently forgot that the Royal Commission recommended that atomic
veterans be recognized as such by the Dept of Veterans Affairs and that they be compensated.
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6 The Adelaide Advertiser Newspaper, 11.9.95
7 1955 UN General Assembly report No 17 (A/3838)
Reproduced in the journal of the Atomic ExServicemens Association, Atomic Fallout, 1.13 December
1992 – Extract from the Report of the United Nations Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
(*Parts of this report were used in health notes created at RADIAC, RAEME, 1972) para 49 states
exposure of gonads to even the smallest doses of ionizing radiations can give rise to mutant genes
which accumulate, are transmissible to the progeny and are considered to be, in general, harmful to the
human race. As the persons who wig be affected will belong to future generations, it is important to
minimise undue exposures of populations to such radiation and so to safeguard the well being of those
who are still unborn.”
8 “Effects of Radiation”, training manual produced by Australian Army, Royal Australian Electrical and
Mechanical Engineers, 4 Base Workshop, Bandiana Victoria, 1971, (unclassified) gives safe levels of
exposure to ionising radiation for certain cancers as laying somewhere between zero and 600 rad.
Whether this is merely ëacademicí or not is up to the reader.
9 I am advised by the Association that it would like to publish the 52 page book required to hold the
names of those Atomic Exservicemen who have died of radiation induced illnesses. The Federal
Government is highly resistant to the idea I am informed.
10 The journal of the Atomic ExServicemens Association, “Atomic Fallout” vol 1.8, June l988,
summarised as follows:
Dr Hedley Marston, senior biologist at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
undertook biological survey into the effects of the atomic tests in Australia. He and his team collected
thyroid glands from cattle and sheep in north and north east areas of Australia, likely to have been
traversed by the fallout clouds. He finds that extensive areas of Australia have been contaminated,
including thickly populated areas. He concluded the third blast resulted in fallout disposition in a band
1,600 miles wide right across the continent He found that Adelaide had been contaminated along with
the country surrounding it. He feared that as his findings indicated the presence of bone seeking
Strontium 90, this radio-nuclide was now in the Australian food chain. He communicated to the CSIRO
his view that, given the official version of events up to July 1956, “either monitoring equipment is
useless or someone is lying”.
10a Extract from the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia. Quote:
“Summary of Submissions
paragraph 1.3.3
The health of Atomic Test Personnel (The Health Survey) prepared by the Department of Health, 1983,
had inherent limitations and mathematical errors. In so far as it presents any reliable conclusion it tends
to show the existence of a number of significant adverse health effects in the participant
paragraph 1.4
General The inability of the UK and the Australian Government to produce proper records of dose,
exposure, and work and proper medical records and service records setting out accurately the test
involvement of participants show the tests were not properly conducted from the point of view of the
participants.
The Australian Government and Defence Services, in almost an cases, abandoned their duty to protect
their personnel, and relied, almost totally, on the UK to fill this role. The inadequate enforcement by the
UK of safety precautions and regulations on the range put the participants at risk.
The Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee (AWTSC) and those Scientists charged with monitoring
the safety of the tests failed properly to protect Australians, particularly those on the ranges, and in
some cases, set the UK test programme above the welfare of Australians ”
end of quote
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11 I clearly recall Mr. Scott being particularly concerned about water tanks in the Woodville area.
12. Sir Mark was excluded from participation and as the Chronicle of the ë Twentieth Century, reports
for 6 March 1958, 350 scientists urged Canberra to ban the nuclear tests.
13. The UK has admitted lying to Australia, however the reference (10) above is a mere splinter from
the jungle of deception enabled by the so-called Safety Committee. The Royal Commission Report
should be required reading in all Australian schools.
14 Although I are not happy about Ms Fitchís decision not to release dose rate information to the
Association, the decision was an appropriate exercise of her authority.
Given the following Commonwealth Hansard summary, an enlightened and open government would
have ensured all at risk were advised of the risk posed by atmospheric nuclear testing:
1972 Commonwealth House of Representatives 22.2.1972 pages 92-93 Hurford & Bowen: Nuclear
Fallout from French Atmospheric Tests over Australia; cumulative effects, esp children: thyroid and
bones. Ref AWTSC report Nol. 2/71.
Further: Hansard, 28.10.71, Senate Question No 15.09, page 1552, Representatives Question No 4772
2.12.71 page 4123. Australian protest to French government: Hansard representatives) 20.4.71, answer
to question 3673 Hansard 7.9.71, page 877) 23.2.72 pages 102-103 Bonnett: French nuclear tests.
Future French tests. 13.4.72 Commonwealth House of Representatives 1605-1608 garland:
Radioactive Fallout in Australia from nuclear weapons tested by France in Polynesia ref Sir Ernest
Titterton, Garland ignores cumulative doses from earlier UK tests. Refers to 26 monitoring stations in
Australia Radiation doses given as between .1 & 2.2 millirad average. Fails to distinguish between
internal & external contamination. Fails to consider contemporary view that threshold for some diseases
is effectively zero. Averages dose rates to thyroids via milk intake, whereas some areas produced milk
more heavily contaminated with Iodine 131 than others. Admits northern hemisphere tests had
produced fallout over Australia, though to a much lesser degree than that experienced in Northern
Hemisphere.
Barnard, in reply: radiation in even the most minute quantity is potentially harmful. Quotes President
Kennedy there is much we do not know – and too often in the past we have minimised these perils and
shrugged aside these dangers, only to find that the estimates were faulty and the real dangers were
worse than we knew.” ( Spoken prior to 1964, is evidence that strong, credible evidence had
convinced the then acknowledged leader of the Free World that nuclear testing, especially on people in
close proximity, was unsafe. UK and Australia knowingly ignored this.)
9.5.72 pages 2194-3002 Foster, Bowen: Government opposition to French testing of nuclear weapons
in the atmosphere. 30.5.72 pages 3210-3211 Whitlam: French testing of nuclear weapons in the
atmosphere Australian protests. Government agrees to continue protest. If it is as safe as claimed, why
are they protesting?)
1973 27.3.73 pages 730-737 MacKellar: Nuclear testing in the atmosphere. Quotes UNGA report of
6.3.72 selectively. Discusses man made and natural radiation. Mentions Global radioactive
contamination . Quotes UN report re absorption into soil, crops and animals. Radioactive Iodine 131
found in Australian milk. Tests from 9 population centres showed dose rates to childrenís thyroids from
Iodine 131 ranged from 4 to 62 millirads per year. ëChief fears are of increased cancers of all types and
of genetic abnormalities..” Impact of French and Chinese tests on Australia.
5.4.73 Questions, page 1121 MacKellar, Whitlam: Fallout from Chinese tests has been deposited over
Australia. 2.5.73, 1561-1562 Whitlam, Snedden: Presents AWTSC Report No. 4 “Strontium 90 &
Caesium 137 in the Australian environment during 1970 and results for 1972”, Report No5, “Fallout over
Australia from Nuclear Weapons tested by France in Polynesia during June and July 1972″, Report by
the National Radiation Advisory Committee entitled ” Biological Aspects of Fallout in Australia from
French Nuclear Weapons Explosions in the Pacific, June-July 1972″, Report by the Australian Academy
of Science entitled ” The Biological Effects of Nuclear Explosion Fallout Report to the Prime Minister”.
29.5.73, 2774-2278 Mackler: Attempt to damp down what Liberal government sees as Public Hysteria”
about fallout from French and Chinese nuclear tests over Australia. Quotes NRAC Reports of 67, 69, 71
and 72. Quotes fact Fallout from US, Soviet and British tests still appearing in Australia. Concludes no
health risk present. Quotes average body burden of 2 to 4 millirad a year per person in Australia from
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Fallout fission products. Does not mention enhanced impact on those suffering internal contamination
from test participation, and is conservative in outlook.
29.5.73, 2S29 Snedden, Whitlam: Question to PM Whitlam to provide details of Chinese nuclear
weapons tests in atmosphere. Answer: 6 tests, 22.9.69, 200kt, 29.9.69, 3mt, 14.10.70, 3mt, 18.11.71,
20kt, 7.1.72, S kt, 18.3.72, 200kt. All at Lop Nor, NW China.
20.3.80, 1020-1023 Uren, Hunt: Compensation awarded to widow, but delayed for former serviceman
whoís illness and premature death was caused by exposure to British Nuclear Weapons Testing.
Question as to how many others have suffered similar illness and death. Hunt states that servicemen at
Maralinga were “subject to stringent health procedures.” This is a false statement (see McClelland
Royal Commission Findings). Further lies from Hunt follow. Hunt refuses to investigate health
consequences on Commonwealth Policemen who served at Maralinga on the grounds of cost. Uren
questions Hunt on relative safety and health effects of US and UK/Australian tests, and their respective
impact on the health of test participants. Hunt answers that it is not possible to make a comparison.
Uren states that many US nuclear test veterans are suffering lethal radiation induced illness.
30.4.80 Questions, page 2480
Uren: Asks for a Radiological Safety and future land use study of the Emu Atomic Test site in SA.
Thompson. Replies that Australian Ionising Radiation Advisory Council has submitted a report on these
matters. 14.5.80 2186-2187 It is a sad comment that it has taken until 1996 for the data to become
available.
15 John Pilger, writing in “Distant Voices”, Vintage, ISBN 0 09 914391 7, pages
50 – 53 highlights the results of the Safety tests – nuclear weapons deemed unsafe by the US military.
Hence the Current UK interest and support for the recently concluded French South Pacific tests.
Ref: 953/12155 – Letter from Chief Scientist, W.G. Penney, to Sir Frederick Brundren, K.B.E, C.B,
British Ministry of Defence.
quote “We think it is likely that the Australians will ask us for filters which have been flown at Mosaic and
Buffalo. No doubt they will offer very close security treatment in their Atomic Energy Commission. While
I am not very keen on the idea of giving them samples, I do not see how we can refuse. They could, of
course, fly planes of their own or they could most easily take contaminated soil particles from close in
area.
They would not know that fallout contamination from close in areas is very different from samples
obtained from the cloud; and that only the latter is sufficiently representative to enable quantitative
estimates to be made. On the other hand, they are probably very puzzled to know why we fly planes to
get samples when it would be much easier to take a few shovelfuls of dirt from the crater.
On balance I am recommending that if they ask us we give them a small piece of the filters, but that we
wait a few days so that some of the short-lived key isotopes have decayed a good deal.
Do you wish to consult other people on this question before you give me your considered view?” end
quote
INFORMATION FROM DECLASSIFIED BRITISH DOCUMENTS ILLUSTRATING ONE
INSTANCE OF GROSS NEGLIGENCE AND FAILURE OF DUTY OF CARE Deception of
readings – aircraft filters – Maralinga and Monte Bello CONTENTS
DISEASES ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO BE
CAUSED BY PARTICIPATION IN ATMOSPHERIC TESTING OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS CONTENTS
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Leukaemia (other than chronic Iymphocytic leukaemia)
Cancer of the Thyroid
Cancer of the Breast
Cancer of the Pharynx
Cancer of the Oesophagus
Cancer of the Stomach
Cancer of the small intestine
Cancer of the Pancreas
Multiple Myeloma
Lymphomas (except Hodgkinís disease)
Cancer of the Bile Ducts
Cancer of the Gall Bladder
Cancer of the liver (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis indicated)
Cancer of the urinary tract, which also translates to the bladder and kidneys
Cancer of the salivary glands
Incorporated into public law 100-321, 20.5.88.
This law gives US atomic exservicemen due recognition for the unusual service they rendered, and is
an expression of gratitude of the American people toward their atomic veterans The law enables
Veteran Affairs benefits to flow to US atomic veterans who are afflicted. The US government m relation
to nuclear veterans considers the nature of service plus the development of any of the above diseases
sufficient cause to quality for Veteran Benefits regardless of recorded dose rates received. All US
nuclear test service personnel are officially Veterans”.
(with apologies to the Eagles ëHotel California”)
On a dark desert clay pan, hot wind in their hair,
Burnt smell of nuclides rising up through the air.
Up ahead in the distance, they saw a blinding white light;
Their heads grew dizzy with luminous dust,
Hot wind seared the night.
There he stood in the doorway,
They heard the buglerís call
They were thinking to themselves
This once was a heaven, but now its a Hell.
Then he lit up a slide show and told them some lies;
There were voices down the corridor.
They thought they heard them say ..
Welcome to the test site Maralinga
Such an empty place (No more tribal space)
Plenty of room at the test site Maralinga
Any time of year. we explode it here.
His mind is “dose rate” afflicted, a proxy Soviet fear.
His media boys speak what he wants us to hear:
Few speak of the bombing. the rolling black cloud.
Some bombed to remember, some bombed to find out
Test Site Maralinga CONTENTS
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So I called up the Captain
“Please bring the Vitamin C”
He said “Weíve ignored Linus Pauling since 1963”
And still those voices radio from far away,
Fallout by midnight in Auckland is high
But we still heard them say..
Welcome to the test site Maralinga
Such an empty place (of bodies one trace*)
They are living it up at the test site Maralinga
What a nice surprise, the witnesses died.
Dose counts hit the ceiling,
Test tissue is packed in dry ice**.
And he said “You are all just prisoners here,
Until the next device”.
And in ASIOís chambers,
They counted up the wreaths.
They tied them up with Secrecy Tape.
Governments still feed the Beast.
Last thing I remember,
I was Crying for the past.
I had to get a message back
To people who still had hearts.
“Relax,” said the Army censor,
“We are programmed to deceive.
You can mouth off any time you like.
But youíll never be believed.”
II
The things that God gets blamed for
Belong at humanityís door.
And those who help conceal the Light
Will pay one day Iím sure.
P. Langley 11.9.95
*An Australian solider found the bodies
**Throughout the test periods, babies and adult victims of fatal accidents and illnesses (including I
believe, still births) were secretly taken without permission from hospitals around Australia for dissection
and Strontium absorption tests. (Refer Atomic Fallout Vol l No.12 March/June 1992 page 11 for more
information.
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CLICK ON THUMBNAIL FOR FULL VIEW
The chart above shows the extensive nuclear fallout from the fourth nuclear
detonation in the Buffalo series at Maralinga on 22 October 1956. The
Australian Safety Committee was forced to report that it found significant
activity involving bone seeking Strontium 90 and Iodine 131 in its rainwater
samples. Rainwater collected at Brisbane on 24 October 1956, and
Oodnadatta on 26 October 1956 had activities much greater than any other
rainwater samples for the other three Buffalo series of detonations at
Maralinga in 1956 THE IMPACT OF THE NUCLEAR TESTS ON
INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS
The impact of the British Nuclear Tests in Australia on indigenous
Australians has been hidden and underestimated. The following original
documents show that to this day, authorities are reluctant to face facts or
properly investigate claims of massive suffering among Aboriginal
communities. A major allegation is that of mass graves located in South
Australia’s mid north.
The Australian Federal Parliament considered this issue as follows:
(Entry 2186) SENATE 14 MAY 1980 QUESTIONS WITHOUT
NOTICE MARALINGA ATOMIC TESTS
Senator ELSTOB – “My question is directed to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
and may also bring some response from the Minister representing the Minister for
Health. What plans has the Government for initiating inquiries into the deaths and
illnesses of Aboriginals and white people who were exposed to the fall-out of the
Maralinga atomic tests? According to reports received by Dr T. Cutter, who is
heading an Alice Springs based Aboriginal health service team, many Aboriginals
died immediately after the tests. Will the Minister consider holding a full inquiry into
the short and long term effects on the health of the people living in the north of
South Australia at the time of the atomic tests and check on the reports of mass
burials of Aboriginals?”
Senator CHANEY – “Needless to say, this matter has been of concern to me. The
concern predates the recent spate of publicity which related to Dr Cutter’s visit to
northern South Australia and, of course, to a series of articles in, I think, the
Advertiser in South Australia. At present the Commonwealth is seeking
information on the matters which have been raised. Perhaps it is worth quoting
Mr Toyne, one of the people who has been interviewed in this area and who is an
employee of the Pitjantjatjara Council. I refer to his comment on radio the other
morning.. When asked about possible deaths he said: all I can say is that it is quite
speculative. We are still in the area of speculation. We are still seeking
information. Over the past month or so l have written on a couple of
occasions to the Minister of Health in South Australia seeking information
from the South Australian Health Commission. I am not in a position to give a
final response…..”
In July 1999 I wrote to the SA Health Commission, and asked for copies of
the documents sent to it by Senator Chaney. I further asked for copies of the
SA Health Commission response to Senator Chaney.
My request for this information was refused. After negotiation with the
Freedom of Information Officer, Mr Dadds, I received the following letter.
Note that the question of mass graves is side stepped, and that the
Department suggests that I refer to atomic test era (1950’s) census data in
order to obtain information on the numbers of Aboriginal people living in the
test affected areas. Indigenous Australians were not considered as citizens
at the time and so were not included in census collected. The truth is STILL
being covered up.
Accompanying Mr Dadds’ two page letter was a 1980’s era health survey of
Aboriginal health. This survey, promoted at the time by the South Australian
Health Minister, Mrs Joy Adamson, as proving all was well, shows in fact the
opposite. The McClelland Royal Commission found Mrs Adamson’s comments to
be unfortunate.
Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright : October 2001
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgement of sources
This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
Extracts from material supplied by ARPANSA is cited on this CD Rom in order to provide evidence and to enable study of the Australian Government’s current
position on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
HOME PROPAGANDA WATER ANALYSIS LEGAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
US
VETS BOMBS BLACK
MIST LETTERS MEDIA SURVEY
ARL AWTSC HISTORY CAUTION README
It is my view that in 1999, there was a systemic inability of the South
Australian administration to provide information relating to these
important health and safety questions. So I continued looking for
documentary evidence. Both Veterans present at Atomic tests and
Indigenous people have stated for many years that injury, illness and
death accompanied the atomic tests. In 2004, with the help of the
Atomic ExServicemens’ Association, Channel 9 Archives, Film
Australia and AIATSIS, I found two items of evidence which severely
challenges the vigour of the following health survey and those findings
of the Royal Commission which were inconclusive regarding actual
harm suffered by Indigenous Australians caused by the atomic testing
and aftermath.
I present this evidence after the health survey below. SEVERE
CULTURAL WARNING: PHOTOGRAPHIC DEPICTION OF A
DECEASED INDIGENOUS PERSON OF THE MARALINGA
LANDS FOLLOWS THE HEALTH SURVEY BELOW, AS DOES
REFERENCE TO FILM WHICH DEPICTS INDIGENOUS
AUSTRALIANS SUFFERING THE EFFECTS OF RADIATION.
CAUTION: PROCEEDING FURTHER IN THIS DOCUMENT
CARRIES A SEVERE CULTURAL WARNING.

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
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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.
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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.
TOP OF PAGE
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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.
TOP OF PAGE
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
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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.
TOP OF PAGE
2186 SENATE 14 MAY 1980 QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
MARALINGA ATOMIC TESTS Senator ELSTOB
– My question is directed to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and may also bring
some response from the Minister representing the Minister for Health. What plans has
the Government for initiating inquiries into the deaths and illnesses of Aboriginals and
white people who were exposed to the fall-out of the Maralinga atomic tests?
According to reports received by Dr T. Cutter, who is heading an Alice Springs based
Aboriginal health service team, many Aboriginals died immediately after the tests. Will
the Minister consider holding a full inquiry into the short and long term effects on the
health of the people living in the north of South Australia at the time of the atomic
tests and check on the reports of mass burials of Aboriginals?
Senator CHANEY – Needless to say, this matter has been of concern to me. The
concern predates the recent spate of publicity which related to Dr Cutter’s visit to
northern South Australia and, of course, to a series of articles in, I think, the
Advertiser in South Australia. At present the Commonwealth is seeking information on
the matters which have been raised. Perhaps it is worth quoting Mr Toyne, one of the
people who has been interviewed in this area and who is an employee of the
Pitjantjatjara Council. I refer to his comment on radio the other morning.. When asked
about possible deaths he said: all I can say is that it is quite speculative. We are still
in the area of speculation. We are still seeking information. Over the past month or so
l have written on a couple of occasions to the Minister of Health in South Australia
seeking information from the South Australian Health Commission. I am not in a
position to give a final response but I think my colleague Senator Carrick has
something to say because the question also impinges on his area of responsibility.
Senator CARRICK – The atom testing events at Maralinga over the period involved a
series of departments. My department was asked recently whether it would coordinate
a review by a series of departments ranging over possible threats to any
people, be they Aborigines or non Aborigines. An interdepartmental committee has
been collecting evidence on the matter. I hope that I will be able to make a statement
here tomorrow indicating the direction that the Government wishes to take in this
matter. If any people in the community feel that they have direct evidence or believe
that they have been affected in any way, they should come forward. They will
certainly be given sympathetic examination. My understanding is that something like
2,000 Service people were involved throughout the period. I understood also that the
area was patrolled during the tests to ensure that nomadic Aborigines did not come
within something like 270 kilometres of the tests. As far as is known, and this
information could be imperfect, only one incident of Aborigines coming within the test
area was known and that involved four persons who did suffer some mild
contamination. Expert attention was given to them immediately, and by the simple
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process of bathing the contamination was removed. That is not to say that that is the
definitive answer. I hope to add something more to that tomorrow.
TOP OF PAGE
2288 SENATE 15 MAY 1980 MARALINGA NUCLEAR TESTS
MINISTERIAL STATEMENT Senator CARRICK (New South Wales
– Minister for National Development and Energy) – by leave – The Government has
given careful consideration to recent expressions of concern that Australian personnel
were exposed to high levels of radiation during the atomic weapons test programs
conducted by British authorities at Maralinga, Emu and Monte Bello, and to calls for
an Inquiry into the current health of the Australian personnel involved. To date eight
known compensation claims have been received for consideration under
Commonwealth compensation legislation in connection with the Maralinga, Emu and
Monte Bello tests. Three of these claims are presently under investigation and
compensation has been granted in respect of two of the five which have been
considered. In one case compensation was granted for a psychological disorder
resulting from the aggravation of a pre-existing condition, and in the other case
compensation was granted on the grounds that there could have been a connection
between an officer’s death from cancer and his exposure to radioactive dust during
his duty in connection with the Emu atomic tests in 1953.1 also understand that
during the past decade about six claims attributing the onset of cancer to atomic
weapons tests in Australia have been examined by British authorities. In none of
those cases have the authorities found evidence of exposure to nuclear radiation
significantly above the natural background level or that cancer arose from other than
natural causes. The Government is satisfied on the basis of reports submitted at the
time that all personnel working at Maralinga were subject to stringent health
procedures and that their activities in the field were strictly controlled and monitored to
ensure that they were not exposed to dangerous radiation. On the basis of evidence
presently available, the Government is not convinced that the need has been
established at this time for a full survey of the health of those Australians who were
involved. However, we fully appreciate the concern and uncertainty of many of the
Australian personnel who believe that they may have been exposed to dangerous
levels of radiation and may now or in the future suffer resulting injury or disability.
The Government will ensure that full consideration continues to be given to all claims
for compensation put to it under the Compensation ( Commonwealth Government
Employees) Act. To facilitate this consideration, persons who are concerned about
the possibility of injury having been suffered as a result of involvement in the tests are
invited to come forward for interview and, if appropriate, medical examination. In the
first instance inquiries should be addressed to the Secretary of the Department of
National Development and Energy in Canberra who will direct inquiries to appropriate
authorities in the Department of Health, the Department of Defence, the Department
of Aboriginal Affairs and the Department of Social Security. Our inquiries to date have
identified only one recorded instance of Aboriginals entering a contaminated area.
This occurred at Maralinga in May 1957, involving four persons. After appropriate
washing procedures were implemented. radiation safety officials concluded that there
was no possibility of any radiation injury having occurred. Nevertheless the
Government is investigating allegations that other Aboriginals may have been
exposed to radiation in the test areas. Information is being sought on any radiation
associated health problems amongst those Aboriginals. We are also aware that
investigations are being conducted by Aboriginal organisations into reports of
Aboriginals in the north of South Australia being affected by radiation following the
Emu atomic tests in October 1953. These investigations will complement our own
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inquiries and the Government invites those conducting investigations to advise the
Government of any evidence of radiation injury they might find. The Government for
its part is conducting a specific review of contemporary records to see what evidence
there might be of the incidents reported. The Government is concerned at
suggestions that some Australian personnel who believe that they may have been
exposed to dangerous radiation, or believe they know of others who may have been
so exposed, may be inhibited in coming forward because of uncertainty as to the
present security significance of their involvement in the atomic weapons tests. Their
continuing sense of responsibility in this master does them credit but the particular
circumstances of any possible exposure – as distinct from information about the tests
themselves – should not be of any security significance. If these persons remain in
any doubt, however, they are urged to contact the Department of Defence for advice.
In pursuing its investigations into this matter, the Government will seek the expert
advice and experience of the Australian Ionising Radiation Advisory Council and of
the National Health and Medical Research Council. I commend the statement to the
Senate. I move: That the Senate take note of the statement
Senator CAVANAGH (South Australia) ( 12. 56pm)- I wish to speak to the motion that
the Senate take note of the statement because I think it is necessary to say one or
two things. I commend the Government for its policy at this stage of payment of
compensation to those people who can prove some ill effects as a result of exposure
to radiation during their service at Maralinga. But there is a much bigger question
which arises in relation to this payment of compensation. These people are paid
under the Compensation (Commonwealth Government Employees) Act, which means
that the onus of proof is on the applicant. The figures to date indicate that there is a
greater incidence of cancer among those people who worked at Maralinga than in
people in other sections of the community. How one proves that the cancer that one
may have has resulted from employment at Maralinga I do not know. But it is
reasonable to accept, I think, that if the incidence of cancer is out of all proportion
there is some significant connection between the employment and the disease. I think
greater consideration should be given to the fact that these people were employed at
Maralinga and that as a result of their employment there they have had diseases
which could arise from an over-exposure to radiation. Although the Minister’s
statement deals with those who were employed at Maralinga and who were on the
site at the time, there are other considerations to be taken into account. There may be
other people who were outside Maralinga who could have been affected. The
question then arises whether they have been suitably compensated or whether
compensation should be paid.
Even now the Government is considering the situation of a group of Aboriginals at
Ernabella in relation to this question. In Queensland a body known as the Atomic
Veterans Association has been set up by exservicemen. This body has been formed
by the members of the Queensland branch of the Returned Services League and is
now requesting a full government inquiry into the tests. This request is supported by
the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Public Service unions, the Australian
Council of Churches, Aboriginal groups and politicians. I ask the Government
whether, rather than paying compensation to a person who can prove a connection
with exposure to radiation, there should not be a full investigation into the possible
ramifications of this exposure and who may be affected by it. The Adelaide Advertiser
has published a series of articles in relation to this matter. It has received much
information from a resident of South Australia who has always claimed that he was
injured as a result of his occupation at Maralinga. He could never get recognition from
Federal Government departments until his case was taken up by the Advertiser. I
believe he is now receiving a pension from the Department of Veterans ‘ Affairs. As a
result of this publicity, letters have been received by the advertiser from many people
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throughout Australia who were at Maralinga.
These people complain that they have suffered illness as a result of their employment
there. There were seven tests carried out at Maralinga, two at Emu and three at
Monte Bello off the Western Australian coast. Nine of those explosions were in the
kiloton area, equivalent to the detonation of tens of thousands of tons of TNT. The
survey done by the Advertiser on this matter discovered that among those at
Maralinga who could have been endangered were Australian and British military
personnel, Commonwealth police, civil workers and Aboriginals. They could have
been exposed to high levels of radiation Although it is said that there were only four
Aboriginals in the area of Maralinga, I do not know how anyone could police the miles
and miles of gibber desert and know who was in the area. Aboriginals periodically go
walkabout on tribal land and return to their home country. As this is tribal land, I would
say that it would be impossible to police. . Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15 p.m.
( Quorum reformed)
Senator CAVANAGH – Before the suspension of the sitting, I was discussing the
Government’s attitude to the Maralinga incident. I was referring to the personnel
employed at Maralinga. I stated -and I said this generously – that the Government is
prepared to pay compensation to anyone who can prove that his present bad state of
health is associated with the Maralinga incident. I take it that it would accept proof not
on the basis of beyond reasonable doubt but on the basis of probability. But the
compensation payments are small. They are not sufficient. This matter is something
about which we know little and it needs full investigation. I lend my support to the
Returned Services League in Queensland which has set up the Radioactive Defence
Force, with the support of many bodies to seek a full inquiry into the ramifications of
the Maralinga testing and into suitable payment to anyone whose health may have
suffered as a result of those tests. But we do know from the Adelaide Advertiser
reports of evidence stated and names given that at least 52 of the 2,000 Australians
who took part in the Maralinga tests died of cancer and that seven others are living
with the disease at the present time. Is this a higher proportion than the normal death
rate among Australians from cancer? If it is should we not have an investigation to
establish the incidence of cancer? It may have spread to a further area than the
actual area of Maralinga. I state the truth when I say that the cost to Australia and the
health of Australians of the development of the British nuclear arsenal is still obscure
and that is for reasons relating to security in Australia. If the Government is sincere, it
should release all information so that people are not afraid to speak because of
security arrangements. The statement by the Minister for National Development and
Energy (Senator Carrick) today was that, unless security was involved, there was no
reason why people could not disclose to the authorities their sickness and their belief
that their sickness was due to the Maralinga test. If there were any doubt, they should
contact the Army. I think that there should be an investigation with a guarantee of
immunity, to anyone who knows anything about Maralinga and the dangers to
people’s lives to state that information publicly. The Adelaide Advertiser published the
statement of an Royal Australian Air Force corporal who was at the test site between
1962 and 1965. He alleged that Australian Security Intelligence Organisation officers
had warned him not to talk about what he had seen after he had said in a newspaper
interview that he had helped to bury large amounts of radioactive waste. The same
person stated that Aboriginals had wandered freely through the test site. He further
stated that there were six radioactive sites within a kilometre of the Maralinga camp
where 800 to 900 personnel were living. Should honourable senators not have the
facts on this matter? The Government states that there was only one known incident.
Four Aboriginals were cured by bathing and washing off the radioactive material. Here
is a man who, for security reasons is afraid and who would be prepared to say that
there was a large number of people wandering freely through the area. There were
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800 to 900 people living in the area affected by radioactivity at Maralinga. Why can he
not be given the freedom in the Minister’s statement to state these beliefs publicly and
give details of where the incidents occurred. The radioactive material was not
confined to Maralinga. There were many mistakes in the observations, and many
mistakes in the forecasts as to where the winds would blow the radioactive clouds
that resulted from the explosion. In one Incident associated with the Emu test in
October 1953, 45 Aboriginals were enveloped in a rolling black mist for several hours,
following an atomic bomb explosion. Within 48 hours. they had uncontrollable
vomiting and diarrhoea. Soon after, a skin rash like measles covered their bodies.
The Aboriginals were left too sick even to gather food for themselves and almost
starved. This is the incident which Dr T. M. Cutter is now examining.
There is not only the Aboriginals’ statement regarding what they term ‘the grey mist’,
which they thought was a god ‘s punishment set down upon them, but also the
statement of Mrs E. L. Giles, a former owner of the Melbourne Hills Station in the far
north of South Australia which verifies this. She states that her husband and two
Aboriginal employees at the station died of cancer some years later. Is this not
justification for investigation? While Dr Cutter has gone to investigate and report,
there is nothing in the Minister’s statement to say that there is a claim for them
because they never worked on the Maralinga site. I think most people in the Senate
chamber will know Jim Lester, from Alice Springs, who has been interested in
Aboriginal affairs very well. He is the blind interpreter for the Pitjantjatjara community.
He has been blind for many years. We saw the interview with him – he was a pathetic
sight – in which he made a statement regarding the time when he was a child, when
his people were in hiding from the grey mist and how he looked at it. In fact, he stared
at it. He is totally blind today. Whether his blindness is because of exposure to
radiation, I do not know. Another mishap – the third test at Maralinga – resulted in
widespread fallout over Adelaide and nearby countryside increasing previous
radiation levels in the area by 900 times. In Adelaide, the radioactive increase was
900 times the usual level of radioactivity. Should this not be investigated? The
Commonwealth, whilst not disclosing the facts, is not ignorant of the facts which are
only becoming apparent some 20 years later. The matter was disclosed at the time in
a suppressed report on the tests. The public does not have any knowledge of that
report, it was written in 1957 by Dr Hedley Marston, a former director of the
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s Division of
Biochemistry and a general nutritionist. Apparently the original report by Dr Marston
was censored when it was first published in a limited circulation scientific journal in
1958. The original copy which is held at the Academy of Science in Canberra
contains his full findings. Dr Marston died in 1965. What was his full report? Although
it was censored it was suppressed and we cannot see it. We cannot see its
comments on security, the effect of the radioactive material and the effect of the
passage of this material across South Australian, Victoria and New South
Wales; we are not permitted to see the report. The official statement from the
Government was issued at the time in the names of either Professor L. H. Martin
or Professor E. W. Titterton, both members of the Atomic Weapons Tests Safety
Committee, or in the name of the then Minister for Supply. It stressed that there
was no danger to mainland Australia. If that is so and there was no danger. why is Dr
Hedley Marston’s report still being suppressed today? Senator Jessop – Who was the
doctor who made the comment about Maralinga the other day?
Senator CAVANAGH – I do not know to whom you are referring. I do know Miss
Shirley Allen, a former CSIRO researcher and personal assistant to Dr Marston,
stated that the news of the fallout over Adelaide was deliberately suppressed. ln 1958
the Australian Weapons Safely Committee released a paper which admitted that
there had been radioactive fallout over Adelaide and which said that only a small
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quantity of low activity material settled over South Australia, Victoria and New South
Wales. That statement was published in the Adelaide Advertiser, but we cannot get
Dr Marston’s report. This is the very important aspect. There are still facts which this
statement of the Minister does not permit us to view. In another incident it is alleged
that scientists lost a radioactive cloud after the fourth .Maralinga atomic bomb
explosion on 22 October 1956. The bomb was detonated at five minutes past
midnight so as not to offend South Australians by exploding it on a Sunday. Despite
immense efforts by Royal Australian Air Force Canberra bombers to track radioactive
dust clouds the missing cloud was not located until several hours after daylight. The
cloud which was supposed to travel east from Maralinga and pass away from
Adelaide over the Tasman Sea was found moving towards Darwin. That is the
incident which the Aboriginals at Ernabella say could have affected them. In another
report about 30 Australian soldiers and a small band of technicians were exposed to
highly radio active cobalt 60 radiation while cleaning up Maralinga after the bomb
tests of 1957. The soldiers had been equipped with only the basic protective gear,
respirator overalls, cloth gloves and metal scoops for the clean-up operation and had
not been made fully aware of the task. These are some of the matters that have been
brought to light. I am relying on newspaper reports for these details. The newspaper
reports published the names of the 52 people who died of cancer. They published the
names of the seven people who are now living, who have cancer and who worked in
that area. Only now it has come to light that radioactive material was found to be over
Adelaide at 900 times more than the normal dose of radiation. For the Minister to say
that there was no further danger resulting from that incident than the radiation we
absorb from the earth’s surface at present is not correct. Therefore, we must have
some clear investigation. The Aboriginals are deserving of consideration. We must
find out whether that incident is the cause of the blindness that one can track from
Emu through to the north of Australia and to Darwin. There is more incidence of
blindness among Aboriginals – what the medical profession is treating as trachoma –
in that area than there is outside that passage way. That is the position.. Should not
this be investigated? The Aboriginal tribes from the area have since been shifted to
Yalata on the west coast of South Australia. When the Commonwealth made the
decision to revert control of the site to the State Government it moved the Aboriginals
in the area to Yalata. The mission at Yalata dismantled the materials on the site and
took them to Yalata to build sheds and homes and so on at Yalata. The British took
the radioactive material back to Britain for disposal. On investigation they found that
Maralinga was still a radioactive area. Watchmen still live in that area. Security guards
see that no one enters the area. There is still some danger there. The danger is in the
material on the property that is now at Yalata where Aboriginals are living. I suppose
that Britain’s ability to survive in the future was more important than the lives of a few
Aboriginals and the suffering they may go through. This matter involves not only
Maralinga, it is also a question of how careful we should be in the future of atomic
explosions and the mining of Mineral elements that are radioactive. It is a question of
how careful we should be in protecting the shores of Australia. We should have no
defence installations and we should take no action that would warrant an adversary’s
s attack upon Australia with the use of radioactive material. We do not know the
damage that could be caused. These are the questions I am raising. It is not a matter
of the Government saying to someone that if they can prove their case the
Government will pay them compensation. That is the cheap was out. Let us see who
suffered as a result of Maralinga and let us see that it does not happen again
Senator MELZER (Victoria) (2.34) – I wish to speak to the statement put down by the
Government to take up some of the points Senator CAVANAGH has raised and to
raise some other matters. One of the things that terrify me in this report and in so
many of the reports we are getting lately is the air of cover-up. We are told to accept
assurances that all is well. We are told that everything is under control and that the
procedures we are using are quite safe. We have been told that about things like
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agent orange, Maralinga and nuclear power. When communities showed concern
over matters such as 2 4 5-T they were told that there was no problem, that there was
no connection with illness and that there was no connection with genetic damage.
When we found Australian Forestry Commission workmen using the material and
becoming very ill and it was obvious that this was directly resulting from the chemicals
they were using the authorities admitted that there could be some problem and that
they would look into the matter. When it was alleged here that agent orange was
used, especially brewed agent orange was used with lethal quantities of dioxin the
Minister said that Australians were not affected. When he was pressed he said: we
did not use it . When he was pressed further he said: we only used a little of it . Now
we have a full blown inquiry into how much damage has been done to our servicemen
by the use of that material. There was strong evidence at the time that it was lethal.
Evidence now shows that medical officers knew of the effects at that time and were
told to include on the medical records of the men using the material that they had
been involved because they expected to find that the men were affected by It. That
was 50 years after we knew about dioxin and its cancer causing property.
Government members have stood up here and told us that nuclear power was safe.
They have followed the Sir Ernest Titterton line that it is the safest, cheapest form of
energy the world has ever known. Then we had the Three Mile Island incident and all
the world now knows that nuclear power is far from safe and that nuclear engineers
just do not know how to cope with the problems and they have not been able to cope
with them. We now come back to Maralinga. In 1977 we were told that there were no
problems; yet in February 1977 Professor De Bruin in Adelaide was calling on the
Department of Defence to give details of any material buried and the possible side
effects of the tests. Why was he concerned? He was concerned because he had
received an increasing number of reports from people who had worked in the
Maralinga area and who were ill. He received an increasing number of reports of
contaminated material that had been distributed from the site at Maralinga. But at that
time we were told that there were no problems and we were not to worry as the tests
had been safe and the people of Australia had nothing to worry about. Then we found
that there was plutonium on the site. At that stage Sir Ernest Titterton said that the
tests had been monitored and that there was no plutonium there. Nonetheless in
October 1978 the British arrived and took the plutonium away. We are told that now
we are safe. But now we find that a report written in 1957 showed there was
widespread fallout but the report was suppressed.
As Senator Cavanagh says, Dr Marston, a former director of the division of
biochemistry of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
who should have known what he was talking about – put out a paper which showed
that the fallout from Maralinga and Monte Bello atomic tests was widespread. The
report stated: Marston and his co-workers provided one facet of a program to monitor
radiation from the tests. They collected the thyroid glands of grazing animals from
sites which were considered likely to be traversed by plumes from the Maralinga
explosions and analyzed for the presence of Iodine 131. They – “….concluded from
results of the complete survey that extensive areas of Australia have been
contaminated and some of the more heavy precipitation [of fallout] occurred on terrain
situated over 1500 miles from the site of the explosion in areas more or less thickly
populated.” Despite that report having been written and despite the fact that it was
available to the people who were concerned or connected with the Atomic Weapons
Tests Safety Committee in October 1956 Professor Ernest Titterton deputy head of
the Committee was quoted as having advised the Minister for Supply as follows:
There is no danger or significant fallout outside the immediate target area. But he had
been privy to the report that had been suppressed. At the same time,. following the
first of the four Maralinga tests, the chairman of the Safely Committee, Professor
Martin – later Sir Leslie Martin – said: “There is no possible risk of danger now or at
any future time to any person, stock or property. All dangerous fallout has been
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deposited and the remaining fallout is completely innocuous. Measurements taken in
the afternoon and during the night …. by aircraft and on the ground by mobile units, all
confirm the scientists predictions that the operation would be carried out with
complete safely….” Dr Marston found that the effects of the explosion could be
detected in animals grazing in a pen in a band of terrain about 1,000 miles wide
stretching west to east across the continent. Results from his paper differed markedly
from the Press reports at the time. As Senator Cavanagh said, the paper showed that
fallout over Adelaide was of importance. It stated: Fallout from the secondary cloud is
not denied but rather described as a southerly diffusion of slowly settling material of
low activity detected over South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.” That is a
long way from the area that Professor Titterton told us was the significant fallout area.
The paper went on: “Material in the cloud from the fourth Maralinga test was known to
diffuse and settle over a very wide front to the east of the trajectory which passed
through the Northern Territory. That may have been of some comfort to Dr Marston
but in the 20 years since, more and more research has shown that any radioactivity
dangerous and that continuing radioactivity is more dangerous. An unknown number
of people have been affected by this radioactivity. Other areas in the world have been
assured in the same way as Sir Ernest Titterton and Professor Martin and the
Committee assured us that we were in no danger.
In Colorado, in the United States of America, down wind from the Rocky Flats Nuclear
Weapons Establishment, people have a substantially higher cancer rate than Denver
residents, who were not exposed to plutonium emissions from the plant. In a report in
1979 the Director of the Health Department Jeffersen County, Dr Carl Johnson, a
physician epidemiologist as well as County Health Director and Assistant Clinical
Professor of Preventative Medicine at the at the University of Colorado, said that he
found that men living up to 13 miles downwind of the plant had a testicular cancer
rate of 140 per cent higher than would be expected on the basis of cancer statistics
for Denver area residents. He found that the incidence of throat and liver cancer was
60 per cent higher downwind of the plant. He found that the incidence of leukaemia.
lung and colon cancer was 40 per cent higher. In this area he found the overall
cancer rate was 24 per cent higher than expected in men and 10 per cent higher than
expected in women. In an area 18 to 24 miles downwind, the overall cancer rates
were eight per cent higher in men and four per cent higher in women. Dr Johnson
said that the higher incidence of testicular cancer in plutonium-exposed men was
particularly significant because the scientists employed at Rocky Flats have shown in
animal studies that ingested plutonium tends to collect in the testes.
Dr Johnson said that on statistics for testicular cancer in the Denver area he would
have expected to find 17 cases of testicular cancer among men living downwind from
the plant. Instead he found 40 cases. The higher cancer rate showed a direct
relationship to an increasing concentration of plutonium in the soil. Higher rates of
cancer of the tongue, stomach, ovary, brain, pancreas and thyroid were also found in
this plutonium exposed population. In 1957 afire at that plant resulted in a release of
plutonium in amounts 19,000 times the present acceptable maximum set by the
Department of Energy. Twenty-two years later cancers are showing up. In 1956 we
had major explosions of atomic bombs on Monte Bello Island and at Maralinga. The
men who were involved in those experiments were not given special clothing and did
not take precautions in any way. On record is the evidence of a man who flew one of
the Canberra bombers through the resultant clouds several times without wearing any
sort of protective clothing. Three years later he found he had cancer of the thyroid. An
engineer who assisted the Canadian engineers on the ground in a radiation detection
unit has also given evidence. There was a contamination station. The job of the
engineers was to move in and out of the contaminated area bringing materials and
vehicles out so that they could be decontaminated or checked. He too found that he
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was suffering from cancer three years later. He was asked whether he wore
protective clothing or breathing apparatus and he said he did not. During an interview
he raised an interesting point. He said that when driving about 150 miles from
Maralinga he came upon what he described as a fairly large village. His first thought
was : “Why the hell are we living in tents when we have got a village here.”
He realised after going into the village and exploring the buildings that there were
signs of contamination so he left the village. He was later told that the whole village
had been abandoned because all of it was to some extent contaminated. Vehicles
and other equipment had been left there because they were contaminated. He was
asked how many people went to the village and whether it was known that the village
existed. He replied: “Well l never knew until I arrived there and when I got back to
roadside with the truck and my offsider, I told a couple of people there about the
village and I was told it might be an idea to forget it because it had nothing to do with
what we were into. But I know for a fact now that lots of other people the odd Sunday
would grab a vehicle and fly up there and bits and pieces were being pilfered out of
that area, such as electric radiators and refrigerators, a two way radio and various
things I can think of that came down from that area.” The men involved at the time
were not the only ones who suffered the effects of radiation and who came down with
cancer. We do not know how much of the material that was contaminated went out of
the area. We do not know where it went or what sort of effects it might have had. In
other parts of the world there is evidence that wind borne contamination can cause
cancer. We have evidence that material that has been contaminated cannot be used
safely by human beings and that it might cause cancer. The report that was
suppressed shows that the contamination from the experiments at Monte Bello and
Maralinga had much wider consequences than we were led to believe. Right across
the area, in western New South Wales and northern Victoria people have been
concerned about the rates of cancer in some very small settlements in those areas.
Nobody knew why in small areas of 2,000 or 2,500 people up to 50 people were
suffering from cancer at about the same time. The only thing that connected those
people was that they liked working in the open air.
They were farmers or gardeners. Some of those people felt six years ago that the
cancer from which they were suffering might have had something to do with
Maralinga. They pointed out to me personally that the prevailing winds in that area
came from Maralinga. When the question was raised with scientists at the time they
said they did not think it was possible. They did not think that Maralinga could have
caused that sort of contamination. They thought it was more likely to have been
caused by chemicals. Now that this report has come to light, now that diagrams show
where the material was blown one cannot help wonder why such concentrated
numbers of people are suffering from cancer. As Senator Cavanagh said I do not
believe it is good enough for the Government to say now that it will have a selective
inquiry. It should not say to people: if you feel you have suffered come forward and
we will see what we can do about It. We will see whether some compensation might
be paid. We will listen to your story. That is not nearly good enough. We want a full
wide-ranging inquiry into the matter. For one thing we want to know why the report of
the Government’s inquiry into the allegations of health effects resulting from atomic
weapon tests was suppressed. What has it got to do with security? Every time a
problem such as this arises we are told that we cannot inquire into it and that we
cannot be told the facts because of security. What about the security of the people
who have lived in the area for so long? What about the people who worked there?
We will not uncover any extraordinary secrets now by inquiring into the matter. It is
old hat. The world has moved past the sorts of atomic weapons that were tested then.
Why can we not have an inquiry to show why the report was suppressed? What other
material has been suppressed? What have been the results across the county of the
COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD Page 15 of 18
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fallout from those experiments? Where did the trucks, shovels and radios go? Who
has been working in them and living beside them since because the Federal
Government did not care enough to make sure they were buried or taken out of the
way. The Government thought that because they were in the outback of South
Australia it need not worry about them. What has happened to the Aboriginal people
living in the centre of Australia? What has happened to the men and women who
were involved in the area? What has happened to the people who lived in the area. I
ask the Government to reconsider the matters it has raised in the statement it has put
down today. I ask it to conduct a full and far-reaching inquiry for the sake of the health
of the people of Australia. I ask it not to hide behind the excuse of security. I ask that
there be no more cover-ups in this area. I ask it to get down to the truth once and for
all of what really happened when we experimented at Maralinga and Monte Bello. I
ask it to tell that to the people of Australia and to look after the health of the people
who may have been contaminated. Debate (on motion by Senator Peter Baume)
adjourned.
TOP OF PAGE
2480 REPRESENTATIVES 30 APRIL 1980 Emu Atomic Weapons Test
Site {Question No 5895)
Mr Uren asked the Minister for Science and the Environment upon notice on 16 April
1980: ( 1 ) Does he propose to institute a study of radiological safety and future land
use at the Emu atomic weapons test site in South Australia similar to the studies
carried out for the Maralinga Range, South Australia and the Monte Bello Islands; if
so, when will the study be completed. (2) If a study of the Emu site will not be
instituted, why not. . Mr Thomson – The answer to the honourable member’s question
is as follows: The Australian ionising Radiation Advisory Council has recently
submitted to the government a report on radiological safety and future land use at the
Emu atomic weapons test site. The report is currently being printed and will be tabled
in the House as soon as it becomes available.
2846 REPRESENTATIVES 15 May 1980 NUCLEAR TESTS Mr
MacKELLAR (Warringah – Minister for Health )
– For the information of honourable members I present a statement made in the
Senate earlier today by the Minister for National Development and Energy (Senator
Carrick) relating to allegations of radiation exposure and health effects resulting from
atomic weapons tests.
TOP OF PAGE
3220 REPRESENTATIVES 22 May 1980 ATOMIC WEAPONS TESTS IN
SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Question No 5785)
Mr Uren asked the Minister for Defence upon notice on 1 April 1980: (1) Have any
claims for compensation been received by his Department alleging that disease or
disability resulted from employment at the British atomic weapons tests and
subsequent experiments and cleanup operations in South Australia. If so how many
(2) In each case what was the (a) date the claim was received by his Department and
(b) cause of death or the nature of the disability (3) In how many cases was it alleged
that radiation exposure resulted in death or disability (4) Which claims have been
determined and in each case what was the determination Mr Killen – The answer to
the honourable member’s question is as follows ( 1 ) Seven claims for compensation
received by my Department have been identified as relating to conditions allegedly
COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD Page 16 of 18
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contracted as a result of the British atomic tests held in Australia. In addition claim
was referred to my Department for certain information relating to a claim lodged by
the widow of an ex officer of the Bureau of Customs, Department of Business and
Consumer Affairs It is possible that there could have been other claims, but if so they
have not been readily identifiable as relating to atomic testing. (2) (3 ) and (4) Details
of the individual claims are as follows: Claim 1 -Received from widow 30 August
1971. Condition claimed was for “carcinomatosis, exposure to radioactive dust’
Allegedly attributable to exposure to radioactive dust in the Woomera area. Claim was
disallowed by the Commissioner for Employees Compensation on 5 May 1972, based
on specialist medical opinion. An application for Judicial Review was lodged in
February 1973, and as a result of the presentation of a further specialist medical
opinion, the Commissioner for Employees’ Compensation revoked his previous
determination of 5 May 1972 and determined in the claimant’s on 2 April 1974 that the
death of her husband resulted from a disease namely carcinomatosis due to the
nature of his employment by the Department of Defence (Army Office).
Claim 2 -Received on 23 March 1972 Condition claimed was for ‘nervous disorder –
anxiety neurosis – Allegedly attributable to anxiety, tension and living conditions whilst
engaged on decontamination duties at Maralinga Liability was accepted by the
Commissioner for Employees’ Compensation on 13 July 1973 in respect of ‘chronic
phobic anxiety state resulting from aggravation of a pre-existing agoraphobic
syndrome ‘ Claim 3- Received on 6 June 1972 Condition claimed was for ‘malignant
melanoma of the back’ Allegedly attributable to radiation exposure at Maralinga.
Disallowed by the Commissioner for Employees’ Compensation on 26 November
1975 on the basis of specialist medical opinion. Claim 4 – Received on 18 August
1977 Condition claimed was for ‘chronic myeloid leukaemia’ Allegedly attributable to
exposure to radiation whilst on seagoing duties 100 km off Monte Bello Island.
Disallowed by the Commissioner for Employees’ Compensation on 30 November
1979 on the basis of specialist medical opinion. Claim 5 Received on 4 May 1978
Condition claimed was for ‘ gout ‘ Allegedly attributable to radiation exposure to
radiation at Maralinga. Disallowed by the Commissioner for Employees ‘
Compensation on 31 August 1979 on the basis of specialist medical opinion. Claim 6-
Received on 19 March 1980 Condition claimed is for ‘ carcinoma of thyroid gland’
Allegedly attributable to exposure to radiation whilst on flying duties at Woomera.
Claim being investigated Claim 7 -Received from widow on 27 March 1980 Condition
claimed is for death resulting from ‘cancer of the oesophagus’ Allegedly attributable to
exposure to radiation whilst at Woomera. Claim being investigated. Claim 8 –
Received from widow by Department of Business Affairs – Bureau of Customs on 25
June 1979 (Referred to my Department for certain information) Condition claimed is
for death resulting from ‘hepatic failure ( 1 week), carcinoma rectum, liver secondaries
and bronchopneumonia’. Allegedly attributable to exposure to radiation whilst
employed as Sub-collector of Customs at Onslow in 1956. Claim being investigated.
TOP OF PAGE
ABORIGINES AT MARALINGA : EXPOSURE TO RADIATION
(QUESTION NO. 5786)
Mr Uren asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs upon notice
on 15 April 1980: ( 1 ) Has the Minister’s attention been drawn to statements reported
in the Perth Daily News 27 December 1976 by Mr Patrick Connolly, a former Royal Air
Force Corporal who served at Maralinga, SA, that many Aboriginal people walked
across restricted areas contaminated by radiation and when found there they wen
detained and put through a decontamination process that lasted 2 to 3 days and that
COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD Page 17 of 18
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R A F. personnel were always bringing them in. (2) Has the Department of Aboriginal
Affairs investigated these claims, if so, what are the results of the investigation (3) Is
there any evidence which suggests that Aboriginal people have suffered disease or
disability as a consequence of exposure to radiation resulting from British atomic
weapons tests in South Australia Mr Viner – The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs has
provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question ( 1 ) I have now
read the report in the Perth Daily News of 27 December 1976 (2) See reply of the
Minister for National Development and Energy to Question No 5782 (3) No. But I have
written to the South Australian Minister for Health asking whether there is any such
evidence and the Minister has announced that a review of the medical records for
1973-1979 for people living in the remote reserves, Yalata and the North-West
Reserve had shown no abnormal incidence rates for birth deformities or cancer.
However the South Australian Health Commission is setting up an investigation in the
remote reserves directed at defining any trend of increased incidence of radiation
related diseases.
TOP OF PAGE
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 22 MAY 1980 REPRESENTATIVES
ABORIGINES AT MARALINGA : EXPOSURE TO RADIATION
(QUESTION NO 5782)
Mr Uren asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development and
Energy, upon notice, on 1 April 1980: (1) Has the Minister’s attention been drawn to
statements reported in the Perth Daily News of 27 December 1976 by Mr Patrick
Connolly, a former Royal Air Force Corporal who served at Maralinga, SA, that many
Aboriginal people walked across restricted areas contaminated by radiation, that
when found there, they were detained and put through a decontamination process
that lasted 2 to 3 days and that RAF personnel were always bringing them in. (2) Can
the Minister say whether Aboriginal people were detained for decontamination at the
Maralinga Range; if so, how many persons were detained. (3) Were any measures
taken to monitor the subsequent health of these persons; if so, what measures were
taken. Mr Anthony- The Minister for National Development and Energy has provided
the following answer to the honourable member’s question: (1) yes I have read the
report in the Perth Daily News of 27.12.1976. (2) See reply of the Minister for National
Development to Question No 2827 (Hansard, 22.2.1979, page 337). While the
Maralinga Range was in operation, Aboriginals approaching the Range were
intercepted by ground patrols and arrangements made for their return to their
communities. Examination of Commonwealth records to date has identified only one
instance of Aboriginals entering a contaminated area during operation of the
Maralinga Range. This occurred in May 1957 and involved a group of four Aboriginals
camping overnight near one of the test sites. They were discovered the following day
and examined by Australian radiation safety officials who detected minor
contamination which was removed by washing. It was concluded that there was no
possibility of any radiation injury having occurred.
TOP OF PAGE
ATOMIC WEAPONS TESTS AT MARALINGA AND EMU (QUESTION
NO. 5783)
Mr Uren asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development and
Energy upon notice on 1 April 1980: How many Australians participated (1) as
members of the armed services; (2) as Commonwealth Police and (3) in other
capacities in British atomic weapons tests and subsequent experiments at Maralinga
COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD Page 18 of 18
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and Emu, South Australia between 1956 and 1967. Mr Anthony – Minister for National
Development and Energy has provided the following answer to the honourable
member’s question: I am advised that the number of Australians, Service and civilian,
who were employed at Maralinga and Emu between 1953 and 1967 in support of the
British test programs and subsequent clean up varied according to whether testing
was in progress or the Range was being kept on a care and maintenance basis. At its
highest during the 1956 trials the Australian support population at Maralinga was 371.
The more typical Australian support population during the test campaigns, 40 to 50
personnel were required to maintain support facilities. It would not be possible to
establish the precise overall number of Australians who were employed at Maralinga
and Emu without a search of many thousands of individual service records, but on the
basis of the above figures it would appear unlikely that the total number of individuals
involved reached 2,000.
TOP OF PAGE
OPERATION BRUMBY AT MARALINGA QUESTION NO 5784
Mr Uren asked the Minister representing the Minister of National Development and
Energy upon notice, on 1 April 1980: Did any Australian (a) Serviceman or (b) civilians
participate in the 1967 Operation Brumby cleanup of areas and facilities contaminated
with plutonium and other radioactive isotopes at the Maralinga Range in South
Australia Mr Anthony – The Minister for National Development and Energy has
provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question: I am advised
that Operation Brumby was carried out by the British Royal Engineers and Australian
personnel provided support as they did while the Maralinga Range was in use. See
Answer to Question 5783.
Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright : October 2001
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgement of sources
This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
Extracts from material supplied by ARPANSA is cited on this CD Rom in order to provide evidence and to enable study of the Australian Government’s current position
on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
HOME PROPAGANDA WATER INDIGENOUS ANALYSIS BIBLIOGRAPHY
US
VETS BOMBS BLACK
MIST LETTERS MEDIA SURVEY
ARL AWTSC HISTORY CAUTION README
REFERENCES Page 1 of 20
file://D:\atomic\REF\REF.HTM 7/6/03
HOME
PROPAGANDA
WATER
INDIGENOUS
LEGAL
AWTSC
US VETS
BOMBS
BLACK
MIST
LETTERS
MEDIA
SURVEY
ARL
ANALYSIS
HISTORY
CAUTION
README
[Authoritative] [Hansard] [Media] [ARPANSA] [Royal Commission] [UN] [Medical] [Books] [Print]
[Association] [Films] [Int. Radio] [Additional] [Chronology of Research]
Authoritative Correspondence
Mr Graeme Elliott, Information Officer, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety
Agency, (ARPANSA) Ref M2000/675, 4 Sept 2001.
Letter from Dr Roger Cross, Dept Science and Mathematics Education, University of Melbourne,
Melbourne Vic 7.8.01
Letter from Sue Rabbitt Roff, Cookson Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry
and Nursing, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, 2 August 2001.
Letter from Mr Jim Dadds, Director, Resources and Planning, Public and Environmental Health
Service, Designated Freedom of Information Officer, Department of Human Services. Ref PEHS:
99/03212, PEHS: 002/99/0347, 27 Sept 1999, enclosing the document:
“A Survey of Diseases that may be Related to Radiation among Pitjantjatjara on Remote
Reserves”.
Letter 08/127/255, 3.2.1995, Jill Fitch, Radiation Protection Branch, South Australian Health
Commission.
Letter MFI00876, 1/11/95, David Abbott, Chief Administrative Officer, Office of Mr John Olsen,
Minister for Industry, Manufacturing, Small Business & Regional Development, Minister for
Infrastructure.
Letter MFI, 100876, SA Water 10713/95, E.J. Phipps, Chief Executive with enclosures: Data sheets
of radiological monitoring of SA Water storages.
Letter MFB 1195, BCN/AK15, 19/5/96, The Hon. John Olsen, FNIA, MP
Letter MFI 00876, SA Water 10713/95, E.J. Phipps, Chief Executive.
Letter from Senator the Hon Warwick Parer, 23 July 1996
Letter from M.R. Holthuyzen, First Assistant Secretary, Coal and Minerals Industries Division,
Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy, 15 February, 1996
Email from Mr Michael Sexton, ABC TV, 6 Aug 2002 re radiological monitoring of Australia circa
1985
Letter from Capt. J. Smiley, OIC Radiac Calibration Centre, 4 Base Workshop RAEME, Bandiana,
Vic, Dec. 1973 – description of work performed.
Letter from R. Waller, SPV CARO Enquiries, Australian Army Soldier Career Management Agency,
Central Army Records Office, 18 Sept 2002 – letter advising Radiac Centre radiological film badge
records are released. These records accompany the letter.
REFERENCES Page 2 of 20
file://D:\atomic\REF\REF.HTM 7/6/03
National Archives of Australia Web site print out – accession lists of Radiac files, 6 Aug. 2002
As above, electronic request for access to file Item 816661 AWM207, date range 1971-1975, Title:
Headquarters, ANZUK Force, Controlled Stores, Radiac Equipment.
As Above – Electronic notice that above item not available
Email from Australian Archives Australian War Memorial site. Author: Lee-Anne McConchie,
Research Support Officer, 30/7/02, advising that the above file “does not contain any pages. This
file was received by the War Memorial in this condition”. Some Emails sent to Ms McConchie
remain answered as of March 2003
TOP OF PAGE
Commonwealth Parliamentary Hansard
HANSARD EXTRACTS COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD, REPRESENTATIVES,
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 22 FEB 1972, PAGE 92
NUCLEAR TESTS, QUESTION NO 4806 23.2.72 Questions, Representatives, page 102
FRENCH NUCLEAR TESTS 13 April 1972, Radioactive Fallout, page 1606
RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT IN AUSTRALIA FROM NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTED BY FRANCE IN
POLYNESIA – MINISTERIAL STATEMENT
COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 9 MAY 1972
2195 TESTING OF ATOMIC WEAPONS
24 MAY 1972 3001
REPRESENTATIVES 30 MAY 1972 3210 FRENCH NUCLEAR TESTS
730 APPROPRIATION BILL (No. 3) REPRESENTATIVES 27 MARCH 1973 REPRESENTATIVES, 5
APRIL 1973 QUESTIONS 1121 NUCLEAR TESTS
REPRESENTATIVES 2 MAY 1973 1561 NUCLEAR TESTS Ministerial Statement
REPRESENTATIVES 29 MAY 1973 APPROPRIATION BILL NO. 5 2774 answers to Questions
REPRESENTATIVES 29 MAY 1973 2829 NUCLEAR TESTS: CHINA Question No. 548
REFERENCES Page 3 of 20
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SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD 28 February 1980
LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL 1313 NATURAL RADIATION.
Commonwealth Parliamentary Hansard
REPRESENTATIVES 20 March 1980
Mr UREN (Reid) (12.35) -The Jones Compensation case
COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD
I020 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY HANSARD REPRESENTATIVES 20 MARCH 1980 Mr
UREN (Reid) (12.35) – Health inquiry
Question No. 3515 Mr Uren Health of Australia’s nuclear veterans
2186 SENATE 14 MAY 1980 QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE MARALINGA ATOMIC TESTS Senator
ELSTOB – inquiry into deaths of Aboriginals
2288 SENATE 15 MAY 1980 MARALINGA NUCLEAR TESTS MINISTERIAL STATEMENT Senator
CARRICK (New South Wales – Minister for National Development and Energy) – by leave – Inquiry
into deaths of Aboriginals
Senator CAVANAGH (South Australia) ( 12. 56pm)- Cancer etc among victims of tests, the
Marston report, Rocky Flats, USA experience
2480 REPRESENTATIVES 30 APRIL 1980 Emu Atomic Weapons Test Site {Question No 5895) –
IRAC report
2846 REPRESENTATIVES 15 May 1980 NUCLEAR TESTS Mr MacKELLAR (Warringah – Minister
for Health ) – Radiation exposure
3220 REPRESENTATIVES 22 May 1980 ATOMIC WEAPONS TESTS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
(Question No 5785) – Health effects and compensation
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 22 MAY 1980 REPRESENTATIVES ABORIGINES AT MARALINGA :
EXPOSURE TO RADIATION (QUESTION NO 5782)
ATOMIC WEAPONS TESTS AT MARALINGA AND EMU (QUESTION NO. 5783) Maralinga workers
OPERATION BRUMBY AT MARALINGA QUESTION NO 5784 – Australian personnel involved
30.4.80 Questions, page 2480
14.5.80 2186-2187 The Senate
15.5.80 2255-2294 The Senate
22.5.80, 3219-3220 House of Representatives, Questions.
REFERENCES Page 4 of 20
file://D:\atomic\REF\REF.HTM 7/6/03
1972 Commonwealth House of Representatives 22.2.1972 pages 92-93 cumulative effects, esp
children: thyroid and bones. Ref AWTSC report Nol. 2/71.
28.10.71, Senate Question No 15.09, page 1552, Representatives
Question No 4772 2.12.71 page 4123.
3673 7.9.71, page 877
23.2.72 pages 102-103
9.5.72 pages 2194-3002
1973 27.3.73 pages 730-737
5.4.73 Questions, page 1121
2.5.73, 1561-1562
29.5.73, 2774-2278
29.5.73, 2529
20.3.80, 1020-1023
30.4.80 Questions, page 2480
14.5.80 2186-2187
13 4.5.92, 2298-2321 House of Representatives, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology
Organisation Amendment Bill 1992 Second Reading.
TOP OF PAGE
Media and other Releases
Dr Michael Wooldridge, Minister for Health and Aged Care, Media Release Sept 2001.
Ref: 953/12155 – Letter from Chief Scientist, W.G. Penney, to Sir Frederick Brundren, K.B.E, C.B,
British Ministry of Defence.
US Public Law 100-321, 20.5.88.
TOP OF PAGE
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency :
Source 1. A letter from Mr Graeme Elliott, ARPANSA Information Officer
Source 2. An ARPANSA report on the Strontium 90 Testing Program 1957-78.This report contains
a summary of the numbers of deceased Australian used in the tests, a summary of “Operation
Sunshine”, the US global Strontium 90 survey, and a list of files held by ARPANSA related to this
issue
REFERENCES Page 5 of 20
file://D:\atomic\REF\REF.HTM 7/6/03
Source 3. Media Release from Dr Michael Wooldridge, then Minister for Health and Aged Care.
Source 4. Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee Report Number 2, Strontium 90 and Caesium
137 in the Australian Environment during 1969 and some results for 1970.
Source 5. Reprint of “The Australian Journal of Science, Vol24, Number 10, April 1962, “Strontium
90 in the Australian Environment, 1957 to 1960”.
Source 6. Australian Radiation Laboratory Report “Public Health Impact of Fallout from British
Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia, 1952 – 1957” by Keith N. Wise and John R. Moroney,
published by the Department of Health, Housing and Community Services.
ARPANSA, PO Box 655 Miranda NSW 1490, Australia. Email arpansa@health.gov.au
TOP OF PAGE
McClelland Royal Commission Documents:
Royal Commission Document R49.001
Royal Commission document R030.022, Army File number 100-1-10
Extract from the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia
“Summary of Submissions paragraph 1.3.3
United Nations Reports
UN General Assembly release report No 17 (A/3838) – Extract from the Report of the United
Nations Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation para 49
TOP OF PAGE
Medical Journals
Journal of the American Medical Association Jan 13 1984 Vol 251, No2. Original Contributions
“Cancer Incidence in an Area of Radioactive Fallout Downwind From the Nevada Test Site”, Carl
J. Johnson, MD,
New England Medical Journal Vol 300 Feb 22 1979, Childhood Leukemias Associated with Fallout
from Nuclear Testing, Joseph L. Lyon, M.D., M.P.H., Melville, R. Klauber, PH.D., John W.Gardiner,
M.D., AND King S. Udall, M.D..
TOP OF PAGE
Books and Reports
REFERENCES Page 6 of 20
file://D:\atomic\REF\REF.HTM 7/6/03
“Atomic Radiation & Life”, Peter Alexander, Pelican Books, 1957
“Fallout – Hedley Marston and the British Bomb Tests in Australia” by Dr Roger Cross, Wakefield
Press, ISBN 1 86254 523 5, in particular pages 106, 107 and Chapters 8 and 9.
Meltdown by Crispin Aubrey, Collins and Brown, 1991 ISBN I 855850176
“No Conceivable Injury”, Milliken, Robert, A363.179/14, Penguin, 1986,
01400S43SX
John Pilger, “Distant Voices”, Vintage, ISBN 0 09 914391 7, pages 50 – 53.
“The Way I See It”, Patti Davis, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1992, ISBN 0-399-13748-3
Email to me from Keith Whittle, editor Portland Oregon Atomic Veterans, USA.
The Chronicle of the Twentieth Century, ISBN 1872031 80 3, Chronicle of Australia Pty Ltd, 487
Maroondah Highway, Ringwood, Victoria, 3134 and Chronicle Communications, London. 1990
Jacques International Publishing, Paris for World English Rights. Copyright for the Chronicle
System, Harenberg Communications, Dortmund.
The Chronicle of 1990, ISBN 1-87 2031-84-6, Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 487 Maroondah
Highway, Ringwood, Victoria 3134. Other rights as above.
The Chronicle of 1991, ISBN 1-872031-25-0, Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 487 Maroondah
Highway, Ringwood Victoria 3134.
TOP OF PAGE
Print Media
THE AUSTRALIAN 30.12.93 PAGE 1
The Adelaide Advertiser Newspaper, 11.9.95
Adelaide Advertiser, 14.4.99. NUCLEAR WASTE CONTAMINATED ROXBY – ADVERTISER 26.7.96
By Phillip Coorey
Advertiser 2.8.96 “EXPOSURE TO RADIATION DID NOT HAPPEN”
TOP OF PAGE
Atomic ExServicemens Association Publications
The magazine of the Australian Atomic Ex-Servicemen’s Association “Atomic Fallout” Australian
Publication Number QAS4208, Editor : Mr Terry Toon, 23 Eidsvold Street, Keperra, Qld 4054
Atomic Fallout 1.4, June1985, 1.5, December 1985, 1.6, June 1986, 1.8, June 1988, 1.9, June 1989,
1.10 June 1990, 1.11 June 1991, 1.12 March/June 1992, 1.13 December 1992, 2.1 June 1993, 2.2
December 1993, 2.9 June 1994
REFERENCES Page 7 of 20
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Volume 3 & 4 “Progress to a New World Order” – Short-wave Radio Transcripts and other Media
Reports compiled by Paul Langley. Archive tape number given. Australian National Library
deposit number LD94/6407
Radiological Health Notes, RADIAC Centre, 4 Base Workshop RAEME, 1972 – 73
Film and Video
“Backs to the Blast”, SA Film Corporation.
TOP OF PAGE
Short-wave Radio transcripts:
KOL ISRAEL, 1.30PM 5.8.92 11.588MHZ Tape 34/92
RADIO DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 3.00PM 5.8.92 21.700MHZ tape 34/92
RADIO MOSCOW WORLD SERVICE 1.30PM 8.8.92 21.690MHZ tape 34/92
RADIO DUBAI UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 3.00PM 20.8.92 21.700MHZ tape 38/92
VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, 10.35PM 30.8.92 15.155MHZ tape 42/92
KOL ISRAEL, THE VOICE OF ISRAEL, JERUSALEM. 1.30PM 31.8.92 11.588MHZ tape 42/92
RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL 11.30PM 7.9.92 tape 45/92
VOICE OF AMERICA 9.30PM 11.9.92 6110MHZ Tape 46/92
CHANNEL 9 TV ADELAIDE S. AUSTRALIA, 9.00AM 20.9.92 tape 50/92
RADIO MOSCOW 7.30PM 17.11.92 21.690MHZ tape 60/92
BBC 10.30PM 14.12.92 9.740MHZ tape 68/92
BBC 11.30PM 25.12.92 9.740MHZ tape 70/92
RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL 12.30AM 3.1.93 17.650MHZ Tape 72 & 73/92.
RADIO MOSCOW 2.30PM 3.1.93 21.690MHZ tape 73/92
BBC 9.30PM 3.1.93 9.740MHZ Tape 1/93
RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL 12.30AM 17.1.93 17.650MHZ
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES RADIO 4.00PM 26.1.93 21.700MHZ Tape 4/93
BBC WORLD SERVICE 11.30pm 27.1.93 9.740MHZ tape 4/93
RADIO MOSCOW 2.30pm 30.1.93 21.690Mhz tape 4/93
REFERENCES Page 8 of 20
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RADIO MOSCOW 11.30AM 14.5.93 21.690 MHZ tape 19/93
BBC 11.30PM 8.11.93 9.740MHZ.
VOICE OF AMERICA 10.30pm 10.11.93 15.160mhz tape 54/93
NORTH KOREA 5.11PM 18.11.93 15.187MHZ tape 56/93
VOICE OF AMERICA 11.30PM 18.12.93 9.760MHZ tape 65/93

EMAIL FROM US NUCLEAR VETERAN
Subject: Package received
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 20:58:51 -0700
From: histgaz@aracnet.com (editor)
To: pugsley@picknowl.com.au
Hey Paul,
I received your package yesterday, Wed. Oct 14. Thanks very much! I gave it all a
quick read through. Very nice work.
It is the same story as happened here, Australia, Marshall Islands, Russia. Here in the
US, the fall-out blanketed the entire width of the country more than a hundred times. I
would not be surprised if some of the scientists understood this would be a new
methodology to control population growth.
They all knew of the hazards: the Americans, British, French and the Russians. For
sure, history will tell that the Cold War cost millions of lives. And, like you, I made the
analogy of seriously injuring yourself to show how mean you are to your enemy.
Have you seen my first atomic history web site: Anno Atomi?
http://www.aracnet.com/~histgaz/atomi/
I haven’t got into the discs yet. But I will real soon. Thanks for taking the time and
expense to send them.
Keith Whittle, editor
Portland Oregon Atomic Veterans
http://www.aracnet.com/~histgaz/atomi/vets/

On 15.10.53, Britain detonated a Plutonium 239 atomic bomb at Emu
Field, South Australia.
The operation was code named Totem 1. The path of the fallout cloud was
affected by meteorological conditions. Some of the primary cloud formed a
black mist at ground level which moved along the ground.
CONCLUSIONS OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION TOP OF PAGE
The Conclusions of the Report of the Royal Commission in British Nuclear
Tests in Australia state the following about the Totem 1 test:
Para 87. The Totem 1 test was fired under wind conditions that the study in
Report A32 had shown would produce unacceptable levels of fallout.
Measured fallout from Totem 1 on inhabited regions did exceed the limits
proposed in Report A32. (6.2.19)
88. The firing criteria used for the Totem 1 test ignored some of the
recommendations of Report A32 and did not take into account the
existence of people at Wallatinna and Melbourne Hill down wind of the test
site. (6.2.19)
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90. There was a failure at the Totem trials to consider adequately the
distinctive lifestyle of Aborigines and, as a consequence, their special
vulnerability to radioactive fallout.
91. Inadequate resources were allocated to guaranteeing the safety of
Aborigines during the Totem nuclear tests. (6.3.65)
92. The Native Patrol Officer had the impossible task of locating and
warning Aborigines, some of whom lived in traditional lifestyles and were
scattered over more than 100,00 square kilometres. (6.3.65).
94. The differences in the details of Aboriginal accounts of the Black Mist
are to be expected after the passage of over thirty years. The accounts are
sufficiently consistent in general for them to have credibility. (6.4.92)
95. An oral history of the Black Mist existed for many years before the
incident became known to the general public. (6.4.92)
96. Meteorological, mathematical and statistical modelling indicates that a
black mist passing over Wallatinna and Welbourn Hill could have
happened. (6.4.92)
97. There is no reason to disbelieve Aboriginal accounts that the Black
Mist occurred and that it made some people sick. Both radiation and fear
can lead to vomiting. At Wallatinna, the vomiting by Aborigines may have
resulted from radiation, it may have been a psychogenic reaction to a
frightening experience , or it may have resulted from both of these.(6.4.92)
98. The Royal Commission believes that Aboriginal people experienced
radioactive fallout from Totem 1 in the form of a black mist or cloud at and
near Wallatinna. This may have made some people temporarily ill. The
Royal Commission does not have sufficient evidence to say whether or not
it caused other illnesses or injuries. (6.4.92).99. Given the historical
uncertainties and the current state of scientific knowledge, the evidence
presented does not enable the Royal Commission to decide one way or
the other whether the Black Mist caused or contributed to the blindness of
Yami Lester. (6.4.92)
102. It was negligent to allow aircrew to fly through the Totem 1 cloud
without proper instructions and without protective clothing. (6.5.158)
PARALLELS BETWEEN RONGELAP ISLANDERS AND
AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES
TOP OF PAGE
The results of the Totem 1 Test parallel the results of an American nuclear
test in the South Pacific, in so far as both caused indigenous populations to
become affected by direct contact with nuclear fallout. The following extract
explains the effects suffered by both the people of Rongelap Island and the
Utah Mormons:
“Journal of the American Medical Association Jan 13 1984 Vol 251, No2.
Original Contributions: Cancer Incidence in an Area of Radioactive Fallout Downwind From the
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Nevada Test Site Carl J. Johnson, MD
Detonation of a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb at the Bikini Atoll (March 1,
1954) caused radioactive fall out arriving at Rongelap, 180-km distant in
four to six hours and at Utirik 440-km distant, in about 22 hours. The
Rongelap islanders received 1 rad of gamma radiation and Utirik islanders
received 14 rad before evacuation.
About 90% of those exposed had skin burns and hair loss at Rongelap.
Many had superficial lesions (14/16 observed/exposed]) and three had hair
loss at Ailingina Atoll (75 rad), and no one had skin lesions or hair loss on
Utirik. The Rongelap islanders received a thyroid dose of 300 rad from I
131, “but about 4,200 additional rad in I 131 equivalents” from the shortlived
iodine isotopes (I 132, I 133 and I 135) (3). Children received a larger
dose, up to 2,000 or more rad for a 1-year-old child. Estimated thyroid
doses at Utirik range from 30 to 90 rad.(3) Primary hypothyroidism and
thyroid nodules were first recognized in 1964, about ten years after
exposure, and were earlier and more severe in children. About 77% of
Rongelap children younger than 10 years at the time required surgery later
for benign and malignant thyroid nodules. (3)”
DISTINCTIVE PATTERNS OF INJURY FROM BETA RADIATION
BURNS
TOP OF PAGE
Darker skinned people suffer a distinctive set of skin injuries on contact
with nuclear fallout which emits Beta radiation. Sores and depigmentation
of the skin occurs which leaves permanent pale patches or blotches on the
skin. This damage is acknowledged as proof of contamination by Beta
radiation by US authorities in relation to the Rongelap Islanders.
Photographic evidence of this Beta Radiation damage to a Rongelap
Islander child is found in “Atomic Radiation and Life”, by Peter Alexander,
Pelican Books, 1957, photo page and reproduced in the document
“Propaganda” on this CD Rom.
9,
The Royal Commission failed to find sufficient proof of exposure to fallout
by Australian Aborigines in relation to the Black Mist incident. This is
perplexing because Aborigines suffered the same very obvious skin
damage as the Rongelap Islanders as a result of the Totem 1 fallout. A film
called “Backs to the Blast” includes an interview with one Aborigine who is
similarly afflicted.
Bitmap images of the Aboriginal Lady interviewed in film “Backs to the
Blast”, showing Beta radiation damage to the skin on her leg and arm are
shown below.
Unlike the Rongelap Islanders, Australian Aborigines have not received any
personal injury compensation. Unlike the Rongelap Islanders, successive
State and Federal Governments have claimed no injuries occurred. See
the document “Water” for the only South Australian Government report into
the health effects of the British/Australian nuclear weapons test programme
on Aboriginal people.
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PHOTOGRAPH SEQUENCE TOP OF PAGE
The photographs shown here are taken from the film “Backs to the Blast”.
This film is available from the SA Film Corporation.
The photograph sequence shows the following chain of events resulting
from Operation Totem 1.
The fallout cloud is caught by winds and a
temperature inversion which force portions
of the cloud to the ground, forming a black
mist.
A person who was caught in the black mist.
Another picture of the victim
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Beta radiation burns to the ladyís arm. Beta radiation burns to the ladyís leg.
Professor Ernest Titterton, Chief Australian
Safety Officer.
Professor Titterton was responsible for the safety of all Australians during
the Totem 1 and other tests. Safety aspects of the tests drew the following
Conclusions from the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests In
Australia:
15. Bearing in mind that the yield given in the planning document was about
half that of the actual Totem explosions, the all-embracing nature of the
assurance of safety given by Martin and Titterton gave legitimacy to the
Australian Governmentís decision to allow the tests to take place. (12.4.39)
21. The Australian Prime Ministerís stated requirements for the member of
the AWTSC (Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee) not to have any
conflict of interests in relation to the success of the atomic weapons tests
program was not met with respect to Titterton.(12.6.18)
31. Efforts were made throughout the major tests by the United Kingdom
and Australian Governments, with the assistance of scientists, to persuade
the Australian public that the tests were both necessary and safe. These
efforts were increased when it became apparent that the majority of people
were opposed to the continuation of the tests. (12.10.102)
46. The atmosphere of mutual trust between the watchers (the AWTSC)
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and the watched (the British scientists conducting the tests) was altogether
unsatisfactory and dangerous. The watchers, who, after all, had the power
to prevent the tests, should have been considerably harder to convince and
should have required much more than assurances from the British before
granting approval. (12.10.101)
47. The AWTSC failed to carry out many of its tasks in a proper manner. At
times it was deceitful and allowed unsafe firing (of atomic weapons) to
occur. It deviated from its charter by assuming responsibilities which
properly belonged to the Australian Government. (12.10.102)
48. Titterton played a political as well as a safety role in the testing
program, especially in the minor trials. He was prepared to conceal
information from the Australian Government and his fellow Committee
members if he believed to do so would suit the interests of the United
Kingdom Government and the testing program. (12.10.102)
49. The fact that the AWTSC did not negotiate with the UK openly and
independently in relation to the minor trials was a result of the special
relationship which enabled Titterton to deal with the Atomic Weapons
Research Establishment (AWRE) in a personal and informal manner. He
was from first to last, “their man” and the concerns which were ultimately
voiced in relation to the Vixen B proposals and which forced the
introduction of more formal procedures for approving minor trials were a
direct result of the perceived inadequacies in the manner in which he had
carried out his tasks. (12.10.102)
HOME PROPAGANDA WATER INDIGENOUS LEGAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
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ISBN 0-646-42490-4 Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright :
JULY 2003
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgment of sources
This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
Extracts from material supplied by ARPANSA is cited on this CD Rom in order to provide evidence and to enable study of the Australian
Government’s current position on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
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The Commonwealth Minister for Health released the following statement in relation to
the use of human tissue during the Strontium 90 Survey: Mr Wooldridge mentions the
adverse effects of nuclear testing as revealed by the findings of the survey.
Up until this statement, all Australian governments have stated that there were no
adverse effects, and that nuclear testing had caused no harm. The Strontium 90
survey results showed continuous harmful uptake of the substance by Australians for
the duration of the survey.
Nuclear veterans, exposed during service to ionising radiation, continued to be
exposed to additional Strontium 90 uptake due to its release by the bomb tests.
If authorities were as concerned for the Health of Australians, film badges, dosimeters
and other personal dose recorders would have been issued to all Australians at the
time of the tests.
Rather, things were done covertly (such as the stealing of bone samples from dead
Australians) and results published in specialised scientific journals, out of easy or
routine access by ordinary people in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The bone survey was
indeed public knowledge at the time. Results were minimised, sources of bone not
disclosed and information, when released in the popular press, was encapsulated in
falsehood about the effects of Strontium 90. Human bone is the least radio-sensitive
tissue. Bone is NOT the only site affected it.
Media Release
Dr Michael Wooldridge
Minister for Health and Aged Care
MW82/01
5 September 2001
ARPANSA REPORT ON STRONTIUM 90 TESTING
PROGRAM
The Federal Government has today referred a report by the Australian Radiation
MEDIA Page 2 of 3
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Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) into Australia’s participation in a
global nuclear monitoring program to the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC).
Between 1957 and 1978 Australia had a program for measuring strontium-90 (a
radioisotope associated with nuclear testing) contamination in the environment.
“While this important research program was public knowledge at the time, I share the
concerns of many Australians today about the ethics of not seeking the informed
consent of next of kin for the use of human bone samples in the monitoring program,”
Dr Wooldridge said on releasing the ARPANSA Report.
“It must be remembered that these events occurred in a different era when it was not
common practice to seek the consent of family members for these kind of studies and
that is why I asked ARPANSA to examine the records regarding the monitoring
program.
“I am informed that the former Australian Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee,
which coordinated this program, kept records, which included in many cases, the
identity of the human samples used. ARPANSA is currently completing the process of
collating these records.
“I am now referring the issue of how to best make this information publicly available to
the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Health Ethics
Committee. AHEC is expected to provide advice by the end of the year on
establishing proper ethical protocols so that family members can gain more detailed
information about the program,” Dr Wooldridge said.
The Report shows that Commonwealth officials requested hospital pathologists to
participate in the fallout monitoring program. Most pathologists in hospitals in
mainland Australia and the Northern Territory who were asked were willingly involved
as a public service.
The CEO of ARPANSA, Dr Loy, has written to the States involved and the NT
providing them with the report and with the names of the laboratories involved for
whatever further action they may wish to take.
The Report shows that for the first few years of the program, ashed human samples
were sent to laboratories overseas (USA and the UK) for measurement as Australia
did not have suitable equipment for measuring strontium-90. However, during the
1960s this capability became available and subsequent samples were analysed in
Australia.
The results of the global research effort showed that humans were being
adversely affected by radioactive fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear
weapons and the monitoring program contributed to the eventual banning of
atmospheric testing throughout the world.
For a copy of the ARPANSA Report call 1800 022 333 or visit http://www.arpansa.gov.au.
Media Contact:
Craig Simonetto, Office of Dr Wooldridge 03 9822 1388
Kay McNiece, Department of Health & Aged Care 0412 132 585
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Page 1
AUSTRALIAN RADIATION PROTECTION AND
NUCLEAR SAFETY AGENCY REPORT
AUSTRALIAN STRONTIUM 90 TESTING PROGRAM
1957-1978
Background to the report
In early June 2001 a report appeared in the Daily Mail newspaper in the United Kingdom detailing the
use of human bone tissue for the measurement of strontium 90 in the context of a US program called
“Project Sunshine”.
Whilst there are some indications that Australia laboratories sent bone samples to the US as part of
Project Sunshine 1 the majority of activity undertaken in Australia related to a national program for the
measurement of strontium 90 in human bone in the period 19571978.
In response to the newspaper report the CEO of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety
Agency (ARPANSA), Dr John Loy, issued a media release indicating that ARPANSA held records in
relation to fallout monitoring by Australia and in particular Australia’s involvement in the measurement
of strontium 90.
LINK SUBJECT
BACK Background to the report
MEASURE Measurement of Strontium 90
CHRONOLOGY
Australiaís Strontium 90 survey a chronology of events – Atomic
Weapons Tests Safety Committee (AWTSC) and the National
Radiation Advisory Committee (NRAC)
COLLECT November 1957 collection of samples begin
CHANGES Changes to the parameters of the collection policy
PAYMENT Payment of a bonus for the collection of samples
AUST Australian laboratories commence analysis of samples
INDEX Card index system introduced
MORE Increased bonus payment for supply of samples
END 78 Program ended in 1978
RECORDS Records held by ARPANSA
PROGRAM Program over the period 19571978
STATE Distribution by State and Territory
AGE Distribution by Age
SUNSHINE ATTACHMENT A – Project Sunshine
PUBLICATIONS ATTACHMENT B – Publications relating to the strontium 90
measurement program
FILES ATTACHMENT C – FILES
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The scientific literature 2 in relation to the measurement of strontium 90 states that following the
explosion of nuclear devices in the atmosphere, an assessment can be made of strontium 90
contamination of the environment by investigating the following materials:
(a) Precipitation and soil;
(b) The groups of foodstuffs responsible for the main intake of strontium 90 by the
population, namely milk, milk products, grain products, vegetable and fruits, meat; and
(c) Human bone tissue
The monitoring program in Australia was based on continuous measurement of the level of the
radioisotope [strontium 90] in these materials. 3
The Australian monitoring program was carried out under the auspices of the Atomic Weapons Tests
Safety Committee from 1957 until that committee’s abolition in 1973. The remainder of the program
was carried out under the auspices of the Australian Ionising
Radiation Advisory Committee (AIRAC) until the program’s conclusion in 1978.
————————————————————————————————————————————–

Australiaís Strontium 90 survey a chronology of events Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee
(AWTSC) and the National Radiation Advisory Committee (NRAC)
The Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee was set up in July 1955 within the Department of
Supply. Its charter was to examine information and other data supplied by the United Kingdom relating
to atomic weapons tests and the safety measures to be taken in relation such tests. It was also charged
with advising the Prime Minister of the conclusions arrived at by the Committee and in particular
alternative or more extensive safety measures that may be considered necessary. 4
The membership of the AWTSC at establishment was Professor LH Martin (Defence), Professor E W
Titterton (Head, School of Nuclear Physics, Australian National University), Dr EC Eddy (Director,
Commonwealth Xray and Radium Laboratory), Professor JP Baxter (Australian Atomic Energy
Commission) and Mr WAS Butement (Chief Scientist, Department of Supply). The AWTSC oversaw
the safety aspects of the atomic weapons test undertaken in Australia in the 1950’s, including those
tests undertaken at Monte Bello Islands, Emu, Western Australia and Maralinga, South Australia.
The membership of the AWTSC was changed in 1957, its size reduced and terms of reference
modified as a consequence of the establishment of the National Radiation Advisory Committee
(NRAC). The decision to form the NRAC was taken by the then Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies
following advice from the then Minister for Supply. 5
The new mission for the AWTSC was to concentrate on the safety aspects of atomic weapons testing.
The purpose of the NRAC was to advise the Prime Minister and the Government on Commonwealthwide
radiological surveys and measurements, to arrange for the supply of information to international
organisations concerned with radioactivity and to arrange for the supply of samples when appropriate.
The revised membership of the AWTSC was Professor E Titterton, DJ Stephens (Head of the
Commonwealth XRay and Radium laboratory) and LJ Dwyer (Director of Meteorology).
The AWTSC continued to report to the Minister for Supply.
The membership of NRAC was Sir MacFarlane Burnet (Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of
Medical Research), Professor Sunderland, Professor E W Titterton, Dr WP Holman (Peter MacCallum
Clinic), Mr DA Gill (CSIRO), and Mr D J Stephens. The NRAC reported directly to the Prime Minister.
In 1957 Mr J R Moroney was appointed as Secretary to both Committees. He remained Secretary of
Measurement of Strontium 90 TOP OF PAGE
Page 2 TOP OF PAGE
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that Committee until the Committee’s demise in 1973.
Following discussions between representatives of the British Atomic Energy Research Establishment
(AERE), the British Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) and the Australian Atomic
Weapons Tests Safety Committee on 13 and 24 May 1957 in
Melbourne and Harwell, two sampling programs for Strontium 90 measurement were agreed
——————————————————————————————————————————–
4 Letter from Howard Beale, Minister for Supply to the Prime Minister, RG Menzies dated 15 March
1957
5 Ibid
upon by the parties. One was to be of a continuing nature, samples to be collected in August–
September annually and the other was intended to be a special preAntler 6 survey in MayJune 1957. 7
The parties agreed that scientific and financial responsibility for these programs should lie with
Australia. The sampling program included soil, vegetation, milk, sheep bones and human bones.
The National Radiation Advisory Committee had its first meeting on 10 June 1957. The Chairman, Sir
Macfarlane Burnet opened the meeting stating that:
“The primary reason for the formation of this committee was to maintain public confidence that
adequate measures were being taken to prevent medical and genetic damage from tests of nuclear
weapons carried out in Australia.” 8
The agreed terms of reference for the committee were:
“The National Radiation Advisory Committee has the overall function of advising the Commonwealth
Government on the problems arising from the use of ionising radiations as these may affect human
animal and plant life. It is the task of this
Committee to advise the Prime Minister of measures necessary to ensure that the health and welfare of
the Australian community is safeguarded in these matters and to define the levels of radiation which are
appropriate to the legitimate needs of medicine,
defence, industry, education and scientific research. The Committee will function as a clearinghouse of
information on its field. It will receive all relevant information from overseas on radiation hazards from
such bodies as the International Committee on
Radiological Protection and the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
[UNSCEAR]…
There are five fields in which ionising radiation may provide hazards to human well being — medical or
genetic and which need consideration by this Committee.
i) atomic explosions
a) in the vicinity of test explosions, as a result of global fall out…” 9
In relation to the AWTSC, the views expressed by members of the NRAC at its first meeting were:
“It was emphasised that NRAC was the overall authority and the [Atomic Weapons Tests] Safety
Committee was only one of the Committees to which the NRAC should give directives… 10
Professor Titterton stated that it was desirable that 90Sr analyses should be carried out in Australia and
results should be made available to the NRAC.”
——————————————————————————————————————————–
6 Antler was a series of tests undertaken at Maralinga in September — October 1957
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7 Strontium 90 survey in Australia 195758: Interim Report by the Secretary of AWTSC 18 April 1958
8 Minutes of first meeting of the National Radiation Advisory Committee held at 339 Swanston Street
Melbourne on 10 June 1957; Agenda Item 1 Terms of Reference of the NRAC
9 Ibid
10 View expressed at the NRAC meeting on 10 June 1957
Page 4
In relation to Sr90 analyses “Requests from the Manager New York Operations Office, United States
Atomic Energy Commission for information on 90Sr analyses and from the UN Scientific Committee on
the Effects of Atomic Radiation for data on radioactive fallout in Australia, which had been held pending
the foundation of NRAC were referred to the [Atomic Weapons Tests] Safety Committee.” 11
At its second meeting on 5 August 1957, the members of NRAC discussed Australian participation in
the Standardisation program of the measurement of 90Sr. It was resolved that NRAC:
“should take part in the United Nations 90Sr Standardisation program and that within Australia the
work should be entrusted to the laboratories of the Commonwealth Xray and Radium Laboratory and
the Australian Atomic Energy Commission.” 12
At the third meeting of the NRAC held on 6 November 1957 the Committee dealt with a letter from Mr
Merril Eisenbud, a representative from the United States Atomic Energy Commission Health and Safety
Laboratory (HASL) inviting Australia’s participation in a fallout monitoring program. The meeting of the
NRAC noted that previous correspondence proposing participation in the USAEC program has been
referred to the AWTSC. Professor Titterton advised the NRAC that the AWTSC had accepted the
invitation. 13
In November 1957 pathologists in each of the capital cities were approached by JR Moroney as
Secretary of the AWTSC to secure cooperation in collecting the samples. 14
The purpose of the survey was discussed with each and a brief outline was given of the overall
program to signal the importance of human bone tissue. The letter stated in part:
“The problem of Strontium 90 as a potential hazard is under active investigation in many parts
of the world. The National Radiation Advisory Committee has been approached by the Atomic
Weapons Tests Safety Committee,…for assistance in gathering samples.
Collection of samples of top soil, dried and processed milk, types of herbage which may form
part of the human diet, and animal bones may all be arranged with comparative ease…However
there is a special need for human bone samples to complete the data.” 15
On 2 December 1957 JR Moroney wrote a follow up letter to the pathologists which stated in
part:
November 1957 collection of samples begin TOP OF PAGE
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————————————————————————————————————————————-
11 Minutes of first meeting of the NRAC: Agenda Item h)
12 Minutes of the Second Meeting of the National Radiation Advisory Committee held at the
Physics
Department, University of Melbourne on 5 August 1957: Item 8(a)
13 Minutes of the Third Meeting of the NRAC held at Australian Atomic Energy Commission
Building, Coogee
on 6 November 1957: Item 9 (iii)
14 Letters from JR Moroney, Secretary of the AWTSC dated 22 November 1957.
15 Letter from JR Moroney dated 22 November 1957.
Page 5
“You may have perhaps considered it possible that the question of the sampling and
radiochemical assaying of bones would not be regarded kindly by the general public.
Consequently I would be most grateful if in the future you could treat this matter and its related
correspondence as either confidential or personal, as you wish.” 16
Some of the pathologists who were initially approached were unable to assist, as they were
already involved in collecting bone samples for Strontium 90 analyses and forwarding them to
Columbia University for their worldwide survey of the subject. 17 It is assumed that this
reference is to “Project Sunshine”.
From December 1957, human bone tissue from both adults and children was collected in Perth,
Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The requirements were set arbitrarily at 12 adults
and 12 children’s samples for each region.
On 5 February 1958, JR Moroney wrote to the participating pathologists 18 noting that it had:
“…been decided to continue collection and analysis of human bone for the next few years and
if the material were available to cover more adequately the now known
distribution of strontium with age… It is hoped that you will be able to continue and possibly
extend your supply of bone tissue.”
“To date the most extensive measurements of strontium 90 in human bone have been
performed by two groups, one under Dr J L Kulp at Columbia University and the other under Dr
Jr Bryant at Woolwich Arsenal UK. The Columbia group collects samples from 20 stations
throughout the world while Bryant has concentrated more on tissue of local origin….
The most recent information on age distribution of Strontium 90 in bone … indicates the need
for emphasis on tissue under 20 years and particularly under 5 years; the maximum occurring
at about 1 year is the most important feature of the distribution and any survey must be
designed to monitor it.
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During 1958, 142 samples were gathered from the Australian capital cities…It is apparent that
tissue of under 1 year is fairly readily available whilst that between 1 and 5 is scarce making it
difficult to establish the extent of the maximum in that age range. Few samples are available
from the 5 to 20 age groups, … while the adult material is mainly over 50 years.
My purpose…is to emphasise the need for tissue at ages apparently not readily available,
namely from 1 to 20 years, in the hope that advantage will be taken of all possible sources.
It is hoped that as many specimens as conveniently available, but at least 10, can be provided
from each of the five capital cities every six months for each of the following four age groups:
(a) less than 2 years
(b) between 2 and 5 years
——————————————————————————————————————————
16 Letter from JR Moroney dated 2 December 1957
17 Letter to JR Moroney dated 4 December 1957.
18 Letter from JR Moroney to participating pathologists dated 5 February 1958
(c) between 5 and 20 years
(d) greater than 20 years” 19
In addition Moroney commented:
“You will remember that the confidential nature of the program was discussed in our early
approaches. This seems no longer necessary in view of the mass of material now published
and to be published on the subject.
It is difficult to imagine any extensive source of specimens that remain untapped, but we would
be appreciative of any suggestions to improve supply of 1 to 20 year tissue. You may justifiably
feel that the proposed demands on you and your staff are beyond those that you originally
envisaged in offering assistance. I think it is only fair to remind you that the [Atomic Weapons
Tests Safety] Committee will be very pleased to come to some financial arrangement for the
work that is to be done for us in your department. We will be very grateful for an assured supply
of bone tissue.” 20
The AWTSC provided transport and handling facilities for the samples, including containers,
identification tags and data sheets. Age, sex and bone type was considered to be the most
important data. Security Branch officers of the Department of Supply were involved in
collecting the bone samples from the pathologists in each State and sending the samples by
“safe hands” to the Defence Standard Laboratories in Melbourne where samples were ashed
before being shipped to the UK for radiochemical analysis.
The samples in this period were distributed in age from a few days to 80 years. The samples
from each region were grouped to minimise the number of radiochemical analyses. Samples of
ages less than 5 years were analysed separately. That is they were not grouped. These serial
numbers were prefixed with IH — infant human. Samples of ages between 5 and 20 years were
grouped to represent each region by composite sample. The serial numbers were prefixed with
CH — child human. Samples of age greater than 20 years were grouped to represent each region
by composite sample. The serial numbers were prefixed with AH — adult human. Samples were
Page 6 TOP OF PAGE
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then sent to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in the UK and to HASL in the US for
analysis.
A review of the requirement for bone tissue was made after the February to June 1959 sampling.
The requirements were changed such that samples from all autopsies in the stillborn to 40
years were requested from each of the participating pathologists with a smaller number
required in the above 40 years age group. 21 By 1960 the number of samples collected had
increased from 441 in 1958, to 1096 in 1959 and 1200 in 1960. 22 1149 samples were provided in
1961. 23 839 samples were provided in 1962.
—————————————————————————————————————————
19 ibid
20 op cit
21 File note of JR Moroney dated 13 August 1959
22 Bryant, Dwyer, Moroney, Stevens, Titterton: Strontium 90 in the Australian Environment
19571960
Australian Journal of Science Vol 24 No 10 April 1962, p397
23 Manuscript 9 July 1963 Bryant, Dwyer, Moroney, Stevens, Titterton: Strontium 90 in the
Australian
Environment 1961
Page 7
This sampling pattern continued until 1968.
In March 1968 Moroney raised the notion that samples should be limited to the under 40 age
group, as analyses to that point in time had indicated a constant ratio of Strontium 90 to
calcium in the over 40 age group. He indicated that the activities of pathologist should be
directed to the under 40 age group. 24
It is evident that at a number of stages during the life of the program Moroney had difficulty
maintaining the supply of samples. In 1968 Moroney noted in a file note of a telephone
conversation with a pathologist that there was:
“The usual problem of technicians forgetting to take bone specimens. Now having to take many
organs for research purposes and paid to do so in some circumstances eg 20c per pituitary
gland. I proposed … that we compensate his technicians either on a per
specimen basis or with an annual bonus. He preferred the latter and will consider an
appropriate sum and let me know.” 25
A review was made of the arrangements for the provision of bone tissue samples for strontium
90 analyses in the AWTSC’s fallout monitoring program in 1969. A memorandum written at that
Changes to the parameters of the collection policy TOP OF PAGE
SURVEY Page 8 of 18
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time noted that the program had been in progress for more than ten years and was needed for a
further considerable period. It went on:
“Although the data obtained remains the most important feature of the monitoring effort, it is
becoming difficult to maintain the active interest and cooperation of some pathologists and
their technicians. It seems that a thorough revision of arrangements and some changes in our
requirements could help materially in this respect.” 26
Shortly after in July 1969 Moroney wrote to participating pathologists: “…despite the
substantial body of data which now exists in strontium 90 in the Australian population, the
concentration of the radioisotope in bone remains the dominant factor in assessing the
possible biological hazards of fallout from nuclear weapons tests. As long as these explosions
are being carried out in the atmosphere the human bonemonitoring program will be needed. We
envisage continuing the measurements for a further considerable period.
With the intention of emphasising the important younger age groups, we have decided
henceforth to limit the collection of specimens to ages less than 40 years. However we ask that
all material be taken from post mortems where the subject is aged less than 40 years, and that
advantage be taken of all possible sources of specimens.” 27
———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
———-
24 Letter from JR Moroney to Professor Titterton dated 8 March 1968.
25 Handwritten file note of telephone conversation written by JR Moroney and dated 19/09/68
26 Memorandum from JR Moroney to Regional Security Officers, Department of Supply dated 27
May 1969
27 Letter from JR Moroney dated 8 July 1969.
Page 8
In 1969 Moroney also started sounding out pathologists about the collection of bone material
“to give more adequate coverage of still births and other neo natal subjects”. 28 In late 1969, the
Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea became part of the sampling program. On 3
November 1969 JR Moroney wrote the Director of the Commonwealth Department of Health in
the Northern Territory:
“We are anxious to obtain representative material from the resident population of the Darwin
area and from a section of the full blooded aboriginal population of the Northern Territory.” 29 In
addition on the same date he also wrote to the Director of Public Health in Port Moresby. After
outlining the program he stated:
“…we are anxious to obtain representative material from the indigenous population of the
Territory of Papua and New Guinea, or at least from a section of it for which general information
may be provided on diet. I understand that post mortem examinations under your control may
include a considerable number of suitable subjects. Therefore I am seeking your cooperation in
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our survey and asking that bone tissue for strontium 90 analysis be taken from necropsies
when the subject is aged less than 40 years.” 30
At this stage of the program the payment of a bonus of $50 to hospitals providing specimens
was proposed:
“I have given a good deal of thought to the desirability of providing your technicians with at
least some compensation for their efforts on our behalf. In the past there has been an obvious
reluctance to accept such an offer, no doubt on account of the nature of the material and the
purpose for which the specimen s are intended. However several factors lead me to reopen the
question; for example, many technicians have already made considerable contribution to the
bone survey with no payment from us and, in some instances it is becoming increasingly
difficult to sustain an interest, with a tendency for specimens to be overlooked. We intend
continuing the survey from some years and are anxious to maintain an adequate coverage of
the population…
Perhaps compensation would best be in the form of an annual or six monthly bonuses paid to
the technicians on our behalf through a hospital/laboratory account. Direct payment by us has
unfortunate overtones and too much of the appearance of buying tissue; furthermore there are
several statutory difficulties in us making payments of that sort. If it is not possible to operate
through a hospital/laboratory account for this purposes, perhaps you could accept the sum,
say, for “pathological services”, and pass it on to your technicians on our behalf.
——————————————————————————————————————-
28 Letter from JR Moroney dated 9 July 1969
29 Letter from JR Moroney dated 3 November 1969
30 Letter from JR Moroney dated 3 November 1969
Page 9
Payments in the form of a regular fixed sum, say $50 would seem to have the most satisfactory
connotation. However, the idea would be more effectively expressed if the sum were related to
the number of specimens supplied; something like 50c per specimen or whatever you feel is
suitable.” 31
Payments to hospitals of $50 commenced at the end of the year 1969. The invoices read:
“For pathological services rendered by [name] for the Atomic Weapons Tests Safety
Committee”.
Payment of a bonus for the collection of samples TOP OF PAGE
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In 1969 the Australian Radiation Laboratory began to analyse the ash samples for strontium 90
and after it had been demonstrated that their results were similar to the HASL and UKAERE
results the UKAERE ceased analysis at the end of 1969. Samples were still being sent to HASL
and UKAEA for intercomparison between the three laboratories. 32
Card index system introduced
In 1970 a new system of collecting the information was introduced. What was introduced was a
printed card that also had a tearoff tag attached both bearing the same identification number.
These cards and tags were numbered sequentially and sent in batches of 100 to the
participating institutions. The tear off tag was attached to the sample of bone before
preservation in formalin. The tag remained attached throughout all subsequent handling of the
sample until it was finally ashed with the sample during preparation in the laboratory for
analysis.
Increased bonus payment for supply of samples
It would appear that the program suffered some problems in the mid 1970’s in relation to supply
of tissue. In a Memorandum from a staff member to JR Moroney he noted that:
“…Recently there has again been a tendency for the supply of specimens to diminish.
Attributing this to a possible reduction of interest in fallout following the cessation of
atmospheric testing of nuclear devices by France and the reducing value of the [$50] bonus due
to inflation a letter was sent to all contributing pathologists on 22 December 1976 in order to
stimulate interest in the program. The letters contained the following paragraph:
Since 1969 when the payment of an annual $50 payment was first introduced, the ravages of
inflation reduced the significance of the sum and for this reason alone an increase is warranted.
Perhaps a payment of $50 could be made at mid year as well as just before Xmas…We look
forward to hearing your views on our proposal to increase the bonus payments to technicians.
——————————————————————————————————————–
31 Letter from JR Moroney dated 20 August 1969.
32 Letter from JR Moroney dated 14 August 1970
Australian laboratories commence analysis of samples TOP OF PAGE
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Page 10
Owing to factors beyond our direct control the contributions of bone tissue by laboratories of
pathologists in Sydney had ceased in 197475. In order to renew contributions from that city a
much longer letter was sent to pathologists who had previously contributed to the survey.
These letters were sent on 17 May 1977 and contained similar paragraphs to the one set out
above, seeking their views on increasing the bonus payment to $100 per year in one or two
increments.” 33
From September 1977 the decision was made to compound the samples annually rather than
each six months. 34 Samples were still sent to HASL for annual analysis up until 1978.
In a letter dated 7 December 1979 Dr JH Harley was informed that:
“Following a change in laboratory policy and a review of the falloutmonitoring program, it was
decided that the routine survey of strontium 90 human bone tissue would be terminated at the
end of 1978. Hence this material is the last of Australian human bone samples.”
Records held by ARPANSA
Investigations by ARPANSA staff revealed that ARPANSA holds a number of files related
specifically to the Strontium 90 testing program. The originating department for these files was
the Department of Supply who provided administrative support to the Atomic Weapons Tests
Safety Committee (AWTSC). The documents in these files cover the period 1957 1978.
A large number of files relating to fallout monitoring generally, of which the measurement of
strontium 90 was one part, are held by National Archives and are under the control of the
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 35 ARPANSA holds many thousands of individual
data sheets and index cards that record information relating to each person from whom tissue
was taken, the institution that provided the tissue, the persons age (or date of birth) and the
date of post mortem. In addition to these records there are also in existence 3,400 samples of
ashed remains that were retained after the program had ended.
Program over the period 19571978
As discussed above, from 19581968 samples were provided for all age groups. In 1968 samples
were confined to less than 40 years, including neonatal subjects of 30 weeks.
Program ended in 1978 TOP OF PAGE
SURVEY Page 12 of 18
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——————————————————————————————————————————-
33 Memorandum dated 23 June 1977.
34 Letter from JR Moroney to Dr Harley, US Energy Research and Development Administration
dated 7
December 1979
35 These files were provided by ARPANSA’s predecessor, the Australian Radiation Laboratory
(ARL) to the
Royal Commission into British Atomic Tests in Australia. Following the conclusion of the Royal
Commission
all files held by the Royal Commission were handed over to the National Archives of Australia.
Page 11
ARPANSA holds extensive numbers of records of people from whom bone samples were
taken. A database is being finalised of this information. The fields in the database are:
Source/Institution
City
Pathologist
Surname
First name
Sex
Date of birth
Age
Age units
Post mortem date
Post Mortem number
Distribution by State and Territory TOP OF PAGE

SURVEY\SURVEY.HTM 7/6/03
The Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE), a
Committee set up to advise the United States President, President Bill Clinton, outlines the
activities of the US and other countries in relation to the measurement of fallout from atomic
weapons testing. 36
ATTACHMENT A Project Sunshine TOP OF PAGE

The US study of fallout began with the effects of the first atomic bomb test in New Mexico in
1945. In 1949 the AEC commissioned Project Gabriel, a study to determine how many atomic
weapons could be detonated before radioactive contamination of air water and soil would have
long range effect on crops, animals and humans. The AEC created a worldwide network for the
collection and measurement of fallout.
In the early 1950 the US Defence Department created its own fallout research program, under
the auspices of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. In 1953 the Rand Corporation was
contracted to review Gabriel. The review was lead by Dr Willard Libby. The resulting Rand
report concluded that strontium 90 (Sr90) was the most dangerous longterm global radioactive
product of bomb testing and that a global study of strontium 90 fall out was needed.
The Rand report noted that atmospheric testing had as an unintended side effect, introduced
tracers into the world’s eco system. The group recommended that there be a worldwide study of
the distribution of strontium 90 from the nuclear detonations that had occurred. The project was
named “Project Sunshine.” Three laboratories were engaged to analyse samples of Strontium
90. University of Chicago (Libby’s university), Lamont Geological Observatory of Columbia
University and the New York Office of the AEC. For the pilot program the report suggested that
twelve human samples (bone and teeth) be drawn from each of six regions around the world
(this did not include Australia 37 ). In addition samples would be drawn from livestock,
foodstuffs, water and soil.
The ACHRE detailed the secrecy surrounding the collection of human bones. It was emphasised
at the time that the collection of bones would be through personal contacts with foreign
doctors and other groups. 38
———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
———–
36 Final Report: Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, October 1995, United
States of
America pp637641.
37 The regions that were part of the measurement program at this time were 1) northern Utah or
southwestern
Idaho 2) Kansas or Iowa 3)New England (Boston) 4) South America 5) England and 6) Japan
38 Ibid p640
Page 13
ATTACHMENT B Publications relating to the strontium 90
measurement program TOP OF PAGE
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Strontium90 in the Australian environment 195758
F.J. Bryant, L.J. Dwyer, J.M. Martin and E.W.Titterton,
Nature 184, pp.755760 (1959) Sept.12
Strontium90 in fallout and in man in Australia, January 1959 June 1960
F.J. Bryant, L.J. Dwyer, D.J.Stevens, E.W.Titterton and J.R.Moroney
Nature 190, pp.754757 (1961) May 27
Measurement of Strontium90 in the Australian environment up to December 1960
F.J. Bryant, L.J. Dwyer, D.J.Stevens, E.W.Titterton and J.R.Moroney
Nature 193, pp.188189 (1962) Jan. 13
Strontium90 in the Australian environment 195760
F.J. Bryant, L.J. Dwyer, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Australian Journal of Science 24, pp.397409 (1962) April
Reproduced as Appendix 1 to the NRAC Report to the Prime Minister June 1962
Strontium90 in the Australian environment during 1961
F.J. Bryant, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Australian Journal of Science 26 pp.6974(1963) Sept.
Strontium90 in the Australian environment during 1962
F.J. Bryant, W.J. Gibbs, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Australian Journal of Science 27, pp.16 (1964) July
Strontium90 in the Australian environment during 1963
F.J. Bryant, W.J. Gibbs, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Australian Journal of Science 27, pp.222226 (1965) February
Strontium90 in the Australian environment 19611963
W.J. Gibbs, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton and G.U. Wilson
Australian Journal of Science 28, pp.4459 (1965) August
Reproduced as App.1 of the NRAC Report to the Prime Minister Nov.1965
Report to the Prime Minister by the National Radiation Advisory Committee
Commonwealth of Australia November 1965
Strontium90 in the Australian environment during 1964
W. Fletcher, W.J. Gibbs, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Australian Journal of Science 28, pp.417424(1966) May
Strontium90 in the Australian environment during 1965
W. Fletcher, W.J. Gibbs, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Australian Journal of Science 29, pp.319325(1967) March
Strontium90 in the Australian environment during 1966
W. Fletcher, W.J. Gibbs, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Australian Journal of Science 30, pp.307313(1968) February
Page 14
Strontium90 in the Australian environment during 1967
W. Fletcher, W.J. Gibbs, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Australian Journal of Science 31 pp.174179(1968) November
Strontium90 in the Australian environment during 1968
W.J. Gibbs, W.K. Mathews, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Australian Journal of Science 32, pp.238244(1969) December
Strontium90 in the Australian environment during 1969
W.J. Gibbs, W.K. Mathews, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton,
Dept. of Supply Report AWTSC 2, April 1971.
Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 Monitoring and Radiation Doses to the Australian Population
W.J. Gibbs, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton in:
Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment During 1969 and some results
for 1970
Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee Report AWTSC No 2 May 1971
Measurements of Strontium 90
J Bonnyman, J H Harley, W K Matthews and J R Moroney: in
Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment During 1969 and some results
for 1970
Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee Report AWTSC No 2 May 1971
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Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 Monitoring and Radiation Doses to the Australian Population
W.J. Gibbs, J.R.Moroney, D.J. Stevens and E.W.Titterton in:
Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment During 1970 and some results
for 1971
Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee Report AWTSC No 4 September 1972
Measurements of Strontium 90
J Bonnyman, J H Harley, W K Matthews and J R Moroney: in
Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment During 1970 and some results
for 1971
Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee Report AWTSC No 4 September 1972
Page 15
ATTACHMENT C FILES

Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright : October 2001
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgement of sources
This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
Extracts from material supplied by ARPANSA is cited on this CD Rom in order to provide evidence and to enable study of the Australian Government’s current position
on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
HOME PROPAGANDA WATER INDIGENOUS LEGAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
US
VETS BOMBS BLACK
MIST LETTERS MEDIA ANALYSIS
ARL AWTSC HISTORY CAUTION README

The Maralinga Chronology part 1 – nicked from the original ebook

October 16, 2011

THE ATOMIC WEAPONS TESTS IN AUSTRALIA AND
THEIR RADIOLOGICAL IMPACT
Researched, written and created by Paul Langley for the Australian Atomic ExServicemens’ Association
ISBN 0-646-42490-4
Web Site Index
PREFACE &
INTRODUCTION
Since the 1950s the Australian people
have been told by government that the
Atomic tests in Australia were safe.
Past actions were excused on the basis
of ignorance. Yet a chronological study
of scientific findings from the 1940s,
legal findings from the 50s and timeless
moral imperatives give credence to an
alternative view.
PROPAGANDA The role played by Cold War propaganda
in modern views of Radiological Safety
WATER The impact of the British nuclear Tests
on the Australian environment
INDIGENOUS The impact of the tests on the health of
Indigenous Australians
LEGAL Extracts from Commonwealth
Parliamentary Hansard
BIBLIOGRAPHY References cited in this Web site, plus
additional internationally qualified
sources. Includes chronology of research
table.
US VETS email contact with US nuclear veterans
BOMBS Pictures of the tests
BLACK MIST The Black mist incident
LETTERS Letters from ARPANSA, Dr R Cross and international Universities
MEDIA The Federal Health Minister explains the use of human bones to monitor radio-isotope intake
by Australians
SURVEY ARPANSA explains 3 decades long study into Strontium 90 uptake into bones of Australians
ARL Extracts from Australian Radiation Laboratory report on Strontium 90 in the Australian
environment. Includes fallout and dose charts.
AWTSC Extracts from Report of the Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee. Includes the results of
the Bone Analysis for uptake of Strontium 90 by Australians
ANALYSIS An analysis of the logical inconsistency of the Australian government position based on the
ARL and AWTSC reports. These are also compared with 2 US health surveys.
HISTORY A chronology of nuclear development.
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CAUTION Reader information
README About this disc
PDF FILES (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
arl.pdf
Australian Radiation Laboratory
report “Public Health Impact of
Fallout from British Nuclear Tests
in Australia, 1952-1957”
awtsc.pdf
Atomic Weapons Tests Safety
Committee report “Strontium 90
and Caesium 137 in the Australian
Environment During 1969 and
some results for 1970″
survey.pdf
Australian Radiation Protection
and Nuclear Safety Agency report
” Australian Strontium 90 Testing
Program 1957-1978″
atomag.pdf
Issues of “Fallout”, the magazine
of the Australian Atomic
ExServicemens’ Association
arch.pdf
A letter from Mike Sexton of ABC
TV and Australian National
Archives documents showing the
accession listing of Australian
Military Radiac (Radiation
Detection) activity from 1952 to
1985.
mystory.pdf
The story of my participation in the
Australian Army Radiac
Calibration Centre, during military
service
Find.pdf 177 item Summary of Findings
and references
fallon.pdf
A collection of Government and
press information relating to the
Fallon, Nevada, cancer cluster.
Fallon is close to the Fallon Naval
Air Gunnery School and the site of
an underground atomic test.A
combination of factors have
rendered children vulnerable. It is
important to learn what these
factors are.
SR90.pdf
A chronology of Strontium
knowledge since 1790,
contrasted with the Australian
Government’s position since 1952
A print quality pdf version of this
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all.pdf website. Bookmark linked to the
pdf files listed above
Association Contact:
National Secretary of the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association, Mr. Terry Toon:
Email: atomicex@bigpond.com.au
Preface Click here to return to top of page
The purpose of this CD Rom is to give acknowledgment to Australia’s Atomic Veterans.
It is not my intention to create fear based on the events which took place during the era of
atmospheric atomic weapons testing. Historical technical information presented on this CD
Rom, derived from sources of high integrity, provide a contrast to comments and attitudes
made by successive Australian and British governments in relation to the British Atomic Tests
conducted in Australia.
I compare many of the conclusions of the Australian Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee
in the light of
This is a ready means of establishing the accuracy of the claims of Australia’s Atomic
Veterans. It is my view that establishing the truth should liberate us from fear, not cause it.
scientific knowledge available in the era of atmospheric atomic weapons testing.
The information is presented as fact, opinion and belief, encapsulated within my attitudes. I
have tried to note the sources of the facts presented.
Strontium 90, present as fallout from Global atomic weapons testing during the period of the
1950’s to the 1980’s, has ceased accumulating in the environment.* The cessation of Southern
Hemisphere atmospheric tests ended Australia’s exposure to radioactive fallout, including that
of Strontium 90 and Caesium.
(*Nuclear Reactors do emit Strontium 90, Caesium 137 and Iodine 131 into local environments
at low levels over the periods of their operational life. Australia has one research reactor. While
research in Florida indicates a health risk from large power reactors, (source: Florida Baby
Tooth Strontium survey website), Australia as no such large scale power reactors. Openly
confronting this emissions issue is a route to providing the will to improve the emissions
performance of reactor design.) the focus of this CD Rom is on the Strontium 90 released
during the era of atomic weapons testing.
(Source: Greenpeace)This link also contains the US CDC summary of the Fallon
(Churchill County Nevada) cancer cluster dated Feb 2003.
For a list of atomic and thermo-nuclear atmospheric weapons testing, click
here.
Fallon is an agricultural area also currently used for military purposes and was home to one of
America’s single shot atomic test sites. A detailed account of the Fallon Cluster is found in the
file fallon.pdf. Is it significant that the Fallon cancer cluster occurred a few years after the
introduction of depleted uranium ammuniation at Fallon Navy Air Gunnery School? The Fallon
Naval Station website states that the Cluster is now over.
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During the period of atomic weapons testing, the entry of Strontium 90 into the human food
chain was clearly documented. As fallout landed on farm land, from the 50’s to the 80’s, dairy
products in particular became a direct source of Strontium 90 in the human diet. Other foods
provided a vector for the entry of Strontium 90 into the diet, but these were comparatively dilute
sources. (Source: Professor Sir Ernest Titterton et al., ”
)
Atomic Weapons Test Safety
Committee Report Number 2, Commonwealth of Australia, Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in
the Australian Environment During 1969 and some results for 1970, May 1971″
Australian dairy products have not been a source of Strontium 90 since the cessation of
atmospheric atomic weapons testing.
The health effects of this intake on people world wide caused global scientific debate. It was
the fear of possible health effects which finally resulted in the cessation of atmospheric atomic
weapons testing. These are historical facts, publicly confirmed by Dr Michael Wooldridge, then
Minister for Health and Aged Care, in a Media Release dated September 2001.
The recently completed cleanup of Maralinga is the source of current debate. The information I
present here is historical. When I mention Maralinga in this CD Rom, my comments relate to
the period prior to the completion of the latest cleanup. Indigenous people and veterans have
known for many years that the site was grossly contaminated and remained so even after the
British led cleanup in the 1960s.
So the evidence regarding the Maralinga test site clearly shows that Australian authorities did
not act on accurate testimony. The information on this CD Rom shows what authorities did
know and when they knew it.
For an example of the US experience with the cleanup of atomic sites, and the difficulties such
sites present local communities, click here (fallon.pdf).
The United States is very experienced in the field of nuclear site decontamination. So a look at
the Fallon community is instructive.
The City of Fallon appears to be the victim of a cancer cluster affecting its children and young
adults. The US CDC has not found a definitive cause. The 1960s atomic test is mentioned in
the Nevada media. The Reno Gazette found water test results relating to radio-nuclides that
had been overlooked by officials.
The Fallon Naval Air Base (The “Top Gun School”) commenced using Depleted Uranium a few
years prior to the first outbreak of the cancer cluster.
Fallon lies in an agricultural region, subject to the usual use of agro-chemicals. It is not
surprising a definitive cause has not been found.
Of particular note is the type of chemical/environmental monitoring the CDC carried out (see
the CDC report Appendix). The Uranium series (Uranium and its daughters) and those
chemicals capable of inducing radiation type insults to living tissue were sought in the Fallon
environment. This case may demonstrate the priniciples of “reverse Oncology”. That is, insult a
healthy cell with certain chemicals and then insult that cell with inionisation and that cell may well
become far more likely to suffer disease causing damage than by single insult alone. It is
interesting to note that the CDC sought Uranium in its survey. The US Government maintains
that Uranium ammunition is safe. Yet Fallon is adjacent to a Naval Gunnery range which fires
tons of uranium ammunition per year. Micro fine Uranium dust concentrations seem dependent
upon wind direction, firing range activity, and testing activity. Measure for uranium in air on days
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of winds blowing away from Fallon toward the Naval range on days when the firing range is
inactive and uranium may well not be present.
Models allowing for the enhanced vulnerability of living tissue to ionising radiation where
chemical exposures have occurred have yet to be devised. However, current knowledge in the
field of Oncology may be a route by which such a model may be devised. Such vulnerability is
utilised in medical treatments using both chemo therapy and radiation treatment. It seems at
least prudent, at most sane, not to subject healthy populations to mass doses of chemo/
radiation via economic and military uses of agro chemicals, petro chemicals and uranium.
If such a model is devised, it may be shown that substances which are currently considered
harmless may present as initiators for disease in situations of cellular insult from multiple
sources.
The usefulness of single-agent health studies are increasingly meaningless in the modern
world. A total and Holistic approach to the problem of environmental health and toxic exposure
needs to be developed.
Over a period of many years, people who served in the environments of the British atomic tests
in Australia have stated that chemical warfare agents were used in conjunction with the atomic
tests. The substance mentioned in this regard is Mustard Gas. Most recently, Mr Colin James
of the Adelaide Advertiser reported on this issue. His findings can be found on the Advertiser
website under the “Maralinga Dossier”.
The information I present on this CD Rom shows that Mustard Gas, and related substances, do
indeed increase the vulnerability to the effects of ionising radiation. Mustard Gas was found to
mimic the effects of radiation as a consequence of an escape of the substance in the Italian
port of Bari during World War 2. As Allied possession of this substance in a war zone
breached the rules of war, the incident was suppressed for many years.
After the War, the first trials in chemotherapy used that group of chemicals called the
“mustards”. The chemical formula for mustard gas is :
CH2CH2CL
S
CH2CH2CL
(Source: “Atomic Radiation and Life”, Peter Alexander, Pelican, 1957, page 221.
Compare this chemical structure to the chemicals of interest to the CDC in their search for the
cause of the Fallon cancer cluster. Click here to see the list of suspect chemicals.
Australia’s food and water supply is safe. Throughout the content of this CD Rom, the
information presented and my comments relate to events of the atmospheric atomic test era.
Some strongly and sincerely believe the era of widespread atomic weapons testing – 1950s to
1980s – prevented World War 3. Others believe that the era of atomic weapons testing
World War 3 by stealth. The point of view is that the 2,044 atomic and thermo nuclear bombs
detonated in this period represent a great burden to humanity and the world and resolved little if
anything at all.
was
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In the final analysis, we bombed ourselves. Any other perspectives are, I believe,
rationalizations used to defend ideological viewpoints.
Hence, atomic veterans and civilian victims are indeed veterans. They deserve honest
acknowledgment, not the rose coloured glasses successive governments, by their insensitivity
and denials, have virtually suggested veterans wear.
The people of the Southern Hemisphere experienced less than half of the Strontium 90
exposure suffered by the people of the Northern Hemisphere. We escaped the exposures
caused by the Chernobyl disaster. However, if the atomic bombs dropped on Australia were
converted into “Chernobyl Equivalents”, then modern Australians would have some
appreciation of the effects of the atomic tests.
The most likely exposures to radioactive substances modern Australians can be expected to
encounter are cigarette smoke (which contains the radioisotopes Lead 210 and Polonium 210
-the tobacco plant has a talent for concentrating these daughter products of naturally occurring
Uranium – if DU weapons are safe, so are cigarettes! To which politicians will say Aha! Ciggies
contain chemicals as well. Refer such people to the CDC survey of Fallon, Nevada.), and
concentrations of the gas Radon and its daughters – all solids – which occur in poorly ventilated
and poorly cleaned buildings. Again, these are naturally occurring daughter products of
naturally occurring Uranium. This situation may change rapidly.
Uranium comprises 2% of the earth’s crust. (Source:
March 15, 1984, National
Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, 7910 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD
20814, USA.)
“NCRP Report No. 77, Exposures from
the Uranium Series with Emphasis on Radon and its Daughters”
Australians are lucky. But please remember those Australians who by location and/or duty, did
suffer due to the use by Britain of Australia as an atomic weapons testing site. The remnant
and their families often suffer still.
On October 18, 1953, “dust clouds” arrived over Canberra and were “not dangerous according
to the Australian National University”. Three days earlier, the UK had exploded “Totem 1” a ten
kiloton atomic bomb in South Australia. (Source: The Chronicle of the Twentieth Century, ISBN
1872031 80 3, Chronicle of Australia Pty Ltd, 487 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood, Victoria,
3134 and Chronicle Communications, London. 1990 Jacques International Publishing, Paris)
In response to the “dust clouds”, Sir Robert Menzies was reputed to have exclaimed “What the
Bloody Hell is going on?”. Well, Bob, maybe there will be hell to pay!
Later, when similar “dust clouds” arrived over Adelaide, and delivered a dose of 1,500 times
greater than (but in addition to) natural background radiation, CSIRO scientists were silenced
by threats and insults by Menzies’ official delegates – mainly Prof Titterton and the Australian
Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee.
The fallout cloud arrived via the northern suburbs. (Source:
, Dr Roger Cross, Wakefield Press, 2001, ISBN 1 86254 523 5.
Dr Cross states “The people of Adelaide were not told that a radioactive cloud from the third
bomb explosion passed over the city, nor that some of the state’s northern communities
recieved several dressings of radioactive debris from the tests. Indeed, they have never been
told.” Page 71, ibid, quoted with permission.)
Fallout, Hedley Marston and the
British Bomb Tests in Australia
The fallout cloud left Adelaide by going out to sea via the then market gardening suburbs to
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Adelaide’s West. Vegetables are normally washed before use, and so rendered safe. The
people at most risk in Adelaide Western suburbs were market gardening families. These
people were unknowingly exposed to both radioactive fallout and the agro-chemicals then
being introduced and used with innocent abandon.
Many of those then new chemicals were “radio-mimetic”, that is, they acted on living tissue in
the same manner as radioactive fallout. (Source: , Peter Alexander,
Pelican Books, 1957, page 220 – 228.) Many such chemical substances are far more powerful
than ionising radiation in their biological effects. (eg 2,4,5 T, Dioxin, Agent Orange, various
insecticides, volatile hydrocarbons, benzene….)
Atomic Radiation and Life
Oncologists may choose to discuss why it is that a combination of chemo-therapy and radiation
often forms the most effective treatment for some types of cancer. It seems that such cancer
cells are rendered more than twice as vulnerable when both chemotherapy and radiation are
applied.
Likewise, healthy cells are rendered much more suseptible to damage and disease if both
radio-mimetic chemicals and ionising radiation are present. Of the Western suburbs
population, it appears to me that those most vulnerable were females and children who lived
among the market gardens.
If you wish to explore this issue further, consider consulting the South Australian Cancer
Register and compare the relative rates of occurence of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a disease
most experts acknowlege is related to exposure to radio-mimetic chemicals and/or ionising
radiation.
A glance at the US Cancer Atlas for in the period since the 1960s shows the changing rates of
female N.H. Lymphoma in Nevada.
Fossil fuels are carcinogenic, mutagenic, filthy and unsafe. They are also mildly radioactive –
due to the presence of decay products of Uranium which collect in the same geological
features as the fossil fuel. This is why the build up of radioactive deposits on oil rig piping and
valves is an issue. (Source:
March 15, 1984, National Council on Radiation
Protection and Measurements, 7910 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA..
“NCRP Report No. 77, Exposures from the Uranium Series with
Emphasis on Radon and its Daughters”
A Scientific Paper entitled “A straight-forward method for determining the surface
contamination level on oil and gas production equipment” will be presented at the ARPS 2003
Scientific Committee Conference, Hobart Function and Conference Centre, Tasmania,
Australia at 11.10am on Monday 27 October 2003. The Paper will be presented by Carolyn
Thomas of ESSO. The authors of the Paper are J.G. Young, C.Y. Thomas V. Ibbestson, D.
Hamilton & D. Billingsley. Also to be presented is a Paper entitled “Radiation Doses to
members of the public from the Olympic Dam operation, to be presented by Dr Philip Crouch,
Western Mining Corporation Operations. Authors: P. Crouch, S. Green and M. Worby. Over 20
important scientific papers will be presented at the Conference, which begins at 9.00 am and
concludes at 4.00pm. Registration for the event occurs 3.00pm Sunday 26 October 2003).
Any mechamism which concentrates Uranium and its daughter elements presents a health
physics concern.
Depleted Uranium ammunition is a potent concentrator of these elements of concern.
The experience of atomic veterans and adjacent civilian populations is a warning to us.
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Experiments in the early 1950s show that radio-mimetic chemicals “..
,…have a selective action on tissue containing rapidly dividing cells;
…and the first tissues to be affected are the blood forming centres such as the bone-marrow…”
(Source: “Atom Radiation and Life”, 1957 page 221.)
.at doses when they
are not generally toxic
Certain people – veterans and other exposed populations – have crossed an exposure
threshold. At what point in the future will their experiences become a norm for Western
industrialised populations? Finding the truth about the health impacts on Australians veterans is
crucial, for the knowledge can be used to protect present communities. For an example of the
current impediments to nuclear openness, click here
Paul Langley
Port Willunga, South Australia, 2003.
Introduction
In 1994 Mr Terry Toon, National Secretary of the Atomic ExServicemens Association, asked
me to research the impact of Atomic testing on South Australian water supplies.
As time passed, what I found led to the conclusion that the people responsible for the safety of
the tests knew that specific risks and harms were being inflicted on Australians. (Of the people
involved three stand out: Dr Edward Teller of the USA, Prof. Penney of Britain and Prof. Ernest
Titterton, an Australian with strong British links, and a major influence on the conduct of the
atomic tests in Australia He was the Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee’s second
Chairman. Various members of the Safety Committee, especially Wise and Moroney, authored
reports in the late 1970s that continued the point of view known as the “Titterton line”. Titterton
held that the tests were safe. It acknowledges that Strontium 90 is in the food chain due to
atomic testing. However, the followers of Prof Titterton maintain, even to this day, that Strontium
90 resides solely in bone and is harmless. Ample evidence exists which strongly contests the
Titterton Line.
Many years of propaganda and suppression have denied this alternate viewpoint a free
hearing before the Australian public.
Military Secrecy and the Roots of the Civilian Radiological Star Chamber
The secrecy which surrounds the military use of nuclear technology in Australia has helped form
a culture of secrecy in other areas of nuclear activity. The events of the 50s and 60s are still
very relevant. They form the backbone to an oral history at logger heads with official views. As a
result, the oral history of Veterans and other affected groups is still considered to be “gossip”
by many in power. In South Australia nuclear secrecy is facilitated by the Radiation Protection
Act.
Sophisticated nuclear technology demands an aware public. For at the heart of the civilian
nuclear undertakings lie the contradictions born in earlier times. At its core is a disagreement
among experts in which the Australian public was not permitted to fully participate. Originally, in
Britain people such as Bertrand Russell and later Alice M. Stewart (of the Cancer
Epidemiology Research Unit, Dept. of Social Medicine, University of Birmingham Edgbaston),
and in the USA Linus Pauling, Rosalie Bertell and others led mass protests against atomic
testing.
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In Australia however, government influence over the media, the pervasive influence of Prof.
Titterton and the imposition of secrecy attenuated the protests. Dr Marston had to work quietly
and even now some of his work remains unavailable. So who was right?
In 2002 a US funded research project was commenced by researchers at Flinders University of
South Australia to determine the effects of low level Gamma radiation. Ironically, President
Clinton commissioned this study in order to answer concerns raised by Nevada residents and
US Atomic Veterans.
The United States of America is much more open in relation to information pertaining to the
health of its Atomic test era veterans. As a response to an Executive Order authorised by
President Clinton, an apparently full accounting of its atomic weapons tests and their
consequences is found on the Internet. The US Department of Energy has placed a wealth of
knowledge regarding its Human Radiation Experiment programs on the net. ( http://
tis.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/index.html). I’d like to know when the British and Australian
governments intend to establish their own Offices of Human Radiation Experiments (OHRE’s).
We need to find what was known and when and how knowledge was used in relation to the
Atomic Weapon Tests in Australia. If this can be learnt, then we can move some way toward
concluding why it was that the Australian public was placed in harm’s way.
Rapid social and technological change sometimes has the effect of separating history from
current events. Nuclear physics is not a new science. Nuclear scientists throughout the twentieth
century created a cutting edge of knowledge.
By the 1940s a vast amount of knowledge regarding ionising radiation, its hazards and safe
use had been amassed. Prof. Titterton when alive claimed to know all that was useful about
Nuclear Safety. Since his death apologists have maintained his ignorance of consequence
was appropriate for his time – while at the same time arguing his position was correct. I have
found that Prof. Titterton knew exactly what he was doing. He was a brilliant scientist.
From the evidence presented on this CD Rom, I conclude the atomic tests went ahead despite
knowledge that harm would be inflicted in such a way as to create credible denial. The
strongest evidence for this is found in an open examination of the assumptions at the heart of
the Human Bone Survey (Both UK/Australian surveys and also the US global Survey named
“Operation Sunshine”).
Early in the atomic test program, Dr. Marston came forward with information which indicated
harm was certain to be caused. Prof. Titterton and the rest of the Atomic Weapons Safety
Committee suppressed it and denigrated Marston. What Marston found in relation to Iodine
131 in animal thyroids was evidence that Titterton should have known and did.
Earlier, by 1945 enough had been learnt to enable the successful use of atomic weapons. For
a fuller study of the history of nuclear technology in the 20th century, see “History.htm” via the
Home page link on this CD Rom.
I dispute the claim that leaders and atomic test proponents could not conceive of the risks
inherent in the undertaking. I have found that foresight existed and the tests went ahead
anyway. Scientific findings dating from the 1940’s undercuts Prof Titterton’s assertion that
radio-active isotopes of Strontium remain “locked harmlessly to bone when ingested.”
Propaganda was used to quell opposition. In later years, the aftermath was blamed on
ignorance. The effect of this compounded the suffering of victims because they became socially
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isolated and politically de-powered. And that social suffering was foreseen.
Many victims believe with good reason that the government is waiting for them to die so that the
matter can be forgotten. As Australians we will recognise the bravery and sacrifice in a military/
civilian action with consequences as profound as any found in any of the “hot” wars fought by
Australians. We won’t forget and as time passes the deception foisted upon us by the “Titterton
Line” will become common knowledge. The people who suffered as a result of the tests are
truly ANZACs, even if the military personnel involved were controlled by HQ, ANZUK Force
(See “My Story” on the CD Rom).
What was known and when – Turning Back Time.
“The postwar years have witnessed a historic broadening, at least in the courts, of the
procedural and substantive rights of the injured and the duties of manufacturers to
produce a safe product. Judicial decisions throughout the fifty states (of the USA) have
given meaning to Walt Whitman’s dictum, “If anything is sacred, the human body is
sacred.” Mr Justice Jackson in 1953 defined the duty of the manufacturers by saying,
– Ralph Nader, “Unsafe at
Any Speed”, preface, Grossman Publishers, New York, 1965
“Where experiment or research is necessary to determine the presence or the degree
of danger, the product must not be tried out on the public, nor must the public be
expected to possess the facilities or the technical knowledge to learn for itself of
inherent but latent dangers. The claim that a hazard was not foreseen is not available to
one who did not use foresight appropriate to his enterprise.” ”
Just how much foresight was possible and how was it used? The long and difficult journey of
Atomic Veterans and other victims has been partly a process of uncovering knowledge
possessed prior to the first Atomic bomb and understanding the methods of concealment so
that the truth can be unraveled.
– The Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the
Effects of Atomic Radiation, General Assembly Official Records: Seventh Session,
Supplement No.16 (A/5216), United Nations, New York, 1962, Chapter 11, “Physical and
biological aspects of the interaction of ionising radiation with matter”.
“The relationship between dose and effect is being studied at lower and lower doses
for a number of radiation effects. …..The possibility of detecting effects at the lowest
levels has therefore practical limitations determined by the size of the experiment that
would be necessary to reveal them…..Radiation induced lysogenesis is detectable at
doses as low as .3 rad.”
The atomic tests in Australia commenced in the 1952, but in the 1940s experiments with dairy
cows gave scientists the knowledge that Strontium 90 from fallout would present risks not only
to bone but to soft tissue. The tests went ahead and soft tissue exposure was ignored as a risk.
(Please note that Strontium 90 has not been present in dairy products for many years. The
issue relates to the era of the tests and the consequent atomic fallout onto pastures).
“In April 1958 Mark Oliphant sent Hedley Marston glad tidings from the second
Pugwash Conference at Manoir St Castin, Quebec. The great American chemist Linus
Pauling had lent him a manuscript that would, Pauling claimed, expose the falsehoods
of a blatantly pro-nuclear book, “Our Nuclear Future” (by Edward Teller and Albert
Latter), that had recently been published. Oliphant recommended that as soon as
Paulings book was published Marston should immediately send a copy to the CSIRO
executive. It would, he said, “vindicate you completely”.
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(Dr Roger Cross, “Fallout – Hedley Marston
and the British Bomb Tests in Australia”, Page 155, Wakefield Press, ISBN 1 86254 523 5)
Pauling’s book was published later in the year with the emotive title: “No More War!” It
cast serious doubts over the estimation of the risks of radioactive fallout by Teller who,
according to Pauling, deliberately distorted the facts. For Marston this was splendid
news. To his mind, distorting the facts was exactly what the (Australian Atomic
Weapons Test ) Safety Committee were about.”
Did Pauling, Oliphant and Marston base their views, as world leading scientists, on the facts or
were they mere “Conspiracy Theorists”? Why did the UK government prevent Sir Mark
Oliphant from having even an observer role in the tests?
Official documents list radiation doses from artificial sources in fractions of background dose
(ie “less than 1/10th of background”). When you see this in the texts on this CD Rom, don’t
forget to ADD the background dose to the artificially imposed dose. So in this example, if the
background is 1, then the total dose is 1.1 (The official documents use language which
encourages the reader to do subtraction instead of addition. You’ll see it as you read it. )
The background dose varies from place to place. Everyone is different. Every life’s total dose is
different. Each dose is cumulative throughout a person’s life. Balance the benefits of nuclear
technology with the personal costs. The dose levels for many illnesses remain unknown.
Individuals are not protected by statistics, for if we fall ill, we have to prove we are the “1 in
1,000″ in order to be taken seriously. Step 1, who were the other 999, and how are they doing?
Given the lead time of radiogenic illness and the mobility of Australian populations, statistics
aren’t a guarantee of individual safety over time.
Long odds are used to discredit victims. However, just as every horse race has a winner, every
undertaking has its losers. Apparently by showing Moscow that the UK was tough enough and
cunning enough to bomb Australia with 12 nukes and get away with it, some social advantage
was gained.
Had the USSR dropped the bombs, the victims would have been heroes and the USSR would
have revealed itself to be the twisted monster that it was.
Secretion of Radio-Strontium in Milk of Two Cows Following Intravenous Administration”, L.A.
Erf and Charles Pecher, page 762, ”
” Volume 45, October- December 1940 (Nineteen Forty), New York.
“Recently Pecher has demonstrated a marked similarity in the metabolism of radiocalcium
and radio-strontium of mice and rats……much of the calcium found in milk may
be derived from that present in the diet, and Pecher has shown, in mice, that some is
derived from that most recently deposited in the trabecular portion of bone..” –

Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and
Medicine
Clearly, leading edge research in 1940 indicated that radio-strontium is mobile in the body and
similar to calcium in its bio-chemistry. 12 years before the first atomic bombs detonated in
Australia dispersed Strontium 90 into the food chain, Erf and Pecher had found that Strontium
moved through the body, and even when deposited in bone, was mobilised and secreted in
milk. Yet:
– Professor Sir Ernest
Titterton et al., ”
“Any effect of Strontium 90 on individuals in the population results from the radiation
doses it delivers to bone tissue, after ingestion in foodstuffs.”
Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee Report Number 2, Commonwealth of
Australia, Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment During 1969 and some
results for 1970, May 1971″
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Remember, Prof Titterton was a brilliant Scientist. He knew all there was to know
during the relevant period, and had a command of his area of expertise far in excess
of his critics. (such as Pauling, Marston, Oliphant, world wide atomic veterans)
(Source: the Australian and British Governments, who after a totally fair and impartial
selection process, appointed Prof Titterton to the AWTSC in order to ensure the safety
of the tests. During his tenure at the Australian National University, Canberra, Prof
Titterton advised successive governments and maintained great influence over the
field of radiological safety in Australia. He remains a legend, a kind of anti-Kelly)
Ignoring the soft tissue impacts of Strontium 90 on the health of Australians and ignoring
findings relating to the mobility of Strontium in mammals which date to 1940, as Titterton
appears to do as late as 1971, is a strong indicator that Pauling, Marston and Oliphant had
strong grounds to question the safety of the tests.
– “Exposing the Federal Government’s Nuclear Dump”
by the Nuclear Information Centre, April 2003, The Conservation Centre, 120 Wakefield St,
Adelaide, SA, 5000 Phone:
“The institutional control period is 200 years. This is adequate only for isotopes with
half-lives of about 30 years or less.”
(08) 82235155 fax: (08) 82324782 http://www.ccsa.asn.au
For the US EPA description of Strontium, click here.
The Federal Government knows the effects of an isotope with a 30 year half life requires
secure isolation for 200 years – and the knowledge of half life impacts dates back many, many
years. Why were Australia’s 3 major test sites (Monte Bello Island, Emu Field and Maralinga)
left to erode in a “hot” condition for so long? Monte Bello Island is completely unrestored. (If you
are asking “What about Hiroshima and Nagasaki?”, the answer is the stability and shielding
provided by bitumen and concrete and the fact those 2 bombs exploded high. Australia’s 12
bombs were either exploded at ground level or at low altitude and finally, the minor trials created
a large amount of locally dispersed radioactive material, much of it in the form of fine particles.
In addition, Titterton iced the cake by demanding that Cobalt 90 pellets be randomly scattered.
(Source: Doug Rickard.). Radiological warfare is not new. (Source: US Dept of Defence
publication ”
“, United States of America, Chapter 6, Radiological Warfare, page 59.)
Report on Search for Human Radiation Experiment Records, 1944 – 1994, Volume
1, Assistant to the Secretary of Defence for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defence
Programs, June 1997
The Perpetual Battle for Open Information
Many attempts to force the responsible and verifiably safe use of nuclear technology have been
made over many years by many people. Many people have suffered at the hands of selfproclaimed
“democratic” governments in supposed “open” societies. For example, the father
of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenhiemer himself was suspected of being a Communist and
was denied a renewal of his Security rating due to his opposition to the construction and use of
the Hydrogen bomb. Karen Silkwood was probably murdered while trying to blow the whistle on
unsafe practices taking place at the Kerr-McGee nuclear processing plant. In the event, her
family was awarded millions of dollars for her death.
Victims and opponents of the tests became socially isolated by a process which excluded their
knowledge and experience from full public awareness. Their testimony is treated as gossip and
their suffering hidden.
What is the information Veterans seek and want to share? It is three fold: 1. Service and dose
rate data 2. Scientific data relating to the effects of exposure doses and sources of secondary
exposure. 3. What that information means in terms of individual health impacts.
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In the absence of the provision of this information as it relates to individuals, it is a logical step
to seek out non-governmental sources of information relating to general exposure doses. This
leads to studies of the environmental and biological impacts of nuclear fallout and the fission
products that comprise it. Most authorities rate Strontium 90 as the main isotope of concern,
although it is not the only one. Strontium 90 is chemically similar to Calcium. The body
incorporates Strontium 90 in similar ways to that of Calcium.
In an open society, dedicated to the removal of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their effects,
the installation of the Rule of Law and Free Societies globally, one would think that the open
seeking of information and the sharing of that information would be encouraged. Experience
has proved that the opposite is the case in respect to Australia’s Atomic Veterans.
During the period 1971-1973 I was trained as a Radiological Safety NCO at the Radiac
Calibration Centre, Royal Australian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (RAEME), 4 Base
Workshop, Bandiana, Victoria. This establishment calibrarted and repaired military and Civil
Defence instruments used to dectect radiation.
Among the training aids used at Radiac were films relating to the British Atomic Weapons
Tests in Australia.
In 2002, after a request to Central Army Records Office (CARO), I received my military
radiation dose information. Veterans of the Atomic Tests in Australia have not had such a
straight forward experience.
I was subject to dose rates many orders of magnitude lower than those inflicted upon Veterans
of the British Atomic Weapons Tests in Australia. In fact I was probably better off at work than I
was off duty.
Does the Government have a case to answer in respect to its Atomic Test Veterans and
affected civilians?
I left the Army in 1973 and in 1975, triggered by a media article on the risks of ionising
radiation, I rang the Army Censor at Keswick Barracks, Adelaide. I asked for permission to
speak publicly about radiological safety issues. The Army Censor angrily told me to “keep my
mouth shut or face the consequences”.
The intimidation and stonewalling many Atomic Veterans claim to have experienced is highly
credible.
There is still an organisational wide culture of secrecy and suppression throughout all levels of
government in Australia in regards to radiological safety issues. There remains a great
reluctance on the part of government to provide information which would promote rational and
accurate public contemplation of radiological safety issues.
Current governments excuse past actions by saying that the dangers were not known. It is
interesting to seek out research findings which predate or are concurrent with the Atomic
Weapons Tests. In 1959 the UN found genetic damage posed a risk to future generations. The
threshold dose for some cancers remain unknown or controversial to this day. The dangers of
combinations of nuclear weapons effects and chemical exposure where known earlier than
1957.
History Shows Knowledge is Ignored, so Leaving it to the Experts is not Enough
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In 1962 a major conference finding (”
“, Academic Press, New York, 1963) was that Strontium 90, a
fission fallout product, not only collected in bone, but was able to cross the placenta and
become incorporated in the tissue of the growing baby. Further, the mechanism which resulted
in the transport of Strontium 90 into the breast and into breast milk was examined. These
findings rested on research conducted over the decades of the 1940s and 1950s. The
conference was told Strontium 90 uptake was increased in those people exposed to “whole
body Radiation”. Some findings were the result of deliberately injecting radioactive isotopes
into living people, others relied on Human bone samples obtained globally, including Australian
specimens.
The Movement of Calcium and Strontium Across
Biological Membranes – Proceedings from a Conference held at Cornell University, Ithaca,
New York, May 13-16, 1962
Yet still the government’s position is that the Atomic Weapons tests were harmless to specific
individuals, and current ARPANSA held documents continue to toe the Titterton line that
Strontium 90 intake is safe because it is a bone seeker. (Source: Atomic Weapons Test
Safety Committee Report Number 2, Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian
Environment during 1969 and some results for 1970.)
The Cornell findings postulate the existence of a “Calcium pool” to account for experimental
results relating to Strontium 90 movement in and secretion from the Bovine mammary gland.
Initial experiments in this area date from the 1940s. (Erf and Pecher – Intravenous Strontium 89
tracer doses to two cows results in 11.00% and 7.88% of dose secreted to milk up to 102 hours
after dose administration Source: “The Transfer of Calcium and Strontium Across Biological
Membranes – Proceedings of a Conference held at Cornell University Ithaca, New York, May
13-16, 1962, Page 329 ). Despite these findings from the 40s being re-republished in 1962,
the AWTSC states: “Any effect on individuals ..results from the radiation doses it delivers to
bone tissue, after ingestion in foodstuffs…and are not a hazard to health” Yet in the same
publication the AWTSC state that Strontium 90 was present in the bones of stillborn babies
(Source: Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee Report Number 2, Strontium 90 and
Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment during 1969 and some results for 1970. table 11
page 30). It is a nonsense to claim ingested Strontium 90 delivers radiation to bone alone
when the AWTSC evidence itself admits Strontium 90 is mobile enough to cross the placental
barrier and nourish the growing baby. If it is present in the fetus, Strontium 90 must be mobile
within the soft tissue and intercellular fluid of the mother.
Why did authorities choose bone as the only tissue to monitor? Why go to the bother of
concealing bone sample removal if easily extracted soft tissue samples could readily be
obtained?
Adult bone is one of the least radio-sensitive tissues of the human body. (Source Radiac
Radiological Safety Notes, 1972, RAEME, Australian Army) Human soft tissue sample
Strontium 90 results have never been mentioned by government. The only sampling results
released have been exclusively bone. Interestingly, bone marrow is among the most radiosensitive
tissues. (Source: ibid.) Only ashed bone was used in the sampling results and the total
Strontium 90 residue attributed to bone only. (Source: ARPANSA). The use of bone as the sole
monitoring tissue enabled higher REM figures (measured radiation exposure) to be translated
in lower RAD figures (biological equivalent dose) (Source: A discussion of the units of
radiological measurement is contained in Radiac Radiological Safety Notes, 1972, RAEME,
Australian Army. This is a non-classified text of precised information which staff were permitted
to retain upon the authority of the Officer in Command.) But the bone marrow exposure dose is
never mentioned.
From the bone sample results, governments peddle the average exposure dose received by
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the “Average Man”. This mythical creature is endowed with both genders. The problem posed
in 1962 remains unanswered. What is the impact of Strontium 90 on female soft tissue? Can
the animal test results be transferred to human females? Is there a “Calcium pool” in human
females which allows for rapid movement of Calcium and Strontium between tissue types?
Why is it that when gender based studies of Strontium 90 storages have been made, females
show less storage of Strontium 90? Where did it go? Into her babies via placental exchange
and via breat milk? In the case of chronic Strontium 90 intake – during the period of atomic
testing and for the decay periods* – is there a constancy in Strontium 90 movement between
tissues in women that is not present in males?
(*29.1 years per half life for Strontium 90, (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at
http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/strontium.htm) various half lives for the resultant
“daughter” elements. Were the Strontium 90 present in the Australian environment “nuclear
waste” instead nuclear fallout, under the government waste management policy, it would be
required to have an institutional control period of 200 years. ARL documents give a combined
Caesium137 / Strontium 90 half life period of concern as 30 years. As the NIC information
states, the effect of radiation from the daughter products of Sr 90 decay produces a 200 year
period of control.
The transient soft tissue dose rate as distinct from bone resident dose rates is not mentioned
in government accounting of human Strontium 90 uptakes. In men, the Strontium 90 route from
mouth to bone is relatively easy to count. Intake minus discrimination** at gut, minus
discrimination at kidneys. (My formula – an illustration only.) In women, the story is radically
different and more complex. Is there a human “Calcium pool”? Does Strontium 90 move from
bone to Calcium pool and so on? What is the soft tissue exposure difference between men and
women? Were any human soft tissue samples taken? If not, how can it be stated by government
that Strontium 90 “remains locked in bone”?
(**discrimination – in this context, the ability of the body to discriminate between Calcium and
Strontium 90 at membrane walls (the gut, the kidney, the breast etc). This discrimination results
in a ratio of Calcium and Strontium being metabolised which favours Calcium. Various
individual factors influence this ratio. (These are my notes taken from the record of the Cornell
University conference cited above. My purpose is to give an example of a basic question
regarding the supposed safety of atomic testing. It is not medical advice, merely my
understanding of a body of knowledge. The example shows that atomic testing was known to
be dangerous prior to 1962. The current government position is that the British weapons tests
in Australia did no harm.)
As this relatively simple example shows, as far as radiation dose goes, contrary to what
governments would have us believe, the composite “Average Man’s” exposure dose is not
applicable to half the human race and to no individual. Everyone’s exposure is individual.
Increasingly in the modern world sources of challenges to health come from multiple sources.
Whether chemical or radiological, multiple challenges produce effects ignored in single item
health effects studies.
Using dose models which assume bone seeking radio-isotopes present no hazard, the original
ARL estimate of cancer deaths in Australia due to atomic testing is 7. The names of these
people are unknown. They are definitely civilians, and non-aboriginal, because service
personnel and Indigenous Australians were deliberately excluded from the stats. The
calculations are wrong. The number of casualties from Atomic testing will probably be never
known, at least by the general public.
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In the USA, private radiological health surveys have been undertaken in areas such as Rocky
Flats and the area down wind of the Nevada nuclear test site. The results of these surveys are
disquieting in their applicability to Australia. No private radiological health survey has ever
been carried out on the Australian population generally. Health surveys of veterans have been
seriously open to question (and questioned with skill by Sue Rabbitt Roff of the University of
Dundee) and the only health survey of an Aboriginal population was found to be seriously
flawed by the McClelland Royal Commission.
The current health survey being undertaken by government (as impelled by Sue Rabbitt Roff’s
findings) is a foregone conclusion – prior to its commencement, a government expert stated “it
would not find anything”. (Bloody hell quoth the ghost of Menzies, how deep a hole did they fling
the truth into?)
If the weapons’ use in Australia was safe, why is so much data being hidden?
I know that data is certainly being hidden.
I have been assured by the previous State government and by SA Water that radiological
monitoring data on SA drinking water for the period 1953 to 1964 does not exist. However, a
Freedom of Information request for this information by a Melbourne academic resulted in a
refusal based not on the unavailability of information, but on the then current secrecy provisions
of the SA Radiation Protection Act. These provisions remained in force until April 2003 when
they were changed by the Rann government. While not a proof that the records exist, it is logical
to conclude that an invocation of the Act has some purpose.
On the 10 April 2003, the current South Australian government was able to implement changes
to the Secrecy provisions of the Radiation Protection Act. (Along with the secrecy provisions of
other Acts as well). It was too late for the Freedom of Information request lodged in January
2002 seeking radiological monitoring data and information relating the health effects which are
feared to have occurred in South Australia’s North. This request was made following the refusal
to provide me with full data sets in 1994, 1995 and 1999. The reason in 1994 was lack of
Departmental resources (Source: Ms J. Fitch, Radiation Protection Branch).
It should be noted the latest FOI request was refused by the Rann administration, and after I
wrote to Mr Rann in June 2003 about the matter, I was advised by Mr Hill to reapply for the
refused information.
I was advised that this was because the State has limited resources and such requests cost
money. The original request and appeal was costly for the academic who undertook the
excersize. At the present time a solicitor has kindly agreed to assist me in the preparation of
the the next FOI request.
The section of the Act under which the information was refused in 2002 is paragraph 19, which
then read:
“Secrecy. A person who is engaged or has been engaged in any office or position connected
with the administration of this Act shall not, otherwise than in the course of the duties or
functions appertaining to that office or position, divulge or communicate any information
obtained by virtue of that office or position.”
An important function in the Administration of any Act of Parliament in an open and democratic
society is the provision of information to the public.
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Under the interpretation of the Radiation Protection Act operating until April 2003 in respect to
requests for information, the course of the duties of State Public Servants was to deny
information and in so doing thwart the interests of Australia’s AtomicVeterans and the public in
general.
In defence of its position that the atomic tests were safe, the Atomic Weapons Tests Safety
Committee itself quotes select reports from 1950’s era water monitoring data. (Source: “Public
Health Impact of Fallout from British Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia, 1952-1957” by Keith
N. Wise and John R. Moroney, Australian Radiation Laboratory, reprint, Department of Health,
Housing and Community Services, via ARPANSA., page 40, some stated extracts from the
data for the atomic tests known as “Mosaic” and “Buffalo”).
In 2001 I wrote to the British Consulate asking for the same information. The Consulate
promised that I would receive a response from the UK authorities. I am still waiting.
In July 2002 I asked the National Archives of Australia to supply me with a copy of a file created
by Radiac and covering the period 1971 – 1975. National Archives advised me that I could not
have a copy because the file is “empty”. The file had arrived at the National Archives in that
condition. My subsequent emails to the Research Assitant at the National Archives went
unacknowledged.
Government in Australia tell us that it is open, honest and sovereign, and that it acts within the
parameters of Westminster concepts of accountability and stewardship, both for individuals
and the nation. As subjects of the Crown, we are protected by the provisions of the Constitution.
Apparently, if the Crown moves to place radio-strontium in our bones, we have no say in the
matter. What’s the difference between being a “subject” under the Constitution and being a
“target” under the atomic weapons test protocols? None really I guess.
The most likely victims of British atomic weapons were British subjects. To save us from the
consequences of atomic bombs, the Australian government had an obvious course to follow.
Until information is freely provided, until people are provided with the means to achieve justice,
government radiological safety statements regarding the atomic tests lie in the domain of
propaganda and are impediments to the safe use of civil nuclear technology. Nuclear
technology is in daily use. Open public scrutiny of safety data gathered by impartial experts is
the best guarantee of safety.
The present situation of supressing history corrodes public confidence in government,
encourages a secret “star chamber” mentality within government and industry and breeds a
deep public distrust of a critical activity and area of research. If nuclear realities are with held
from the public, how long will it take us to become informed about them? Forever? Would you
buy a used car from professional secret keepers?
Signs of the Times
The era of atomic testing came about due to a confluence of technological, political and
sociological threads. The sociological threads include the sociology of knowledge – manifest
as a power relationship between the governed and the power elite. When Robert Menzies
instructed the Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee to ensure the tests were safe, they used
the best algebra at their disposal to fulfill their brief. When public opinion began to threaten the
tests, the Committee became increasingly reliant on compliant journalists, social strata,
organisational hierarchy, the Official Secrets Act, bullying and exclusion. It wasn’t long ago that
letters to editors of Australian publications from the public regarding nuclear issues were vetted
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by government authorities. The scientific establishment of the era created a totalitarian domain
to ensure that the tests and their consequences were safe from the enemy.
Australians were not told of any technique to lower their exposure dose from British atomic
weapons. Many techniques exist and these were known prior to August 1945. 50’s era Civil
Defence films show some use of these techniques in response to the threat posed by
Communist atomic bomb detonations. The Cornell Conference of 1962 discusses dietary
protective measures and Peter Alexander, writing in “Atomic Radiation and Life” (Pelican,
1957), discusses protective measures based on the use of chemical substances. Linus Pauling
investigated such methods on behalf of the US Army. Once again, the research upon which
Peter Alexander bases his work predates his publication date by many years.
Walt Whitman would probably say that Professor Titterton considered the human body less
sacred than the demands of the British government. It is not plausible that Professor Titterton
did not consider how Strontium 90 came to be deposited in the bones of stillborn babies. If the
Strontium was locked immutably in the bones of the mothers, how did the Strontium reach
babies in their wombs? The fact that still born babies proved to have Strontium 90 in their
bones shows that a major plank of the Titterton Line is a lie: Strontium 90 does not stay locked
in bone. It’s mobility in and through the soft tissue and inter-cellular fluid is a fact reliant on biochemical
processes known since 1940.
Titterton held enormous sway over the field of Radiological safety in Australia from the early
1950’s, up to and beyond the 1970 publication “Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee
Report Number 2, Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment during 1969
and some results for 1970.” Neither is it plausible that he was unaware of the findings of the
“The Movement of Calcium and Strontium Across Biological Membranes – Proceedings from a
Conference held at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, May 13-16, 1962” So why did he
maintain his stance? Was it because he was aware of statements such as Mr Justice
Jackson’s in 1953? Did Titterton and the Australian government
“.. experiment to determine danger” ?
What really motivates continued Secrecy – 50 year old Bomb technology, Fear of Legal
Liability, or that Atomic bombs and their fallout are safe and that there is nothing more
to tell?
Is the secrecy surrounding the consequences of the Atomic Weapons Tests in Australia an
attempt to conceal “blind eye” foresight and knowledge of actual harms? Given that the design
and construction of atomic weapons is a common engineering and scientific knowledge,
security of 1950s era British bomb design in the year 2003 is not a plausible reason.
Until all the information is made public, what information there is enables a logically consistent
conclusion.
But of itself logical consistency is not legal proof. All it does is damage government credibility
and corrode confidence. In an era when terrorists in Thailand are arrested for apparently
carrying sacks of Soviet Caesium, surely the Teller-Titterton deception Pauling claimed to have
uncovered needs to be examined in an open and honest light.
Strontium 90 is a Bone Seeker. Bone Seekers are not Harmless as Government
Reports Claim
Bone seeking radio-isotopes have been known to be hazardous since 1918. (Source: Radiac
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Radiological Safety Notes,1972, RAEME, Australian Army, in relation to Radium paint causing
the deaths of female instrument dial painters. Like Strontium 90, Radium 226 is a bone seeker.
The case of the World War 1 dial painters is a classic case, widely used as an example in
Radiological Safety training. )
Sunshine Supermen
Throughout the period of Atomic bomb testing, a military code-word for atomic fallout was
“Sunshine”. Indeed, the global human bone sampling survey took this name.
(Source: Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency Report “Australian
Strontium 90 Testing Program 1957-1978” page 12 Attachment A, which states “The Rand
report noted that atmospheric testing had as an unintended side effect, introduced tracers into
the world’s eco system. The group recommended that there be a worldwide study of the
distribution of strontium 90 from the nuclear detonations that had occurred. The project was
called “Project Sunshine”….the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (set up
by US president Bill Clinton) detailed the secrecy surrounding the collection of human bones….”
verbatim. Myriad civilian books note the use by NATO and allied military forces of the word
“Sunshine” as a code name for atomic fallout. eg “Men Who Play God.”)
“Sunshine” plus sunlight = Increased Strontium 90 absorption and mobility due to the
action of increased levels of Vitamin D.
A final quotation from “The proceedings of a Conference held at Cornell University 13-16 May
1962, The transport of Calcium and Strontium across Biological Membranes”:
“Carlsson (1952) and Carlsson and Lindquist (1955) have shown that the increased serum
calcium levels after physiologic doses of Vitamin D cannot be due entirely to an increased
uptake of calcium from the intestine and therefore, must be the result of mobilisation of calcium
from skeleton, an action previously ascribed to parathyroid hormone.” Verbatum, ibid., page
246. Chapter:”Theories of Vitamin D Action”. By Harold E. Harrison, and Helen C. Harrison,
, Baltimore City Hospitals and Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Pediatrics
Therefore, given the previously stated Ca/Sr discrimination ratios inherent in the transport of
these substances in the human body, a proportion of demineralisation from bone caused by
Vitamin D action will involve Strontium 90 where this is present in bone. Numerous AWTSC
documents state that there is an average Strontium 90 human bone presence world wide. The
result is soft tissue exposure due to the presence of Strontium 90 in the intercellular fluid. The
leaching of calcium and strontium from bone into the intercellular fluid is Vitamin D related. The
intercellular fluid probably comprises the “Calcium pool” which supplies the breast and
placenta. Vitamin D action may be a vector which enables a mother to nourish her developing
baby prior to birth. The atomic weapons tests fed the babies Strontium 90. (My conclusion).
Increasing exposure to sunlight increases Vitamin D availability in the human body. This means
the storage in bone of past uptakes of Strontium 90 creates present soft tissue exposure. This
holds true even if the past exposures were each of a small nature. Did long term chronic
ingestion of low dose Strontium 90 lead to rapid transient high doses to soft tissue in females
and their babies? What are my chances of ever finding out? Titterton has passed away, there’s
no way to ask him yet. If he wrote the answer down, its probably in an “empty file” somewhere.
However, my understanding of the bone survey data results lead me to suspect uptakes of
Strontium 90 accumulate, and that demineralisation during pregancy did result in high soft
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tissue transient doses and high levels of uptakes by the fetus. (Source: Project Sunshine,
ARPANSA, 1940 findings, 1962 findings.)
So it seems the degree of present soft tissue exposure depends upon the accumulated body
burden, current intake and the extent of demineralisation from bone. So to calculate group risks
based on location is one thing. To be able to guarantee each Australian was safe is another.
We are a highly mobile people. Yet assumptions of dose only relate to specific population
centres. Group exposure is not a predictor of individual life events and consequences. The
non-military people most at risk at the time of the tests were in my opinion pregnant women and
their babies and especially Indigenous Australian pregnant women and children who lived
traditional lives and relied on local traditional foods which were eaten totally unprocessed. This
group of people were deliberately omitted from ALL AWTSC, ARL and ARPANSA surveys.
(Source: ARPANSA supplied documents). Why were they omitted? Were they really omitted or
has their data been separated. The US global bone survey Operation Sunshine was supplied
by the Australian government with human bones from all states and territories, including New
Guinea. How likely is it that Indigenous Australian Strontium 90 absorption data was not
compiled?
Did the Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee act on appropriate foresight? No. The atomic
tests went ahead and pregnant women were not told that Calcium and Strontium delivery to
their babies would increase with increasing sun shine exposure and in proportion to increasing
foodchain radio strontium.
Carlsson’s findings contradict Titterton’s assertions and Carlsson’s findings predate Titterton’s
1970 assertions by 18 years.
If competent, Australian Government experts should have known of Carlsson’s findings before
the first British Atomic bomb produced Strontium 90 in Australian local fallout. Yet no pregnant
women were warned that their and their babies’ Strontium 90 soft tissue exposure could be
reduced if they minimised exposure to the sun. There is a case to answer. Australian experts at
the time were competant.
My heart breaks when I read that the deaths of babies and children at Woomera were
medically ascribed to the intensity of solar radiation, leaving the false impression that the
deaths were heat related. (The Adelaide Advertiser, May 10 2003, Page 1, 12 & 13 “Tell us
how our children died” by Colin James). The poor people on the receiving end had no hope of
hearing of Carlsson’s findings. They had a right to expect to be protected from the dangers of a
product manufactured and used by and on instructions from their own government. The
“Titterton Line” regarding the safety of Strontium 90 exposure to Australians contains a
contradiction that any proficient Year 10 science student would spot once the propaganda of
the tests is stripped away. But the chances of the AWTSC documents relating to Strontium 90
ever being used as instructional material in schools is remote.
What Colin James and the Advertiser may have found is the nature of a monumental fudge in
the radiological safety assumptions of the “Titterton Line”. That is, mobility of Strontium 90 is
determined by bio-chemical status, reproductive cycle placement and external environmental
factors. Two people therefore can be identically exposed, one can be taken and the other one
remain. The Government called it an Act of God. It wasn’t, it is multi-factorial bio-chemical
reality which may go some way to providing data relevant to the low dose effect debate. It was
an act of Government.
In April 1962 ” ” (Source: ARPANSA
reprint) published an article by Bryant, Dwyer, Moroney, Stevens and Titterton, entitled
The Australian Journal of Science, Vol. 24, No 10, P. 397
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“Strontium 90 in the Australian Environment, 1957 to 1960”. It reached the scientific audience
one month before the May 1962 Strontium 90 – Calcium conference at Cornell University.
In the article the AWTSC states: “Early in 1957 the Australian Atomic Weapons Tests Safety
Committee extended its fallout monitoring program to include measurements of global fallout
and, in particular, Strontium 90, in materials from the Australian Environment. Comparatively
little was known then of the sources from which Strontium in man is normally derived, but it was
expected that the element would be closely associated with calcium in the food chain and in the
skeleton.”
This opening statement seems to be at one and the same time a plea of ignorance, a
professional anticipation of the pending Cornell Conference and a stamp of continuing
scientific leadership.
In fact, natural Strontium was discovered in 1790 by Adair Crawford and William Cruikshank in
the of the mineral strontianite in Scotland. Metallic strontium was isolated in 1808 by Sir
Humphrey Davy. No form of naturally occurring Strontium is radioactive. Discovered in the
1940’s, radioactive isotopes of Strontium are created by the fission of uranium and plutonium
in nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors. ( a PDF version of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency Radiation Information data sheet for Strontium follows this section. Alternately, go to the
website: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/strontium.htm
So research into the nature, foodchain mobility and biochemistry of non-radioactive natural
Strontium has a history dating from 1790. Seen in this light, the AWTSC position that
comparatively little was known about foodchain sources of natural Strontium is clearly open to
dispute.
Ironically, the contents of the Cornell Conference confirms that the Atomic Weapons Test
Safety Committee in Australia had the foresight to know in 1952 that Strontium 90, placed in
the Australian environment by the fallout from British Atomic Bombs, “would be closely
associated with calcium in the food chain.”
The knowledge of these two facts (That atomic bombs introduce Strontium 90 into the food
chain and that it is bio-chemically similar to Calcium) predate the start of the Atomic Weapons
tests in Australia. As monitoring of the fallout was carried out from the very first test blast in
Australia (see the National Archives Radiac entries), it can be shown that the above statement
dated April 1962 is evidence of the failure to use foresight appropriate to the undertaking.
The scientific impartiality of the Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee in Australia is further
open to question in the light of the following statements made at the Cornell Conference of
1962:
“There are now data from measurements of fallout Strontium 90 in thousands of human bone
samples collected from most areas of the world.” (page 394)
“Results from the Southern Hemisphere indicate a level of Strontium 90 in bone which, while
lower than that in the Northern Temperate Zone, is not lower by a factor which one could expect
in view of the differences in fallout.
. (Kulp and
Schullert, (1961). The retention of Ingested strontium in beagles, U.S.A.E.C. Document UCD-
104, page 61). This relatively greater human accumulation of Strontium 90 in the Southern
Hemisphere may simply be due to a diet consisting of foods naturally high in Strontium 90…..”
(page 397) Roy, C. Thompson, Biology Laboratory, Hanford Laboratories, General Electric
Thus, while fallout levels are lower by perhaps a
factor of five, bone levels are lower by no more than a factor of two
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Company, Richland Washington.
So the bone survey analysis of the Southern Hemisphere shows much more strontium 90 than
the stated atom bomb fallout would indicate. The only explanation for the discrepancy offered
by the nuclear industry spokesman Thompson is that of a diet containing “foods naturally high in
Strontium 90”. As we have seen, Strontium 90 does not occur naturally. The foods most likely to
introduce Strontium 90 into the human diet, were .
It is not likely that total dairy intake per person is higher in the Southern Hemisphere than in the
North. In the era of the 1950’s and 1960’s, the vast majority of people lived in low income areas
such as Black South Africa, New Guinea, South Asia, the Philippines and South America. So a
high intake of expensive dairy foods is unlikely. The people most likely to have enjoyed US and
European style dairy intakes were white Australians. Diet is unlikely to account for the high
Strontium 90 count in Southern bone samples. So where did the higher than expected Strontium
90 come from? The low figures for the Southern Hemisphere are an average figure. Living near
the detonation of low yield fission bombs may well increase local bone Sr90 content. Such
cohorts would be too small to affect the hemispheric average.
at the time of atmospheric atomic testing
Additional possibilities seem obvious to explore: a) Greater than expected fallout from Northern
bomb tests arriving in the Southern Hemisphere. However, in the period, the AWTSC
maintained many fallout monitoring stations in Australia. These establishments provided the
data to the AWTSC. The AWTSC is the source of the Australian component of the fallout data
that Mr Thompson cites. b) Under reporting of Southern Hemisphere sourced fallout. At the time
in question British and American bombs were the main Southern source of Strontium 90 in
atomic fallout. c) (a)The lifestyle, intimacy with soil, physical shielding factors (housing type,
clothing and foot wear (or lack of) and reliance on local unprocessed food involved in
indigenous people leading traditional lifestyles and (c) (b) Inaccurate data collection relating to
these peoples.
Unlike the large mega-ton thermo-nuclear US bombs, most of the British bombs detonated in
the Southern Hemisphere were comparatively small – in the kiloton range – and were exploded
at ground or close to ground level in Australia. This meant that fallout was confined to lower
levels of the atmosphere and precipitated to the earth’s surface quite quickly. The fallout from
British bombs quickly fell upon Australia, New Zealand and the Island nations to Australia’s
north. This fallout was comparatively concentrated. In contrast, the US thermo-nuclear weapons
produced fusion products which reached the stratosphere and troposphere. Much of the Fallout
took months and years to reach the earth’s surface and was diluted over the entire Southern
Hemisphere. Exploding atomic bombs has the effect of greatly increasing the amount of
radioactive fallout, as tonnes of dirt and debris are sucked into the mushroom cloud. There are
no craters at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Crating did occur during the British Atomic Tests in
Australia. A number of bombs were dropped on target by British Bombers. Even these were
exploded at low heights. Its seems the British interest was served by this. Fallout would have
been greatly reduced if the bombs had exploded high. But doing this may not have enabled the
military study of radiological and blast effects of battlefield atomic weapons.
The Nuclear industry via General Electric and its employee Roy Thompson state that all
Southern bone samples show Strontium 90 levels several times higher than expected. This
increased figure is an average of all southern bone samples. It is reasonable to ask whether
Australian bone samples contained even higher levels of fallout Strontium 90 than the southern
average due to the rapid deposition of fallout from British bombs in Australia, coupled with
White Australia’s US style dairy consumption and Aboriginal Australia’s special vulnerability to
the effects of fallout.
Experts such as Dr Roger Cross (“Fallout”, Wakefield Press) have shown that data such as
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fallout cloud trajectories and fallout deposition data were mis-reported by the Atomic Weapons
Test Safety Committee. Dr Cross documents the suppression of the findings of Dr Marston by
the AWTSC.
What is the most likely reason for the higher than expected Strontium 90 contamination of
people living in the Southern Hemisphere?
It is an important matter to consider how we can best prevent such a massive error from ever
happening again in regard to Radiological Safety in Australia. Individual responses to low dose
exposures are not fixed and immutable. The dose response is a function of ionisation insult,
individual bio-chemistry, biological and reproductive status and external environmental
potentiators. The assumption that a safe dose limit can be applied community and nation wide
is false.
The Legacy
For many years, Australia’s atomic veterans stated that the atomic test sites were unsafe.
These sites were probably regularly monitored. Yet in the 1980’s, after continual Federal
assurances that Maralinga was safe, the then South Australian Premier, Mr Bannon, visited
Maralinga. He and his party wore no protective clothing. Scientists were appalled at the
radiation their instruments detected during this visit.
The constant pressure from indigenous Australians, atomic veterans, the findings of a Royal
Commission and later, the government’s own scientists caused the Australian Government to
negotiate with Britain. This resulted in an amount of money being given by Britain for the
purposes of cleaning up Maralinga.
There have been earlier cleanups of Maralinga and Emu Field. These were failures and the
evidence, according to scientists indicates that Britain deliberately misled Australia as the the
extent of the radioactive contamination it left here. For example, refer to New Scientist
Magazine of 12 June 1993, and the article an
Anderson of Melbourne
“BRITAIN’S DIRTY DEEDS AT MARALINGA” I
: “Fresh evidence suggests that Britain knew in the 1960s that
radioactivity at its former nuclear test site in Australia was worse than first thought.
But it did not tell the Australians” Click here to see examples of deliberate
contamination of test sites in the USA in order to test Radiological warfare
weapons. Includes email referencing British Human Radiation experiments.
Were Australian atomic test sites used for the same purpose? Is this the reason why Britain
misled Australia about the degree of contamination which was left to be cleaned up 50 years
later at Maralinga? Prof Titterton ordered Cobalt 90 pellets to be spread over an area of
Maralinga. Why? The British then denied that Cobalt was ever used at Maralinga. (Sources:
Atomic veteran Doug Rickard , the Findings of the McClelland Royal Commission, the US
Office of Human Radiation Experiments.)
The recent cleanup of Maralinga cost over $100 million. A small area remains fenced off and is
clearly marked. The State Government is unwilling to accept a Federal Government hand over
of the land until it can verify that it is in a suitable condition to hand back to its Aboriginal
owners. A former project manager, Dr Parkinson, is of the view that the cleanup was not
satisfactory. The Federal Minister responsible for the clean up maintains that it is.
The important thing for me is that had Australia and Australians listened to atomic veterans, the
Menzies government in the 1950s would not have been allowed to be lied to so completely by
the British Government and Her Majesty’s Scientists. The McClelland Royal Commission would
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in that case may not have found Titterton’s position and statements so deviant from the truth.
Alas, the converse is true. (Source: Conclusions of the Royal Commission into the British
Atomic Tests in Australia)
The Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee claimed to have control over the Australian
population’s exposure to radioactive fallout. Individual exposure doses were contingent upon
exposure to “Sunshine”. Individual biological effects were contingent upon sun light and other
factors including gender and reproductive status. The findings indicate that the people who
claimed total control over the extent and hence effects of fallout, deliberately placed the
Australian people at risk of harm.
The sources of my findings are given in the text, in the Bibliography, in the Chronology of
Research and in the Summary of Findings (see “Find.pdf”)
The Present and the Future
Nuclear weapons development has enjoyed a process of continual improvement since World
War 2. The scientific record shows that health impacts and risks to public safety have been
ignored despite clear knowledge of the risks.
In the current era the nuclear weapons of choice are radiological weapons. These devices do
not use nuclear explosions to spread harmful fallout. Rather, these weapons spread radioactive
particles over battlefields after firing by conventional weapons. No nuclear detonations are
involved in the use of radiological weapons.
Generally, the radioactive particles spread by these weapons are harmless to humans unless
ingested, inhaled or otherwise internalised into the body (eg through cuts on the skin). The
particles usually emit alpha and/or beta radiation, which is much more difficult to detect than
gamma radiation. Specialised detectors which require close proximity monitoring (the detector
must be placed against the suspect material) are used. In contrast gamma radiation can be
detected by Geiger instruments placed in aircraft flying over a suspect area.
The only countries currently using these weapons are the United States of America and the
United Kingdom. The weapons currently in use are anti-tank shells made from processed
Uranium known as Depleted Uranium. This is Uranium isotope 238. The fissionable Uranium
isotope, 235, which makes up 2% of the contents of Uranium has been removed. Hence it is
called “Depleted”. It remains a potent emitter of Alpha radiation. (By contrast, Uranium ore,
comercially viable at concentrations of 1% Uranium, emit corresponding less radiation than
purified 100% Depleted Uranium. Depeleted Uranium dust is therefore a greater internal
hazard than dust from Uranium ore.
Uranium’s decay chain is as follows: Thorium 234 (Beta and Gamma emitter), Uranium 234
(Beta emitter), Thorium 230 (Beta emitter), Radium 226 (Beta emitter), Radon 222 (a gas)
(Beta emitter), Polonium 218 (solid particulate) ( Beta emitter), Lead 214 (Alpha and Gamma
emitter), Bi 214 (Beta and Gamma emitter), Polonium 214 (Alpha emitter), Lead 210, (Beta
emitter), Bi 210 (Beta emitter), Polonium 210 (Alpha emitter), Lead 206 (Stable, not
radioactive).
Source: ” “,
NCRP Report Number 77, National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Mach
15 1984, 7910 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.
Exposures from the Uranium series with emphasis on Radon and its Daughters
Uranium and its daughters are all bio-chemically active and toxic heavy metals. As well as
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being radioactive, if ingested their toxicity compromises the body’s ability to repair damage
and fight infection.
Depleted Uranium munitions were used in Kosovo and in both Gulf Wars. A10-Warthog antitank
aircraft fired these munitions at an attack rate of fire of 4,000 rounds per minute during
these conflicts. US and British tanks fired thousands of these munitions in the Gulf conflicts.
Dr Doug Rokke, a Gulf War veteran, had the duty of leading a team to inspect the radiological
hazard caused by the use of DU munitions in the Gulf. He and his team had to crawl inside
damage tanks and monitor the area around them for radiation. His reports and
recommendations were ignored. He is now seriously ill. Uranium excreted via his urine is
currently hundreds of times over the “safe” level.
The dangers posed to life by depleted uranium dust on battlefields lasts for thousands of years.
It is more of an internal hazard than uranium ore.
The atomic test sites in Australia posed a radiological hazard. We have seen above that the
state of Maralinga was subject to British Government deception. Even though the site is now
clean to the satisfaction of the Australian Government, some people question the standards of
the cleanup. The fact remains that from the 1950’s until very recently, the radioactive
contaminants at Maralinga were allowed probable local food chain entry and were allowed to
remain subject to wind and water erosion for many, many years.
In the 1960s the United Kingdom carried out “trigger mechanism safety tests” – the so-called
“minor trials” – on atomic warheads at Maralinga. This involved blowing up the war heads with
conventional explosives.
There were six series of “trigger mechanism safety tests” conducted at Maralinga. The
warheads were destroyed by conventional explosives. The explosions produced plumes of
smoke which carried, as fine smoke particles, the radioactive material contained in the
warheads. This spread radioactive material in a wide area of the Maralinga Test Site.
The intense contamination of the test site caused by the minor trials consisted of the following
radioisotopes being reduced to wind blown fine dust.
8,105 Kg of Uranium, 24.4 Kg of Plutonium and 101 Kg of Beryllium. (Source: ARPANSA,
Atomic ExServicemens’ Association).
Dr Rokke’s information can be found at the Traprock Peace Centre web site.
Is there really a continuous process of development of atomic and radiological weapons which
involved deliberately contaminating areas of land and then leaving the filth to blow about for half
a century for experimental purposes? Why?
A 1943 memo outlining the development of radiological weapons is included in the Traprock
Centre Web site. A copy of this “Groves Memo” is linked here.
A major lesson of the atomic tests in Australia is this: Radio-active hazards are
tasteless, odourless and silent. On the basis of our verified history, think twice
before trusting the Government on matters of radiological safety. Successive
Australian governments have been shown repeatedly to be very naive and easily
led in these matters, to the detriment of Australians. Throughout this CD Rom, my
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comments about the safety of Australia’s atomic test sites relate to their situation
prior to the recent cleanup of Maralinga, and the impact the occupation of those
sites had on the health of the Atomic Veterans who served at them. I wonder
when it will be deemed appropriate to rehabilitate Monte Bello Island.
Paul Langley
August 6, 2003
Port Willunga, South Australia

Email to me from Keith Whittle, editor Portland Oregon Atomic Veterans, USA.
“They all knew of the hazards: the Americans, British, French and the Russians. For
sure, history will tell that the Cold War cost millions of lives. And, like you, I made the
analogy of seriously injuring yourself to show how mean you are to your enemy.”
President Reagan, talking to his daughter, Patti Davis after meeting with her friend, Dr Helen
Caldicott. (“The Way I See It”, Patti Davis, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1992, ISBN 0-399-
13748-3
“These people, like your friend Dr Caldicott, are trying to destroy this country. This is
exactly what the Soviet Union wants – to undermine us, to destroy from within”
Dr Michael Wooldridge, then Minister for Health and
Aged Care, Media Release Sept 2001.
“…humans were being adversely affected by radioactive fallout from atmospheric
testing of nuclear weapons……….”
ANALYSIS PROPAGANDA WATER INDIGENOUS LEGAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
US VETS BOMBS BLACK
MIST
LETTERS MEDIA SURVEY
ARL AWTSC HISTORY CAUTION README
Click here to return to Web Site Index
ISBN 0-646-42490-4 Produced by Paul Langley and Carl Mooney, PO Box 539 Noarlunga Centre South Australia 5168 © Copyright :
JULY 2003
The contents of this CD Rom may be cited only with acknowledgment of sources
This CD Rom must not be duplicated for distribution
Material supplied by the Atomic ExServicemens’ Association is used with permission.
Extracts from material supplied by ARPANSA is cited on this CD Rom in order to provide evidence and to enable study of the Australian
Government’s current position on Radiological Safety and its attitude to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans.
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TABLE 3. CHEMICALS TO BE ANALYZED
Chemical Abstract
Service (CAS #) CHEMICAL COMPOUND FORMULA
Molecular
Weight
Boiling
Point
(oC)
Melting
Point (oC)
Freon 12 Dichlorodifluoromethane Cl2CF2 120.91 -29.8 -158.00
74-87-3 Methyl chloride (Chloromethane) 340 50.49 -24.2 -97.10
Freon 114 1,2-Dichloro-1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane ClCF2CClF2 170.93 4.1 -94.00
75-01-4 Vinyl Chloride, Chloroethylene CH3=CHCl 62.5 -13.4 -1,538.00
74-83-9 Methyl bromide, Bromomethane,
monobromomethane, embafume CH3Br 94.94 3.6 -93.60
75-00-3
Ethyl chloride, Chloroethane,
monochlorethane, chlorethyl, aethylis
chloridum, ether chloratus, ether
hydrochloric, ether muriatic, Kelene,
Chelen, Anodynon, Chloryl Anesthetic,
Narcotile
CH3CH2Cl 64.52 12.3 -136.40
Freon 11 Trichlorodifluoromethane CCl3F 137.38 23.7 -111.00
75-35-4
Vinylidene chloride, 1,1-
Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloroethene,
asym-dichloroethylene
C2H2Cl2 96.95 31.7 -122.50
75-09-2 Methylene chloride, Dichloromethane,
Methylene dichloride CH2Cl2 84.94 39.8 -95.10
Freon 113 1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-trifluroethane CF2ClCCl2F 187.38 47.7 -36.40
74-34-3 1,1,2-Dichloroethane, Ethylidene Chloride CH3CHCl2 98.96 57.3 -97.00
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene CHCl=CHCl 96.94 60.3 -80.50
67-66-3 Chloroform, trichloromethane CHCl3 119.38 61.7 -63.50
107-06-2
Ethylene dichloride, 1,2-Dichloroethane,
sym-dichloroethane, ethylene chloride,
dutch liquid, brocide
ClCh2CH2Cl 98.96 83.5 -35.30
71-55-6 Methyl chloroform, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane,
Methylchloroform, chlorothene CH3CCl3 133.41 74.1 -30.40
71-43-2 Benzene (including benzene from
gasoline), benzol, cyclohexatriene C6H6 78.12 80.1 5.50
56-23-5
Carbon Tetrachloride, tetrachloromethane,
perchloromethane, necatorina,
benzinoform
CCl4 153.82 76.5 -23.00
78-87-5 Propylene dichloride (1,2-
Dichloropropane)
CH3CHClCH2
Cl 112.99 96.4 -100.40
cis-1,3-Dichloropropene (cis-1,3-
dichloropropylene)
CH3CCl=CH
Cl 110.97 76
trans-1,3-Dichloropropene (cis-1,3-
dichloropropylene)
CH3CCl=CH
Cl 110.97 112
25
Radiation Information
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Strontium
The Basics
What is strontium?
Strontium (chemical symbol Sr) is a silvery metal that rapidly turns yellowish in air. Strontium is found naturally as a
non-radioactive element. Strontium has 16 known isotopes. Naturally occurring strontium is found as four stable
isotopes Sr-84, -86, -87, and -88. Twelve other isotopes are radioactive. Strontium-90 is the most important
radioactive isotope in the environment.
Who discovered strontium?
In 1790 Adair Crawford and William Cruikshank first detected non-radioactive strontium in the mineral strontianite
in Scotland. Metallic strontium was isolated in 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy.
Radioactive Sr-90, like many other radionuclides, was discovered in the 1940s in nuclear experiments connected
to the development of the atomic bomb.
Where does strontium-90 come from?
Strontium-90 is a by-product of the fission of uranium and plutonium in nuclear reactors, and in nuclear weapons.
Strontium-90 is found in waste from nuclear reactors. It can also contaminate reactor parts and fluids. Large
amounts of Sr-90 were produced during atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted in the 1950s and 1960s
and dispersed worldwide.
What are the properties of strontium-90?
Non-radioactive strontium and its radioactive isotopes have the same physical properties. Strontium is a soft
metal similar to lead. Strontium is chemically very reactive, and is only found in compounds in nature.
When freshly cut, it has a silvery luster, but rapidly reacts with air and turns yellow. Finely cut strontium will burst
into flame in air. Because of these qualities, it is generally stored in kerosene.
Strontium-90 emits a beta particle with, no gamma radiation, as it decays to yttrium-90 (also radioactive).
Strontium-90 has a half-life of 29.1 years. Strontium-90 behaves chemically much like calcium, and therefore
tends to concentrate in the bones and teeth.
What is strontium-90 used for?
Strontium-90 is used as a radioactive tracer in medical and agricultural studies. The heat generated by strontium-
90’s radioactive decay can be converted to electricity for long-lived, light-weight power supplies. These are often
used in remote locations, such as in navigational beacons, weather stations, and space vehicles. Strontium-90 is
also used in electron tubes, as a radiation source in industrial thickness gauges, and for the treatment of eye
diseases. Controlled amounts of strontium-90 have been used as a treatment for bone cancer.
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Exposure to Strontium-90
How does strontium-90 get into the environment?
Strontium-90 was widely dispersed in the 1950s and 1960s in fall out from atmospheric testing of nuclear
weapons. It has been slowly decaying since then so that current levels from these tests are very low.
Strontium-90 is also found in waste from nuclear reactors. It is considered one of the more hazardous
constituents of nuclear wastes. The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant also introduced a large
amount of Sr-90 into the environment. A large part of the Sr-90 was deposited in the Soviet Republics. The rest
was dispersed as fallout over Northern Europe and worldwide. No significant amount of stronium-90 reached the
U.S.
How does strontium-90 change in the environment?
As strontium-90 decays, it releases radiation and forms yttrium-90 (Y-90), which in turn decays to stable
zirconium. The half-life of Sr-90 is 29.1 years, and that of Yttrium-90 is 64 hours. Sr-90 emits moderate energy
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beta particles, and Y-90 emits very strong (energetic) beta particles. Strontium-90 can form many chemical
compounds, including halides, oxides, and sulfides, and moves easily through the environment.
How do people come in contact with strontium-90?
Everyone is exposed to small amounts of strontium-90, since it is widely dispersed in the environment and the
food chain. Dietary intake of Sr-90, however, has steadily fallen over the last 30 years with the suspension of
nuclear weapons testing. People who live near or work in nuclear facilities may have increased exposure to Sr-
90. The greatest concern would be the exposures from an accident at a nuclear reactor, or an accident involving
high-level wastes.
How does strontium-90 get into the body?
People may inhale trace amounts of strontium-90 as a contaminant in dust. But, swallowing Sr-90 with food or
water is the primary pathway of intake.
What does strontium-90 do once it gets into the body?
When people ingest Sr-90, about 70-80% of it passes through the body. Virtually all of the remaining 20-30%
that is absorbed is deposited in the bone. About 1% is distributed among the blood volume, extracellular fluid,
soft tissue, and surface of the bone, where it may stay and decay or be excreted.
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Health Effects of Strontium-90
How can strontium-90 affect people’s health?
Strontium-90 is chemically similar to calcium, and tends to deposit in bone and blood-forming tissue (bone
marrow). Thus, strontium-90 is referred to as a “bone seeker.” Internal exposure to Sr-90 is linked to bone
cancer, cancer of the soft tissue near the bone, and leukemia.
Risk of cancer increases with increased exposure to Sr-90. The risk depends on the concentration of Sr-90 in the
environment, and on the exposure conditions.
Is there a medical test to determine exposure to strontium-90?
The most common test for exposure to strontium-90 is a bioassay, usually by urinalysis. As with most cases of
internal contamination, the sooner the test is taken after ingesting or inhaling the contaminant, the more accurate
the results will be. Most major medical centers should be capable of performing this test.
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Protecting People from Strontium-90
What can I do to protect myself and my family from strontium-90?
Strontium-90 dispersed in the environment, like that from atmospheric weapons testing, is almost impossible to
avoid. You may also be exposed to tiny amounts from nuclear power reactors and certain government facilities.
The more serious risk to you (though it is unlikely), is that you may unwittingly encounter an industrial instrument
containing a Sr-90 radiation source. This is more likely if you work in specific industries:
scrap metal sorting, sales and brokerage
metal melting and casting
municipal landfill operations.
Orphan Sources Initiative
How do I know strontium if I’m near strontium-90?
Although you are exposed to tiny amounts of strontium-90 from past accidents and weapons testing, you cannot
sense its presence. You need specialized equipment to detect Sr-90.
What is EPA doing about strontium-90?
EPA protects people and the environment from Sr-90 by establishing standards for the clean-up of contaminated
sites, by setting limits on the amount of Sr-90 (and other radionuclides) that may be released to the air, and by
setting limits on the amount of strontium-90 (and other radionuclides) that may be present in public drinking water.
EPA uses its authority under the
(commonly known as “Superfund”) to set standards for the clean-up of existing contaminated sites. Cleanups
must meet all environmental requirements that are relevant or applicable, including state regulations and
regulations issued in connection with other federal environmental laws.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
When these types of regulations are unavailable, or not protective enough, EPA sets site-specific cleanup levels.
Site-specific standards limit the chance of developing cancer because of exposure to a site-related carcinogen
(such as strontium-90) to between one in 10,000 and one in 1,000,000.
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EPA’s Superfund Radiation Webpage
EPA’s Superfund Hotline: 1-800-424-9346 or 1-800-535-0202
EPA uses its authority to set limits on the amount of radionuclides, such as Sr-90, that may be
released to the air.
Clean Air Act
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
EPA uses its authority to establish maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for beta emitters,
such as strontium-90, in public drinking water. The MCL for beta emitters is 4 millirem per year or 8 picoCuries per
liter of water.
Safe Drinking Water Act
Maximum Contaminant Levels for Radionuclides: Quick Reference
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History of Nuclear Weapons Testing
Greenpeace April 1996
The nuclear weapons age began on 16 July 1945 when the U.S.
exploded the first nuclear bomb, codenamed ‘Trinity’ at
Alamogordo, New Mexico. The Soviet Union was the next country
to explode a bomb, with a test on 29 August 1949. Other countries
followed: Britain’s first test was on 3 October 1952; France’s on 3
December 1960; China’s on 16 October 1964 and; India’s on 18
May 1974.
The “thermonuclear age” began on 1 November 1952 when the
U.S. exploded the first thermonuclear bomb at Eniwetok atoll in
the Pacific. Codenamed ‘Mike’, this bomb was 500 times more
powerful than the ‘Trinity’ test and had an estimated yield of 10.4
megatons. As for the other thermonuclear states: the Soviet Union
tested its first thermonuclear bomb on 22 November 1955; China
on 17 June 1967; Britain on 8 November 1957 and; France on 24
August 1968.
The U.S. has carried out 1,030 nuclear weapons tests (the last and
final test on 23 September 1993). The Soviet Union: 715 tests (the
last on 25 October 1990 — Russia has not exploded any nuclear
weapons). France: 210 tests (the last and final test on 27 January
1996). Britain: 45 tests (the last and final on 26 November 1991).
China: 43 tests (with some four more tests reportedly planned for
1996-1997).
The average pace of nuclear weapons testing is remarkable:
Since 16 July 1945 there have been 2,044 tests worldwide,
the equivalent of one test occurring somewhere in the
world every nine days for the last fifty years.
The U.S. has conducted the equivalent of one nuclear
weapons test every 17 days since its first test; the Soviet
Union has tested on average every 23 days; France every
63 days; Britain every 349 days and; China every 222 days.
India has conducted only one test so far.
Nuclear weapon test explosions have been carried out in all
environments: above ground, underground, and underwater. They
have occurred on top of towers, onboard barges, suspended from
balloons, on the earth’s surface, underwater to depths of 2,000 feet,
underground to depths of more than 8,000 feet, and in horizontal
tunnels. Test bombs also have been dropped by aircraft and fired
by rockets up to 200 miles into the atmosphere.
Nuclear weapons tests have been carried out all over the world. In
the Pacific at: Bikini Atoll (U.S.); Christmas Island (U.S./U.K.);
Eniwetok Atoll (U.S.); Fangataufa Atoll (Fr); Johnston Atoll
(U.S.); Malden Island (U.K.) and; Mororua Atoll (Fr). Also, in
Australia, Monte Bello Island, at Emu Fields, and Maralinga (U.K.
tests).
In the U.S.: Nevada (several sites; but the Nevada Test Site is the
only currently open U.S. test site); Alamogordo, New Mexico;
Carlsbad, New Mexico; Hattiesberg, Mississippi; Grand Valley,
Colorado; Rifle, Colorado; Farmington, New Mexico; Hot Creek
Valley, Central Nevada; Fallon, Nevada and; Amchitka, Alaska.
In the Soviet Union: the Arctic Islands of Novaya Zemlya (the
only currently open Russian test site); Semipalatinsk in eastern
Kazakhstan; near Azgir and Astrakhan in western Kazakhstan;
near Orenburg between the Volga river and the Ural mountains; in
the Ukraine; in Uzbekistan, and in Turkmenistan.
In Algeria: near Reggane, and in the Hoggar Massif at In Ecker
(French tests). In China: at the Lop Nor Test Site in Xingjiang
Province (the currently open Chinese test site). In India: at the
Pokhran test site. Also, in the South Atlantic, (U.S.; rocket
launched tests).
Of the 2,044 nuclear weapons tests worldwide, there have been
711 in the atmosphere or underwater: 215 by the U.S., 207 by the
Soviet Union, 21 by Britain, 45 by France and, 23 by China.
The last atmospheric nuclear weapons test occurred on 16 October
1980 in China. The first was on 16 July 1945 in the U.S.
It is estimated that the total yield of all the
atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted is 438
megatons. That’s equivalent to 29,200 Hiroshima size
bombs. In the 36 years between 1945 and 1980 when
atmospheric testing was being conducted this would
have been equivalent to exploding a Hiroshima size
bomb in the atmosphere every 11 hours.
Approximately 3,830 kilograms of plutonium has been left in the
ground as a result of all underground nuclear testing and some
4,200 kilograms of plutonium has been discharged into the
atmosphere as a result of atmospheric nuclear testing.
There has also been a program of ‘Peaceful Nuclear Explosions’
conducted over the years by two of the five declared nuclear
powers. The Soviet Union carried out the most extensive PNE
program. Some 116 PNE’s were conducted between 1965 and
1988: 81 in Russia, 30 in Kazakhstan, two in the Ukraine, two in
Uzbekistan and one in Turkmenistan. These PNEs had a variety of
uses: deep seismic sounding; creating underground storage
cavities; helping to help extract gas and oil; extinguishing burning
gas or oil wells; creating reservoirs and; one was used to help build
a canal.
The U.S. carried out 27 PNE’s between 1961 and 1973: one in
Carlsbad, Colorado, one in Grand Valley, Colorado, one in Rifle,
Colorado, one in Farmington, New Mexico, and 23 at the National
Test Site in Nevada. France, Britain, and China have not conducted
PNE’s; China, however, remains interested in conducting PNEs in
the future. India claims its only nuclear test was for peaceful
purposes.
Wherever nuclear weapons testing has occurred for whatever
reasons there have been environmental problems. Radioactivity has
leaked into the environment from underground nuclear tests, large
areas of land are uninhabitable as a result of atmospheric and
underground nuclear testing, and indigenous people, their children
and their children’s children’s health and livelihoods have been
affected by nuclear weapons tests.
Greenpeace has made the achievement of a CTBT in 1996 a major
priority. The time for the CTBT is now, and a CTBT is needed as a
critical first step toward nuclear disarmament
Events in Fallon County, Nevada USA, Present Day
Similar events are reported globally where populations co-exist with areas
used as atomic test sites. Regular reports over the years have originated in
the former Soviet Republics, USA, Pacific Islands.
Is this co-incidence? Is it multi-factorial? Is totally unconnected with the
era of atomic testing?
Decide for yourself. As with many agricultural areas shared with military
use, various chemicals such as benzene, arsenic, tungsten etc are shown to
resident in the Fallon County environment.
So are the decaying isotopes deposited by the era of atomic testing.
Would people in Fallon County be less vulnerable had their environment
not been subject to atomic weapons tests?
Did the bombs make no difference at all?
If they did, how do the families affected proof it ? Is it appropriate then
that Fallon County parents should have to pay huge medical bills while
the US Government fails to help.? For more information, type “Cancer
Cluster Fallon Angel” into your internet search engine.
Has/will similar events occurred in Australia? What role did the atomic
tests here play? How would we find out? Ask the Government?
http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/clusters/Fallon/study.htm Churchill County (Fallon) Nevada Cancer Study – Final Report Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Page: 1
Churchill County (Fallon),
Nevada Cancer Study
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Churchill County (Fallon), Nevada Exposure Assessment
A Cross-Sectional Exposure Assessment of
Environmental Exposures in Churchill
County, Nevada
Study
Summary (February 6, 2003) [Word, 75 Kb | PDF *, 180 Kb]
State of Nevada press release (February 6, 2003) [PDF *, 1 Mb ]
Final report (February 6, 2003)
Investigators, Collaborators, and Funding Sources [Word, 24 Kb | PDF *,
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ACUTE LYPHOCYTIC (LYMPHOBLASTIC) LEUKEMIA
FALLON, NEVADA
REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS
OF THE
EXPERT PANEL
February 15, 2001
Members:
Leslie L. Robison, PhD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine
Director, Division of Pediatric Epidemiology and Clinical Research
University of Minnesota Cancer Center
Thomas Sinks, PhD
Associate Director for Science
National Center for Environmental Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Allan H. Smith, MD, PhD
Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
Malcolm Smith, MD, PhD
Head, Pediatric Section, Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
Representing Nevada:
Dr. Mary E. Guinan, PhD, MD Dr. Randall L. Todd, DrPH
Nevada State Health Officer Nevada State Epidemiologist
Dr. L.D. Brown, MD Dr. Burton A. Dudding, MD
Director, Nevada State Health Laboratory Professor, Behavioral Pediatric and
Adolescent Medicine
University of Nevada School of Medicine
2
The expert panel was convened on February 15, 2001 in Reno, Nevada by Dr. Mary
Guinan, Nevada State Health Officer. The panel reviewed the Nevada State Health Division’s
investigation of acute lymphocytic (lymphoblastic) leukemia (ALL) cases that had been diagnosed
in Churchill County, Nevada. The panel considered possible follow-up actions and priorities by
the Nevada Health Division. The meeting of the expert panel was attended by panel members and
staff from the Nevada Health Division, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Nevada
Governor’s Office, U.S. Senate (Senator John Ensign’s Office and Senator Reid’s staff on U.S.
Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources), and the Fallon Naval Air Base. This
report summarizes the panel’s review and recommendations.
The expert panel recognized the difficulty in evaluating and investigating excess
occurrences of ALL. The panel members acknowledged that the cause(s) of ALL are
insufficiently understood to single out a specific factor as explaining the observed excess in
Fallon, Nevada. The panel members were familiar with previous investigations of ALL clusters,
all of which had failed to uncover an explanation of the cause of these excesses. At the same
time, the panel members confirmed that the excess occurrence of ALL in Fallon, Nevada is
unusual; not only because of its large number of observed cases among so small a population-atrisk
over a short time period, but also because further observed ALL cases had been diagnosed
after the initial recognition of the ALL excess. The members of the expert panel acknowledged
the excellent work of the staff of the Nevada Health Division on this investigation.
Scientific understanding of the biology of ALL prevented the committee members from
predicting the cause of the observed excess of cases in Fallon. The committee is aware of at least
three distinct sets of possibilities. The first set of theories collectively point toward a cancer
3
causing chemical contaminant (e.g., human carcinogen) as the causal agent for the ALL epidemic.
Theories about a chemical in the environment have received the greatest amount of public
attention and community concern. The expert panel recognizes the need to address community
concern regarding the presence of a hazardous chemical contaminant. However, the absence of
cases of acute myeloid leukemia, the type of leukemia most commonly associated with toxic
chemical exposure (1-3), argues against the Fallon cases being the result of toxic exposures. The
panel members were skeptical that a chemical exposure could explain the excess cases of ALL in
Fallon, Nevada. A second possible explanation relates to the theory of what is called population
mixing in which clusters of ALL have been reported associated with unusual mixing of people,
often in relatively isolated rural areas (4-11). The population mixing theory initially focused on
the possibility of an unidentified infectious agent (i.e., a virus). However, the current consensus is
that exposure to a variety of infectious agents (i.e., viral and bacterial) may trigger an unusual and
rare reaction that affects a very small number of children within the susceptible population. The
hypothesis suggests that ALL is not infectious, spreading from one person to another; but an
unusual complication to a common infection within a susceptible population. The populationmixing
theory is supported by the observation that excesses of ALL eventually subside,
presumably because of increased population immunity. This theory requires further examination.
The panel believes it reasonable to test this hypothesis by calculating rates of ALL in other rural
areas of the U.S. having significant population mixing. However, such an effort falls outside the
mandate of the Nevada Health Division. Finally, the possibility that the excess of ALL cases is
due to random chance cannot be totally excluded as an explanation. The panel acknowledges,
however, that the excess of ALL cases in Fallon, Nevada is not likely to represent a “chance”
4
occurrence.
The expert panel recommends to the Nevada Health Division six follow-up steps in the
investigation of the excess occurrence of ALL in Fallon, Nevada (see Table 1).
The purpose of these next steps are to: 1) efficiently expand case-finding efforts, 2)
categorize the observed ALL cases by clinically relevant disease biomarkers, 3) identify potential
excess environmental exposures unique to the community by a cross-sectional exposure
assessment of selective contaminants and an evaluation of contaminant releases into the local
environment with assessment of completed pathways for the case families, 4) collect and bank
biologic specimens for future scientific investigations, 5) determine the time course and
characteristics of population movements into the Fallon area for the period 1990 to 2000, and 6)
maintain an expert panel to peer review investigative protocols and study results, consider future
use of banked specimens, and provide ongoing consultation to the Nevada Health Division.
The expert panel also discussed the importance of high concentrations of arsenic in
municipal and private drinking water supplies. The panel members expressed doubt that arsenic
consumption in drinking water, by itself, could explain the observed ALL excess for several
reasons: 1) The excess occurrence of ALL began in 1999, whereas the arsenic concentrations in
drinking water have been consistently elevated for many years. 2) The case children who makeup
the excess occurrence of ALL differ in respect to their consumption of arsenic contaminated
drinking water. 3) Epidemiologic studies of arsenic exposed populations have not linked arsenic
exposure with adult or childhood leukemia. One recent article suggests a weak association
between childhood leukemia risk and exposure to low levels of arsenic in drinking water (12).
The panel has reviewed the article and believes that the study is inadequate to support a
5
conclusion that ALL is related to arsenic in drinking water. Each panel members expressed
concern that the ongoing exposure to excess levels of arsenic in drinking water was a human
health hazard, regardless of its relationship to the excess of ALL. The Fallon municipal water
supply is contaminated with arsenic (As) at a level 10 times the EPA recommended standard for
arsenic in drinking water. The panel was also aware that an unknown proportion of Churchill
County drinking water wells, unregulated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), are at
least as contaminated as the Fallon municipal water supply. Arsenic is recognized by the Report
on Carcinogens of the National Toxicology Program as a known human carcinogen on the basis of
epidemiologic studies that have linked arsenic exposure with an excess of skin, bladder, and lung
cancers in exposed human populations.
The expert panel recommends that arsenic concentrations in the Fallon municipal drinking
water be reduced to a level no more than that currently recommended by EPA (e.g.; 10 ug/L) as
soon as possible. The panel strongly encourages the Nevada Health Division, and other state
agencies, to proceed with recommendations for testing arsenic in all drinking water wells in
Churchill County that are unregulated by the SDWA. The state health division should work to
create a process providing this service when necessary and develop a set of recommendations for
preventing arsenic exposure based on reported test results. The state health division should
consider maintaining a listing of wells that have been tested along with test results.
6
Table 1: Investigating the excess occurrence of Acute Lymphocytic (Lymphoblastic)
Leukemia in Fallon, Nevada: Phase II Recommendations of the Expert Panel
(February 15, 2001)
Priority Task / Time frame / Collaborators
1. Efficiently expand case-finding efforts. The panel members encourage the Nevada Health
Division to continue limited case-finding strategies. The panel members recommended
limited expansion of case-finding by linking to:
A. The national Childhood Oncology Group (COG) databases(s) to identify all
children with ALL having a residence at time of diagnosis in the state of Nevada.
The purpose of this would be to evaluate completeness of the Nevada tumor
registry and identify additional ALL cases from Churchill County.
B. An ongoing case-control study of ALL being conducted in California to review
residential history of cases for previous residence in Churchill County, Nevada.
C. The California State Tumor Registry to identify any children with ALL with a
Nevada residence at time of diagnosis.
Time frame – these additional steps could be done within two months after satisfactory
negotiations regarding patient confidentiality are completed.
Potential Collaborators – Clinical Oncology Group, California Tumor Registry, California
ALL research team.
2. Categorize the observed ALL cases by clinically relevant disease biomarkers. Cancer cells
from each case-child have probably been collected and undergone immunophenotyping
7
and cytogenetic testing. The health division should collect this information. If testing has
not been done and tumor cells have been stored, the health division should secure samples
and have them tested. These materials could be reviewed or tested at two independent
laboratories. The distribution of these results among the case-children from Fallon can be
compared against other children with ALL to determine if these distribution are similar or
if the distribution among the Fallon case-series is unique.
Time frame: The heath division should proceed to determine availability of data or tumor
cells as soon as possible.
Potential Collaborators: Pediatric oncologists, Childhood Oncology Group, National
Cancer Institute.
3. Identify potential excess environmental exposures unique to the community. The health
division should conduct limited testing for current exposures in environmental media or human
samples as well as evaluate contaminant releases into the local environment and assess the
potential for human exposure to such contaminants. This analysis would be used to identify
chemicals that are (and are not) elevated in the community and to consider if additional data
collection is required.
A. A cross-sectional exposure assessment of selective contaminants would include
examination of drinking water, human blood and urine of family members, and possibly
dust collected from homes where case-children did and did not live. Testing should be
limited to compounds for which normative data are available. The expert panel
recommended testing for volatile organic compounds in drinking water and human tissues;
8
radioactive isotopes in drinking water; selected heavy metals in drinking water, household
dust, and human tissues; and pesticides in human tissues and in household dust.
B. An evaluation of contaminant releases into the local environment with assessment of
completed pathways for the case families. The expert panel recommends collecting
environmental release data, including that from local industry and the Fallon Naval Air
Station. An assessment of the potential for environmentally released chemicals to result in
human exposure should also be conducted, including potential for case-children to have
been exposed.
Time frame: These activities will require development of survey and sampling protocols
and appropriate review of consent forms and confidentiality agreements. The committee
anticipates start-up of these activities during the months of March or April and available
results within 1 year.
Potential Collaborators:: National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention; Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registries; Jonathan
Buckley (University of Southern California) for input on measuring house dust for
pesticide residues, heavy metals, PAHs..
4. Collect and bank biologic specimens for future scientific investigations. The members of
the panel recognize how limited our knowledge is of the cause(s) of ALL and the difficulty
investigators have had in identifying the causes of similar ALL excesses. The panel
members believe that collection of biologic specimens from case-children and family
members may be useful for future research investigations into the cause(s) of ALL. A
9
small amount of blood and urine, and perhaps buccal cells, should be collected,
maintained, and made available for future research.
Time frame: Collection of specimens could occur simultaneously with the exposure
assessment (see 3A) or include samples taken during clinical care. A protocol for
collection, storage, and access to samples must be developed and reviewed by an
Institutional Review Board for compliance with human subject research.
Potential Collaborators: Nevada Public Health Laboratory, National Center for
Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cancer
Institute as possible repositories for the tissue bank.
5. Determine the time course and characteristics of population movement into the Fallon area
for the period 1990-2000. The expert panel recommends collecting demographic data
concerning changes in the population of Fallon, specifically looking for evidence of large
migration of new long-term residents into the community during this time period. The
appended table illustrates the kind of first-level information that is relevant to this issue.
Time frame: initial data collection within two months.
Potential Collaborators: Public school systems and Fallon Naval Airbase (for information
concerning migration patterns), Drs Les Robison and Malcolm Smith (for consultation to
identify the specific data required).
6. Maintain the expert panel to peer review investigative protocols and study results, review
proposals for future use of banked specimens, and provide ongoing consultation to the
10
Nevada Health Division.
11
Reference List
1. Felix CA. Secondary leukemias induced by topoisomerase-targeted drugs. Biochim Biophys
Acta 1998;233-55.
2. Bennett JM, Moloney WC, Greene MH, Boice JD. Acute myeloid leukemia and other
myelopathic disorders following treatment with alkylating agents. Hematol.Pathol. 1987;99-
104.
3. Rothman N, Smith MT, Hayes RB, Traver RD, Hoener B, Campleman S, Li GL, Dosemeci M,
Linet M, Zhang L, Xi L, Wacholder S, Lu W, Meyer KB, Titenko-Holland N, Stewart JT, Yin
S, Ross D. Benzene poisoning, a risk factor for hematological malignancy, is associated with the
NQO1 609C–>T mutation and rapid fractional excretion of chlorzoxazone. Cancer Res
1997;2839-42.
4. Kinlen LJ. Epidemiological evidence for an infective basis in childhood leukaemia [editorial].
Br.J.Cancer 1995;1-5.
5. Kinlen LJ, Clarke K, Hudson C. Evidence from population mixing in British New Towns 1946-
85 of an infective basis for childhood leukaemia. Lancet 1990;577-82.
6. Kinlen LJ, Hudson C. Childhood leukaemia and poliomyelitis in relation to military
encampments in England and Wales in the period of national military service, 1950-63. BMJ
1991;1357-62.
7. Kinlen LJ, O’Brien F, Clarke K, Balkwill A, Matthews F. Rural population mixing and
childhood leukaemia: effects of the North Sea oil industry in Scotland, including the area near
Dounreay nuclear site. BMJ 1993;743-8.
8. Kinlen LJ, Petridou E. Childhood leukemia and rural population movements: Greece, Italy, and
other countries. Cancer Causes Control 1995;445-50.
9. Kinlen LJ. High-contact paternal occupations, infection and childhood leukemia: five
studies of unusual population-mixing of adults. Br J Cancer 1997; 1539-1545.
10. Alexander FE, Chan LC, Lam TH, Yuen P, Leung NK, Ha SY, Yuen HL, Li CK, Li CK, Lau
YL, Greaves MF. Clustering of childhood leukaemia in Hong Kong: association with the
childhood peak and common acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and with population mixing. Br.J
Cancer 1997;457-63.
11. Petridou E, Revinthi K, Alexander FE, Haidas S, Koliouskas D, Kosmidis H, Piperopoulou F,
Tzortzatou F, Trichopoulos D. Space-time clustering of childhood leukaemia in Greece:
evidence supporting a viral aetiology. Br.J.Cancer 1996;1278-83.
12. Infante-Rivard et al. Drinking water contaminants and childhood leukemia. Epidemiology
2001; 12:13-19.
12
Appendix I: Recommended* Data to Evaluate Population Dynamics in Fallon, NV
mated Populations within Groups
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
0
on
Total
Individuals <21 yrs
Individuals 6 mos)
Temporary (< 6 mos)
Dependents (total)
Dependents <20 yrs of age
ool Enrollment K-12
(Total)
Elementary (Total)
Middle School (Total)
High School (Total)
Total K-12 (Naval dependents)
Elementary (Naval dependents)
Middle School (Naval dependents)
High School (Naval dependents)
*It is recognized that the figures requested may not be available for all categories and/or years.
Although the objective would be to obtain the most detailed and accurate information possible,
crude estimates would be preferable to no information. Accordingly, it will be important to
document the level of confidence (i.e., accuracy) for the various pieces of information obtained.
http://tis.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/index.html Roadmap to the Project: ACHRE Report Thursday, September 4, 2003
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DOE Openness: Human Radiation Experiments: Roadmap to the Project
ACHRE Report
DOE Roadmap
Experiments List
Oral Histories
Records Series
Descriptions
Overview
Documents
Declassified
Documents
Project Events
ACHRE Report
Uranium Miners
Resources
Building Public
Trust
Department of
Defense Report
Advisory Committee on Human Radiation
Experiments
The Final Report is written in an easily accessible style, but it is of necessity long. This guide
provides a roadmap and capsule descriptions of each section of the report.
Executive Summary
The Executive Summary explains why the committee was created, their approach, and their
key findings and recommendations.
Preface
The Preface explains why the Committee was created, the President's charge, and the
Committee's approach.
Introduction: The Atomic Century
The Introduction describes the intersection of several develop ments: the birth and remarkable
growth of radiation science; the parallel changes in medicine and medical research; and the
intersection of these changes with government programs that called on medical researchers to
play important new roles beyond that involved in the traditional doctor-patient relationship.
The Introduction concludes with a section titled "The Basics of Radiation Science" for the lay
reader.
Part I. Ethics of Human Subjects Research: A Historical
Perspective
Chapter 1. Government Standards for Human Experiments: The
1940s and 1950s
In chapter 1 we report what we have been able to reconstruct about government rules and
policies in the 1940s and 1950s regarding human experiments. We focus primarily on the
Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of Defense, because their history with
respect to human subjects research policy is less well known than that of the Department of
Health, Education and Welfare (now the Department of Health and Human Services).
Drawing on records that were previously obscure, or only recently declassified, we reveal
the perhaps surprising finding that officials and experts in the highest reaches of the AEC and
DOD discussed requirements for human experiments in the first years of the Cold War. We
also briefly discuss the research policies of DHEW and the Veterans Administration during
these years.
Chapter 2. Postwar Professional Standards and Practices for
Department of Defense
Report on Search
for
Human Radiation Experiment
Records
1944 — 1994
Volume 1
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for
Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs
D EPA R T M EN T O F D E F ENSE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CHAPTER
6 RADIOLOGICAL WARFARE
59
INTRODUCTION
During World War II, scientists explored military
uses of radiological materials. The ability to
manufacture radioactive materials had already been
developed. Scientists began to explore the feasibility
of dispersing radioactive material over a land area to
deny its use to the enemy. Discussions included using
such radiological weapons to destroy crops, poison
water supplies, or force the enemy to abandon a
critical facility.
Radiological warfare involves:
the use of radioactive substances to produce
personnel casualties or to deny the enemy full
use of terrain or installations due to the physiological
damage which will result from continued
occupation of the area.1
The dispersal of radiological agents does not involve
an atomic bomb but rather uses conventional
explosives to disperse radioactive material over a
given area.
The Allies knew that Germany had a fledgling
atomic weapons development program and that it
might also be considering a radiological warfare
program. Therefore, the United States developed
contingency plans for a response to German use of
such weapons. However, allied efforts quickly
crippled the German atomic
bomb effort, and the threat of
their use of any radiological
warfare program ceased. As the
U.S. atomic bomb program
progressed from theory to fact, the
United States’ interest in
radiological weapons decreased.
ACRONYMS USED IN THIS CHAPTER
RECONSIDERATION OF RADIOLOGICAL WARFARE
After World War II, the United States began an
atomic bomb testing program. One test involved an
atomic weapon detonated underwater at Bikini Atoll,
Pacific Proving Ground, Marshall Islands. This test,
known as Shot BAKER, was conducted in July 1946
as part of Operation CROSSROADS. An atomic
weapon was suspended ninety feet beneath a ship
anchored in the midst of a target fleet.2 The test
weapon had the same power as the bomb dropped at
Nagasaki (yield equal to
21 kilotons of TNT). “The detonation caused the
fleet to be bathed in radioactive water spray and
radioactive debris from the lagoon bottom.”3 Shot
BAKER resulted in widespread contamination of the
target fleet and consequently renewed interest in the
idea of radiological warfare.
Joseph G. Hamilton, M.D., one of the leading
civilian scientists studying radiological warfare, wrote
a memorandum to the Army in December 1946
discussing not only how much damage radiological
warfare could do but also the need for a greater
understanding of how the United States could
combat the effects of radiological weapons.
Dr. Hamilton wrote:
I strongly feel that the best protection that this
nation can secure against the possibilities of
ACHRE Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments
AEC Atomic Energy Commission
DoD Department of Defense
TNT trinitrotoluene (a high explosive, used for blasting)
60 Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare
TERMS USED IN THIS CHAPTER
attenuation lessen in severity, value, amount, intensity,
etc.; weaken
atoll a ring-shaped coral island nearly or
completely surrounding a lagoon
curie a unit of radioactivity
Dugway Proving Ground Army Chemical Corps facility in the Utah
desert
half-life the time for the activity of a substance to
decay to half its original level
isotope atoms of an element with the same number
of protons but different numbers of neutrons
kilotons a thousand tons; the energy of a nuclear
explosion that is equivalent to the explosive
power of 1,000 tons of TNT
Manhattan Project the top-secret project during WWII to build
an atomic bomb; Los Alamos was selected
as the bomb laboratory site; Hanford, Wash.
and Oak Ridge, Tenn. were selected as the
sites for plutonium production
nuclear fission the splitting of the nuclei of atoms into two
fragments of approximately equal mass
accompanied by conversion of part of the
mass into energy: the principle of the atomic
bomb
point source radioactive material that is manually placed
in a known spot; usually used for calibration
or measurement purposes and re-covered
after the test
tantalum a rare corrosion-resistant, metallic chemical
element used to make nuclear reactors,
aircraft, and missile parts, etc.
shot test
weathering the effects of weather (wind, rain, etc.) on the
residual radioactive material after its initial
dispersal
World War II 1939-1945, fought between the Allies (Great
Britain, France, the Soviet Union, Canada,
and the United States as well as other
nations) and the Axis (Germany, Italy, Japan
and other countries)
radioactive agents being
employed as a military
tool by some foreign
power is a thorough
evaluation and understanding
of the full potentiality
of such an agent.4
There were those who
argued that radiological
warfare could be a more
humane form of warfare. It
could effectively contaminate
an area without necessarily
causing immediate death. The
radioactivity level of the
weapon and the amount of
time spent in the
contaminated area would
determine the possibility of
injury or death. The idea of
using radiological warfare
weapons to deny an enemy use
of an area by contamination
was discussed within the
military community in the
later months of 1946 and into
1947. The interest in
radiological warfare became a
starting point for the
establishment of programs and
panels.5
THE JOINT RADIOLOGICAL
WARFARE STUDY PANEL
In May 1948, the Atomic
Energy Commission (AEC) and
the Department of Defense
(DoD) created a joint study
panel chaired by W.A. Noyes, a
chemist from the University of
Rochester. The panel, called
the Noyes Panel, included DoD
and AEC officials as well as
Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare 61
non-Government experts. The panel’s purposes were
to evaluate the feasibility of an offensive radiological
warfare program and to establish an understanding of
how to defend against a radiological attack. The
panel met six times between May 1948 and
November 1950.
At the panel’s first meeting on 23 May 1948,
panel members recommended that the study be
broken down into three categories: medical and
biological research on the effects of radiation and
radioactive materials conducted by the Army
Chemical Corps Toxicity Laboratory at The
University of Chicago, chemistry studies on the
production of radioactive materials for use in
radiological warfare carried out mainly by the AEC,
and military uses and dissemination of possible
radiological warfare munitions conducted mainly by
the Chemical Corps.6
THE ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS TEST SAFETY PANEL
Concurrent with the Noyes Panel, the Army
Chemical Corps established a Test Safety Panel in
May 1949 to review the test designs of radiological
warfare tests and their impact on the safety of the
local civilian population.7 The panel, chaired by
Joseph Hamilton, M.D., consisted of prominent
Government and civilian physicians and physicists.
The panel reviewed Chemical Corps proposals
for radiological warfare tests at Dugway Proving
Ground. During the review of the Dugway testing
program, the Test Safety Panel investigated
possible dangers, such as contamination to water
supply, food, crops, and animal population.8 The
Chemical Corps was responsible for the safety of
civilian and military personnel working at Dugway
Proving Ground.9 Under Dr. Hamilton’s leadership,
the panel examined and discussed safety concerns,
eventually accepting the test program with the
understanding that the first two tests would be
subject to review for radiological safety before any
further tests were allowed.10
On 15 September 1949, a Test Safety Panel report
stated, “The Panel was favorably impressed by the
careful consideration given to the manifold problems of
protection and undue dissipation of radioactive
materials where serious problems might arise.”11
RADIOLOGICAL AGENT SELECTION
During the radiological warfare testing, scientists
were researching a variety of radioactive elements for
toxicity levels to determine their feasibility as
radiological warfare agents. One 1947 memorandum
discussed the criteria for radiological agent selection:
• Toxicity by inhalation
• Toxicity by application to the body or to
clothing
• Rapidity of action [how fast it affects area or
personnel]
• Persistency [how long it remains a danger]
• Stability of the radioactive element [half-life]
• Penetrability of protective devices
• Availability in required quantities.12
The elements that met the above criteria included
radiological agents with half-lives that ranged from
seconds to centuries. It was generally thought that the
military operations would benefit most from a
radioactive element that had a half-life between several
weeks and one year. If the element had too short a halflife,
it would no longer be sufficiently active by the time
it reached the test site or the battlefield. An excessively
long half-life would cause long-term area denial, which
would keep U.S. troops from entering a battlefield they
might need to use or cross later. The selection processes
would enable scientists and researchers to locate the best
elements to use for radiological warfare munitions.
THE TEST PROGRAMS
Oak Ridge Tests
While the majority of the radiological warfare
field testing was conducted at Dugway Proving
Ground in Utah, the first three field tests were
conducted at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1948, Oak
Ridge Scientific Laboratory (ORSL) scientists tested
62 Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare
tantalum, a grid pattern of more than 250 tantalum
wires was placed over a rectangular plot of land.
Measurements of radioactive intensity were taken at
certain points in the grid, and the wires were
removed. These tests left no residual contamination
in the environment.14
Dugway Tests
A radiological munition field testing program
began at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah in
October 1949 and
continued until 1952. Field
tests used only small
amounts of radioactive
material so that radiation
detection devices could map
the dispersal pattern. There
was no human
experimentation associated
with the radiological
warfare munition testing
program.
Design efforts originally
focused on using an
explosive force to distribute
the radiological agent. Later
in the program’s
development, the designs
focused on a munition that
would release grooved
spheres capable of more
efficiently scattering the
material. Radioactive
tantalum was used because
of its availability. In total,
approximately 13,690 curies
of radioactive tantalum
were released onto the
ground in the form of dust,
small particles, and pellets
during the Dugway testing.
In contrast, radiological
warfare would have required
millions of curies per square
radioactive lanthanum and radioactive tantalum.
They also researched the feasibility of zirconium and
columbium as radiological warfare agents.
Radioactive lanthanum was placed at designated
locations in a field. Measurements were taken at
varying distances from the source and then the
sources were removed from the field; the sources left
no residual radiation in the environment.13 The first
test involved three radioactive sources of
approximately 1,280, 100, and 20 curies of
lanthanum. The second test involved only the 1,280-
curie source. In a third test involving radioactive
Radiological warfare weapons test target area at Dugway Proving
Ground, Utah
Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare 63
mile to achieve its military purpose.15 Toward the end
of the program in 1952, there were plans to test a
100,000-curie device, but the program was severely
curtailed, and the test of this prototype weapon did
not take place.
Munition Tests
Eighteen field tests were conducted at Dugway
Proving Ground by the Army Chemical Corps. Two
of these examined the ability to decontaminate an
area that had already been contaminated by previous
field tests, and another field test examined the
attenuation effects of various building materials (such
as cinder block and plywood) on radiation levels.
This test used a transient point source, leaving no
residual radioactivity in the environment. A total of
sixty-four munitions were used for all the tests.
The following is a list of field tests beginning in
October 1949 and ending in September 1952 (also
see table 1).
• The first radiological warfare munition test
was conducted on 22 October 1949. The
objective was to study how a radiological
contaminant spreads when dispersed by a
bomb. A 2,000-pound radiological bomb
containing 260 curies of tantalum-182 was
detonated.16
• A second munition test (Field Test 276) was
conducted on 30 November 1949. Its
objective was the same as the first, but this
time the 2,000-pound radiological bomb
contained 1,506 curies of tantalum-182.17
• Field Test 287 was an airburst test of a single
2,000-pound radiological bomb, E59R1, filled
with radioactive tantalum particles. It was
conducted on 4 August 1950. The objective
of this test was to determine the effect of the
type of explosive used on the dispersion of
radioactive tantalum particles over large areas
and to assess the radiation field produced, the
airborne cloud generated, and the effect of
weathering on the radioactive tantalum. The
radiological material, tantalum-182, was
activated to a level of 480 curies.18
• Field Test 288 occurred on 6 August 1950. It
was a drop test of a single 2,000-pound
radiological bomb, E59R2, filled with
radioactive tantalum particles. The objective
was to determine the effect of the type of
explosive used in the 2,000-pound radiological
bomb, E59R1, on the dispersion of radioactive
tantalum particles over large areas and to assess
the radiation field produced, the airborne cloud
generated, and the effect of weathering on the
contamination. The radioactive tantalum was
activated to a level of 480 curies. The test was
intended to be an airburst; however, due to
mechanical malfunction, the bomb exploded
on impact.19
• On 11 August 1950, Field Test 293 was
conducted. It was a static test of four shapedcharge
sections of radiological bomb, E59,
filled with radioactive tantalum particles.
The objective was to determine the effect of
shaping the explosive charge used in the
bomb on the dispersion of radioactive
tantalum particles and to assess the radiation
field produced. Each of the four bomb
sections was loaded with 26 curies of
radioactive tantalum, for a total of 104
curies.20
• Field Test 289 was conducted on 5 September
1950. It was an airburst test of a single
radiological bomb, E65, filled with
radioactive tantalum particles. The test
objective was to determine the effect of the
type of explosive used in the bomb on the
dispersion of radioactive tantalum particles
and to assess the field of radiation produced
by the dispersal. The 2,000-pound bomb
contained approximately 930 curies.21
• Field Test 290, conducted on 7 September
1950, involved an airburst test of a single
64 Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare
# of Radiological Approx.
Field Test Date(s) Test Designation Type of Test Munitions Agent Used Curie Total
22 October 1949 None given airburst 1 tantalum-182 260
30 November 1949 Field Test 276 airburst 1 tantalum-182 1,506
(90% wire, 10% particles)
4 August 1950 Field Test 287 airburst 1 tantalum-182 480
6 August 1950 Field Test 288 groundburst 1 tantalum-182 480
11 August 1950 Field Test 293 static 4 tantalum particles 104
5 September 1950 Field Test 289 airburst 1 tantalum particles 930
7 September 1950 Field Test 290 airburst 1 tantalum particles 3,900
13 September 1950 Field Test 292 static 15 tantalum oxide particles, 14
tantalum chloride dust,
agent RA
29 May 1951 Field Test 619 static 4 tantalum dust pellets 308
3-4 November 1951 Field Test 620 airburst 9 tantalum dust pellets 131
7 November 1951 Field Test 623 airburst 1 tantalum dust pellets 612
8 November 1951 Field Test 624 airburst 1 tantalum dust pellets 756
20 May 1952 Field Test static 4 tantalum dust pellets 1,405
RW 1-52 (compressed)
23-27 May 1952 Field Test airburst 16 99% tantalum dust, 640
RW 2-52 1% molybdenum sulfide
23 September 1952 Field Test static 4 tantalum pellets 2,164
RW 1-53
TABLE 1 RADIOLOGICAL WARFARE MUNITION TESTS CONDUCTED AT DUGWAY PROVING GROUND,
UTAH, 1949 – 1952
2,000-pound radiological bomb, E65R2, with
a water-cooled jacket, filled with radioactive
tantalum particles. The test objective was to
determine the effect of the explosive type on
the dispersion of the radioactive tantalum
particles over large areas and to assess the
radiation field produced, the airborne cloud
generated, the effect of weathering on
contamination, and the effect of a watercooled
jacket for the bomb in relation to the
above factors. The curie level was 3,900.22
• Field Test 292, conducted on 13 September
1950, involved static tests of experimental
Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare 65
radiological dust generators, E66R2 and
E66R3, filled with radioactive tantalum
oxide, radioactive tantalum chloride, and
radioactive agent RA (an agent not specified
in the report). The objective was to
determine the feasibility of dispersing, as
ground contamination over a small area,
radioactive tantalum oxide particles,
radioactive tantalum chloride dust, and
radioactive agent RA by thermal generation.
The objective was also to assess the radiation
field produced and the airborne cloud
generated. During this test, fifteen munitions
were used and approximately 14 curies were
emitted into the environment.23
• Field Test 619 was conducted on 29 May
1951. It was a static test of four full-diameter
sectional munitions, E65 type, filled with
compressed radioactive tantalum dust pellets.
The test’s objective was to determine the
effect of shaping the explosive charge of the
radiological bomb on the dispersion of the
pellets. Each munition contained 77 curies,
for a total of 308 curies.24
• Field Test 620 took place on 3 – 4 November
1951. It was an airburst test of nine spherical
radiological munitions, E78R2 and E78R3.
These munitions were filled with aerial pellet
disseminators filled with radioactive tantalum
dust, which burst at varying altitudes. In
addition, three inert munitions containing no
radiological material were dropped for
practice. The objective was to establish the
“area of responsibility” of these two types of
individual munitions and to assess the
radiation field produced. The nine munitions
were filled with radiological material
activated to a level between 8.5 and 17.3
curies each, for a total of 131 curies for the
test.25
• Field Test 623 occurred on 7 November 1951.
It was an airburst test of a 1,000-pound
radiological bomb, E-83, filled with
compressed radioactive tantalum dust pellets.
The objective of the test was to determine
the effect of varying the explosive and
shaping the charge on the range and
uniformity of dispersion of the pellets of
compressed radioactive tantalum dust. The
bomb contained 612 curies.26
• Field Test 624 was held on 8 November 1951.
It was an airburst test of a 1,000-pound
radiological bomb, E-83, filled with
compressed radioactive tantalum dust pellets.
The objective was the same as Field Test 623.
The bomb contained 756 curies.27
• Field Test RW 1-52, on 20 May 1952,
involved the static test of four segments of
full-diameter sectional munitions. The
objectives were to determine the effect of
shaping the explosive charge of the modified
radiological bomb on the dispersion of
compressed pellets of radioactive tantalum
dust and to assess the radiation fields
produced. The activity of the radioactive
tantalum in the munitions ranged from 275
to 404 curies, for a total of 1,405 curies.28
• Field Test RW 2-52 took place 23 – 27 May
1952. It was an airburst test of spherical
radiological munitions containing radioactive
tantalum. The objectives were to assess the
radiation fields produced by individual
spherical munitions filled with a radioactive
agent when airburst at various altitudes and
to determine the effect of weathering on the
ground contamination. Sixteen active
munitions were used in this field test. Before
this test, six inert simulate munitions were
dropped on 21 May 1952 to test the altitude
at which they opened. The total activities of
the radioactive tantalum in the spheres were
calculated to be 38.9 to 40 curies, for a total
of 640 curies.29
• Field Test RW 1-53 was conducted on
23 September 1952. It was a static test of full66
Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare
troops) that were radiologically contaminated
and to test the feasibility of decontamination
of construction equipment used in
contaminated areas.31
• Field Test 311 was conducted to test the
effect of various types of construction on the
intensity field produced by a radioactive
tantalum source. A point source of
radiological material was used; no residual
radiological material was released into the
environment. There were three tests, on
26 July, 31 August, and 1 September 1950, to
determine the effectiveness of several types of
common construction techniques as a shield
to radiation exposure from a point source of
radioactive tantalum-182.32
• Field Test RW 5-52 was conducted on
4 – 10 June 1952. It dealt with radiological
warfare decontamination and land
reclamation studies. No radiological material
was released into the environment as a result
of this field test. The objectives were to
investigate the range of depths to which the
pellets penetrate the soil, to determine the
feasibility of locating individual radiological
warfare pellets by means of gamma survey
meter or by means of beta probe, to
determine the feasibility of removing
individual pellets and the time required for
Date of Field Test Test Designation Type of Field Test Source of Contaminants
August 1950 Field Test 291 gross decontamination residue from 30 November 1949 field test
study
26 July 1950 Field Test 311 construction point source of tantalum-182
31 August 1950 test
1 September 1950
4-10 June 1952 Field Test decontamination and residue from previous field test
DPG RW 5-52 land reclamation studies
TABLE 2 RADIOLOGICAL WARFARE DECONTAMINATION AND CONSTRUCTION EVALUATION FIELD
TESTS CONDUCTED AT DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, UTAH, 1950 – 1952
diameter sections of a radiological munition.
The objectives were to determine the effect of
shaping the explosive charge of one 1,000-
pound radiological bomb, E83 type, on the
dispersion and breakup of the agent and to
determine the extent and intensity of the field
radiation produced. The four functioning
munitions contained a level of between 359
and 626 curies, for a total of 2,164 curies.30
Decontamination and Construction Studies
In addition to the munition studies, two
decontamination studies and one building
construction study were conducted during the years
of the Dugway radiological warfare testing (see
table 2). This latter test examined the attenuation
effects of various building materials, such as cinder
block and plywood, on radiation levels.
• Field Test 291, in August 1950, was designed
to study gross decontamination of radioactive
tantalum dispersed by a single radiological
bomb. The radiological agent used in this test
was the residue from the 30 November 1949
test (Field Test 276). No new contaminant
was used. The objective was to determine the
practicality of several proposed methods for
gross decontamination of areas (either area
wide or paths wide enough for the passage of
Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare 67
this operation, to obtain data on the
performance of proposed land reclamation
measures, and to evaluate waste collection
and disposal procedures.33
THE JOINT RADIOLOGICAL WARFARE STUDY
PANEL REEVALUATION
The Noyes Panel, which presented its final
report on 20 November 1950, reconvened for a
short time in April 1952 to discuss the status of the
radiological warfare program. The group evaluated
the technical advances that had been made in the
field of radiological warfare since the Joint Study
Panel’s last meeting in 1950. The group found
there had been advancements in several categories:
production of radiological warfare agents,
dissemination of radiological warfare agents, and
decontamination and defensive measures. There
were no significant changes in the areas of new
radiological warfare agent discovery, delivery, or
biological effects. The panel decided that “no
controversial technical problems have developed
since the last Noyes Panel report.”34
THE CANCELLATION OF THE OFFENSIVE
RADIOLOGICAL WARFARE PROGRAM
The radiological warfare test program at Dugway
Proving Ground continued until 1952, when the
Chemical Corps expressed a wish to substantially
expand the radiological warfare program. Increasingly
larger tests, planned for 1953 and following years,
would have needed vastly expanded facilities to
maintain radioactive munitions.35
However, in 1953, the radiological warfare test
program was canceled. Several reasons contributed to
the program’s discontinuation. There were questions
relating to the actual need for a continuing radiological
warfare program, and the expansion of the nuclear
weapons arsenal made radiological warfare less necessary
as an offensive measure. There were also budget cuts in
military spending, which were necessary at the
conclusion of the Korean War. As of 10 June 1953, the
funding for the 1954 fiscal year had been extremely
reduced. The planned budget of $4.33 million was
reduced to $222,000.36 This substantial loss of funds
resulted in the Chemical Corps not going ahead with
the expansion it was proposing.
SUMMARY
The development of offensive weapons during
World War II was critical, and in the beginning
stages of the Manhattan Project the ability to
construct an atomic weapon was not a certainty.
Radiological warfare provided the U.S. military
forces with another possible option. The capability
of delivering a radiological contaminant into the
environment to deny an enemy control over
specific terrain would have been a potentially
potent addition to the U.S. weapons arsenal.
The need to explore adequately the potentialities
of radiological warfare and the fear that other nations
might use this type of warfare motivated the research
and development of the radiological warfare program.
The tests conducted at ORSL and Dugway Proving
Ground were intended to determine the best methods
of radiological agent dispersal and damage capability.
According to the Advisory Committee on Human
Radiation Experiments:
“Whatever public health hazard the [radiological
warfare] tests at Dugway may have posed
at the time, the radioactive decay of the tantalum
caused the risks to dissipate over time.
By 1960, no more than a few millicuries of tantalum
remained, dispersed so widely that by
this time it posed no conceivable human or
environmental hazard.”37
NOTES
(To obtain copies of the following documents, see appendix 2.)
1. Report by Col. James P. Cooney, Medical Corps,
“General Indoctrination,” 24 February 1950, p. 1.
2. Defense Nuclear Agency 6032F, “Operation
CROSSROADS Report-1946,” United States Atmospheric
68 Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare
Nuclear Weapons Tests, Nuclear Test Personnel Review, 1
May 1984, p. 1.
3. Ibid, p. 1.
4. Memorandum, from Joseph G. Hamilton, M.D., to
Col. K. D. Nichols, Subject: “Radioactive Warfare,”
31 December 1946, p. 7.
5. Ibid, p. 1
6. Radiological Warfare Study Group, Second Report,
Military Application of Radioactive Materials, 17 June
1948, p. 1; Advisory Committee on Human Radiation
Experiments, Final Report (Washington, D.C.: U.S.
Government Printing Office, October 1995), p. 519.
7. Memorandum, to Military Liaison Committee,
Subject: “Panel to Investigate Safety of Civilian
Populations from Tests of Radiological Warfare Agents,”
2 May 1949.
8. C. B. Marquand, Secretary, Test Safety Panel, Capt. S.
C. Hadwich, Chemical Center, Assistant Secretary, Test
Safety Panel, “Meeting of the Test Safety Panel at Dugway
Proving Ground on 2 August 1949,” 22 August 1949, p. 3.
9. Ibid.
10. Letter, from Joseph G. Hamilton, M.D., to Dr. C. B.
Marquand, “Confirming Decisions Made by the Panel at the
2 August 1949 Meeting,” 4 August 1949, pp. 1–2; Report of
the Test Safety Panel, appendix J, 15 September 1949, p. 3.
11. Report of the Test Safety Panel, appendix J,
15 September 1949, p. 4.
12. Memorandum, from Maj. Gen. Alden H. Waitt,
Chief, Chemical Corps, to Director, Research and
Development Division War Department General Staff,
7 February 1947, p. 1 of enclosure.
13. DOE, Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety,
and Health, Human Radiation Experiments: The
Department of Energy Roadmap to the Story and the Records
(Oak Ridge, Tenn.: Office of Scientific and Technical
Information, February, 1995), p. 216.
14. Ibid.
15. AEC, Radiological Warfare Program Status Report,
Sixth Meeting of Joint AEC-NME Panel on
Radiological Warfare, TID-397, 20 November 1950,
Conclusions, p. 6.
16. Preliminary Summary of First RW Munition Test,
Dugway Proving Ground, 31 October 1949.
17. Preliminary Summary of Second RW Munition
Test, Dugway Proving Ground, 13 December 1949.
18. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Report of Field
Test 287, Airburst Test of a Single 2000 Pound
Radiological Bomb E59R1, Filled with Radioactive
Tantalum Particles;” “Report of Field Test 288, Drop
Test of a Single 2000 Pound Radiological Bomb E59R2,
Filled with Radioactive Tantalum Particles” (Maryland:
Army Chemical Center, 7 April 1952).
19. Ibid.
20. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Report of Field
Test 293, Static Test of Four Shaped-Charge Sections of
Radiological Bomb, E59, Filled with Radioactive
Tantalum Particles” (Maryland: Army Chemical Center,
10 April 1952).
21. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Report of Field
Test 289, Airburst Test of a Single Radiological Bomb,
E65, Filled with Radioactive Tantalum Particles”
(Maryland: Army Chemical Center, 7 April 1952).
22. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Report of Field
Test 290, Airburst Test of a Single 2000 Pound
Radiological Bomb, E65R2, Filled with Radioactive
Tantalum Particles” (Maryland: Army Chemical Center,
7 April 1952).
23. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Interim Report
of Field Test 292, Static Tests of Experimental
Radiological Dust Generators, E66R2 and E66R3, Filled
Radioactive Tantalum Oxide, Radioactive Tantalum
Chloride, and Radioactive Agent RA” (Maryland:
Army Chemical Center, 29 September 1952).
Chapter 6—Radiological Warfare 69
24. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Report of Field
Test 619, Static Test of Four Full-Diameter Sectional
Munitions, E65 Type, Filled with Radioactive Tantalum
Dust Pellets” (Maryland: Army Chemical Center,
19 May 1952).
25. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Report of Field
Test 620, Airburst Test of Nine Spherical Radiological
Munitions, E78R2 and E78R3, Aerial Pellet
Disseminators Filled with a Radioactive Agent, and
Bursting at Varying Altitudes” (Maryland: Army
Chemical Center, 10 October 1952).
26. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Report of Field
Tests 623 and 624, Airburst Test of Two, 1000 Pound
Radiological Bombs, E-83, Filled with Compressed
Radioactive Tantalum Dust Pellets” (Maryland: Army
Chemical Center, 27 June 1952).
27. Ibid.
28. C. Glenvil Whitacre, Army Chemical Corps,
Chemical and Radiological Laboratories, Interim
Report, “Report of Field Test DPG RW 1-52, Static Test
of Four Full-Diameter Sectional Munitions, E83 Type,
Filled with Radioactive Compressed Tantalum Dust
Pellets” (Maryland: Army Chemical Center, 2 July
1953); Technical Report, “Field Test DPGR 107 RW 1-
52, Static Test of Sectional Munitions” (Dugway
Proving Ground, 7 May 1953).
29. Technical Report, “Field Test DPGR 108 RW 2-52,
Test of Spherical Munitions” (Dugway Proving Ground,
15 May 1953).
30. Technical Report, “Field Test DPGR 120 RW 1-53,
Second Static Test of Sectional Munitions” (Dugway
Proving Ground, 18 September 1953).
31. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Report of Field
Test 291, Gross Decontamination Studies on
Radioactive Tantalum Dispersed by a Single
Radiological Bomb” (Maryland: Army Chemical
Center, September 1952).
32. Army Chemical Corps, Planning and Evaluation
Branch, Test Division, Interim Report, “Report of Field
Test 311, Test of the Effect of Various Types of
Construction on the Intensity Field Produced by a
Radioactive Tantalum Source” (Maryland: Army
Chemical Center, 29 September 1952).
33. Technical Report, “Field Test DPGR 109 RW 5-52,
Land Decontamination Test” (Dugway Proving Ground,
3 June 1953).
34. Memorandum, from Maj. Thomas A. Gibson, Jr.,
Chemical Corps, Radiological Branch, to Chief of Staff,
AFSWP, Regarding “A Technical Study Group to
Review the Technical Aspects of Radiological Warfare,”
23 April 1952, p. 3.
35. Memorandum, from Brig. Gen. William M. Creasy,
Commander, Chemical Corps Research and Engineering
Command, to Chief Chemical Officer, Department of
the Army, Regarding Minimum Fund Requirements in
the AW Field, with Attached Budget Memo, 24 June
1953, p. 1.
36. Memorandum, from Brig. Gen. William M. Creasy,
Commander, Chemical Corps Research and Engineering
Command, to Chief Chemical Officer, Department of
the Army, Regarding Reduction of Funds in the AW
Field, 15 June 1953, p. 1.
37. Advisory Committee on Human Radiation
Experiments, Final Report (Washington, D.C.: U.S.
Government Printing Office, October 1995), p. 537.
Nuclear Pathway
Scientists are researching cheaper ways of enriching uranium – a
significant step on the road to making nuclear weapons.
The claim comes as the Australian Federal government is considering
tough new “Vanunu style” laws to gag nuclear whistle blowers.
Scientists working for Silex Systems Ltd, which leases space at the Lucas
Heights reactor, are developing technology to enrich uranium with lasers.
“There is an ongoing need for technology that we can use, if necessary, in
nuclear bomb making.”
Source: Sunday Mail newspaper Adelaide, Sunday 21/0/2003, page 37,
quoting Richard Broinowski, former ambassador to South Korea.
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/radsafe/9611/msg00554.html British – HUMAN RADIATION
EXPERIMENTS
Friday, September 5, 2003
Page: 1
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
British – HUMAN RADIATION
EXPERIMENTS
To : Multiple recipients of list
Subject : British – HUMAN RADIATION EXPERIMENTS
From : “Sandy Perle”
Date : Mon, 25 Nov 1996 15:42:13 -0500
Comments : Authenticated sender is
Priority : normal
Reply-To : sandyfl@ix.netcom.com
Now it’s a British issue as well. This is provided for edification.
—————————–
LONDON – Anti-nuclear campaigners claimed Saturday
that Britain had been carrying out radiation experiments on
people for nearly 40 years without properly explaining the
risks.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Britain’s
leading anti-nuclear pressure group, said the tests involved
volunteers inhaling, eating or being injected with a number of
radioactive substances.
Britain’s defense ministry confirmed that human radiation
experiments had been carried out but said they were all ethical.
Chairwoman Janet Bloomfield told a CND conference that the
tests began in 1957 and were still going on today. CND said it
would give full details of its allegations in a report to be
published Sunday.
The defense ministry confirmed that human radiation
experiments had been conducted at three atomic research
establishments in the 1950s and 1960s and more recently in the
1980s.
“All studies involved volunteers. They have been subject to
proper medical safeguards and with the full knowledge of the
persons concerned,” a defense ministry spokeswoman said.
“Some recent studies were conducted in the 80s. None
involved the inhalation of plutonium. Other substances
administered were negligible,” she said.
But CND researcher Eddie Goncalves disputed this.
“Experiments are supposed to have been carried out on
volunteers. But one of the issues here is to what extent these
guinea pigs really were volunteers and to what extent they had
the risks properly explained to them,” Goncalves told
reporters.
Bloomfield said the tests began in 1957 and involved about
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/radsafe/9611/msg00554.html British – HUMAN RADIATION
EXPERIMENTS
Friday, September 5, 2003
Page: 2
10 different radioactive substances.
“The government has consistently misled parliament, the
public and those involved about what has been done,” she
claimed.
Sandy Perle
Director, Technical Operations
ICN Dosimetry Division
Office: (800) 548-5100 Ext. 2306
Fax: (714) 668-3149
E-Mail: sandyfl@ix.netcom.com
Homepages:
http://www.netcom.com/~sandyfl/home.html
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/1205
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PROPAGANDA Page 1 of 23
file://D:\atomic\PROP\PROP.HTM 7/6/03
HOME
AWTSC
WATER
INDIGENOUS
LEGAL
BIBLIOGRAPHY
US VETS
BOMBS
BLACK MIST
LETTERS
MEDIA
SURVEY
ARL
ANALYSIS
HISTORY
CAUTION
README
THE TRUTH SURROUNDING ATOMIC FICTION
COLD WAR PROPAGANDA & MODERN VIEWS
ON RADIOLOGICAL SAFETY IN AUSTRALIA
By Paul Langley
For the Atomic Ex-Servicemen’sí Association
4 August 1996
Taranaki Test Site, Maralinga. The people who lived and served there continue to suffer the
consequences. Direct contamination extended over a wide area. As of 1998, a third attempt at
cleaning up the site was in progress.
LINK TO PAGE SUBJECT
INTRODUCTION
Introduction
DATA
Data gathering and use
STATISTICS
Statistics within a socially isolated minority group
SCIENTIFIC
Scientific knowledge vs. moral imperatives
HISTORY
A history of nuclear health physics
BACKGROUND
Background radiation
SAFE
PROPAGANDA Page 2 of 23
file://D:\atomic\PROP\PROP.HTM 7/6/03
What is a safe dose of radiation?
INTERNAL
Internal vs. external exposure
DEFINITIONS
Definitions
EXTERNAL
HAZARD
External hazard
ALPHA
Alpha radiation
BETA
Beta radiation
GAMMA
Gamma radiation
NEUTRON
Neutron radiation
INTERNAL
HAZARD
Internal hazard
ALPHA
Alpha radiation
BETA Beta Radiation
GAMMA
Gamma radiation
NEUTRON
Neutron radiation
COMMON
SOURCES
Common radiation sources
EFFECTS
Effects of ionisation on the human body
EFFECTS VARY
Effects on various human systems and organs
SEVERITY
Severity of effect
CHARACTER
PROPAGANDA Page 3 of 23
file://D:\atomic\PROP\PROP.HTM 7/6/03
From 1957 to 1978 the Australian Government carried out dissections on the bodies
of people who had died of illness or accident. These dissections were carried out to
monitor the amount of Strontium 90, a radioactive element, absorbed by Australians.
Strontium 90 was a component of the fallout deposited from nuclear tests conducted
in Australia, the Pacific and China. Permission to carry out the dissections was not
sought from relatives. The tests were carried out by the Federal Health Department,
and test subjects included babies. Evidence of this activity was released in 1981 by
Characteristics of radiation sickness
PRODROMAL
Prodromal stage
LATENT
Latent phase
BONE
Bone marrow depression stage
RECOVERY
Recovery phase (if any)
TREATMENT
Treatment of radiation sickness
EXAMPLES
Examples of current scientific and political attitudes to radiological safety – what
modern victims can expect
WORKERS STILL
NOT SAFE
Nuclear waste contaminated Roxby Downs workers
THOROUGH
INVESTIGATION
A thorough investigation
A FURTHER
EXAMPLE
A further example
ANSTO The ANSTO Bill
CONCLUSION
Conclusion
ILLUSTRATIONS
Illustrations
Introduction CONTENTS
PROPAGANDA Page 4 of 23
file://D:\atomic\PROP\PROP.HTM 7/6/03
the NSW Health Commission. The Australian Radiation Laboratory paid the costs of
bone sample removal and transport to Melbourne The secret operation involved
hospitals in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney. Melbourne and Adelaide. (Source: Atomic
Fallout, March/June 1992 page 11 )
From 1965 to the present time, the South Australian Government carried out
monitoring of all reservoirs for nuclear fallout. The graphs created from the data are
contained in an earlier report (The Monitoring of the Radiological Contamination of SA
Drinking Water, by P. Langley). This data has not received wide publicity. Dr Helen
Caldicott and others have however spoken on this theme over a period of many
years. Results of British water catchment monitoring of South Australian water,
carried out prior to 1965, remains unavailable to Australians. SA Water Corp confirms
that Australian radiological monitoring commenced only in 1965 – after the cessation
of nuclear weapons testing by the UK in Australia.
Although the SA Government does not possess records earlier than 1965, involved
ex- servicemen state that British monitoring of water commenced in the 1950s. The
records of this early monitoring are unavailable in Australia.
As British nuclear weapons testing in Australia commenced in the early l950s, this
data is of great importance. Given that the Nuclear ExServicemens’ Associations
have initiated action against Britain via the European Union Court of Human Rights, it
may be productive if Australians petition the court to force Britain to release all
Australian radiological data to Australian Nuclear Veterans and hence to the general
public. Australians who retain citizenship to member nations of the European Union
especially are entitled to petition the EU. (Since the enabling of the Maastricht Treaty
1992, all such citizens are entitled to access to the EU court of Human Rights. As the
release of British held documents impact on the human rights of Citizens of Europe
living in Australia, petitions to the court may be productive).
In 1956, a senior biologist employed by the CSIRO began a biological survey into the
effects of atomic weapons testing in Australia. His name was Dr Hedley Marston. He
and his team collected the thyroid glands from cattle and sheep in areas of Australia
likely to have been contaminated by atomic fallout clouds. He concluded that
extensive areas of Australia had been contaminated, including densely populated
areas in a band 1,600 miles wide right across the continent. He found that Adelaide
and the country surrounding it had been contaminated. He feared that the
radioisotope Strontium 90, released by atomic bomb testing, had entered the
Australian food chain. He told the CSIRO that his findings indicated that the official
version of events was false. He stated that either monitoring instruments were faulty
or someone was lying. Dr Marston passed away shortly after making his report.
After the end of World War 2, 45,000 Australian service personnel served as part
of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in radiation affected areas of
Japan. As of December 1992, 18,000 of these people remained alive.
Of the 30,000 Australian service personnel who participated in the testing of
British atomic weapons in Australia, only 5,000 could be traced. All of those
Data Gathering and Use CONTENTS
Statistics within a Socially Isolated Minority Group CONTENTS
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found to be alive in 1992 were suffering illnesses. Many records relating to
involved servicemen are missing.
The Atomic veterans maintain that Human Leukaemia virus HLV occurs in
radiation affected areas of Japan. In 1988 La Trobe University identified this
virus in radiation affected areas of Australia.
What is the truth concerning the effects of radiation? Is it true to say that the
military uses of nuclear energy has no relevance to the industrial uses of
radiation? Is the imperative which dictates the use of nuclear resources real or
contrived? Can government and industrial interests be trusted with nuclear
resources when the effects may be insidious, unseen and undisclosed? In
attempting to answer these questions, the survivors of the British A bomb
testing program in Australia exist as an under-utilised resource.
The bombs detonated in Australia were Plutonium devices. The Plutonium was
created at the Windscale nuclear facility in the UK. This facility was built to
produce weapons grade fissile material and to conduct research. The
Windscale facility caught fire on 8.10.57. By 10.10.57, the fire had reached a
temperature of 1,300 degrees C. The first public announcement of the fire
occurred on the BBC on 11 .10.57. Much of the British Isles and Northern
Europe received fallout from the fire. The Poms may have been marginally
faster than the Soviets after the Chernobyl disaster, but both appear rapid when
compared to Australian authorities. Not even a number of suicides by scientists
working at the Lucas Heights reactor, nor mass cancer deaths among
Australians from A bomb fallout have motivated an open approach by
Australian governments.
Mass burial sites containing the remains of Australian Aboriginal people killed
by the nuclear experiments are mentioned in Federal Hansard. The Federal
Government delegated the investigation of the reported sites to the South
Australian Health Commission. Mass radiogenic disease and death at Ernabella
are denied by the Federal Government. The Australian Atomic Ex-Servicemenís
Association remains certain of alternative facts.
After many years of exhausting representations, the Maralinga people, forced
from their lands into the Yalata mission, recently received some justice. The
government continues to deny justice to other A bombs victims
For many years the Australian Atomic ExServicemens’ Association has
maintained that the premature death and illness experienced by members result
from the duties carried out by those people in relation to atomic weapons
testing and subsequent decontamination and monitoring activities.
Successive Australian governments have contested this point of view and have
vigorously presented the view that Australian service personnel were well
protected and monitored Despite clear evidence to the contrary, the
government maintains that adequate safety guidelines were strictly adhered to
and that no one suffered as a result of their nuclear service. The evidence
shows that the position held by government is false and cowardly. (The
Scientific Knowledge vs. Moral imperatives CONTENTS
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continuance of this stance impacts on civil nuclear projects and activities by
potentially reducing the ability of workers to report radiological hazards by the
resultant culture of denial.)
The affected veterans have been reluctant to speak out. They remain bound by
the Official Secrets Act. Up until the ending of the Cold War in particular, few
wished to disclose information, nor express feelings on the matter.
The end of the Cold War however has not changed the Commonwealth
Government tactic of impelling the ex-servicemen to pursue justice through
individual legal action via the Federal Court. This means several factors
continue to reduce the free flow of information regarding nuclear safety in
Australia. .
Firstly, when affected exservicemen speak on the issue, they are constrained
by laws of subjudice. A recent issue of the Adelaide Advertiser demonstrates
that the Government is not constrained on the issue though. The paper printed
a story which stated that no service personnel were affected by the nuclear
tests. The same paper carried a small item on a South Australian who was
taking Federal Court Action in regard to the illnesses he suffers as a result of
his service at Maralinga.
The government is hard to fight in the propaganda war, particularly where
illnesses may take many years to emerge, and where the media seem to ignore
legal protocol when it is in the government interest to do so.
Secondly, Federal Court sittings in all states except Victoria involve
proceedings without juries. A Federally appointed judge alone decides if the
Commonwealth is at fault.
Thirdly, the time taken by these individual court hearings is extremely lengthy. It
is stressful to fight the Commonwealth on an individual basis. The Association
is a small one, and each person is very much alone in a sphere of knowledge
which is very specialised. The current conventional wisdom on the subject is
conservative and the majority of the opinions originate from the same era and
the same people which deemed that the nuclear bombing of Australia was
advantageous. By the time individuals get to court, they are ill, isolated and
broke.
Fourthly , the individual costs are very high. Although the Association has a
fighting fund it is small.
Fifthly, the Federal Government is attempting to impose statue of limitations
upon the outstanding claims. Clearly, in the view of government, some veterans
have taken too long to die.
All these factors indicate that eye witnesses to the events will by and large be
dead by the time the facts and events they witnessed can be freely talked about.
It is imperative that young people be informed of the issues so that the torch
can continued to be carried.
The magazine the Association produces is a living testimony to the
consequences of the use of nuclear technology. To date, the information
contained within the magazine has not been allowed to be entered as evidence
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in the Federal Court.
The information collected and held by the Association is vastly different to
conventional views on the subject.
Nuclear science has a history of underestimating the health effects of ionising
radiation.
1896 Becquerel discovered that uranium oxide emitted radiation.
1919 Rutherford first split the atom.
It becomes accepted that workers who applied radium paint to instrument
dials died from radiation induced throat and jaw cancer.
In 1931 the Australian government set up the Commonwealth Radium
laboratory to research the health effects of radiation and to store the
nation’s supply of Radium. This fact is important to remember when
examining the letter of 23 .7.96 from the Federal Minister for Energy in
relation to the dumping of nuclear waste upon the Great Barrier Reef.
1953 DNA was discovered. DNA creates genetic code, by which
characteristics are passed from one generation to the next. One of the key
facts which led to the search for DNA was the knowledge of genetic
mutation. This fact was also of immense interest to the nuclear industry.
1955 – UN General Assembly release report No 17 (A/3838) – Extract from
the Report of the United Nations Committee on the Effects of Atomic
Radiation paragraph 49 states “Exposure of gonads to even the smallest
doses of ionising radiations can give rise to mutant genes which
accumulate, are transmissible to the progeny and are considered to be, in
general, harmful to the human race. As the persons who will be affected
will belong to future generations it is important to minimise undue
exposures of populations to such radiation and so to safeguard the well
being of those who are still unborn.” It is interesting to speculate what
exposures are “undue” and which are “unavoidable” in the eyes of
industry and government.
1996 – The South Australian Minister for Mines states that Uranium Oxide
is not radioactive. (Reactionary ignorance at best. Secondary schooling
for all government ministers should be compulsory. So much for
celebrating the Centenary of Becquerel’s discovery – it was “Deemed” out
of existence in South Australia.)
1996 – The Australian Federal Minister for Energy deems that Radium paint
is not a threat to human health when dumped in the hundreds of litres in
the environs of Fraser Island. (See Senator Parer’s letter to me in the
Appendix).
The Federal Government has maintained that the Atomic tests were permitted in
Australia because the appalling results were not known at the time. UNA report
17 (A/3838) and its precursors (circa 1896, 1919 etc) give the lie to this. Rather
the questions raised in these reports enabled targeted research which resulted
in the deaths of Australians. Infantry training methods no doubt, in my personal
opinion, improved as a result. Government policies including “Assimilation” of
indigenous people were facilitated by the nuclear bombing of traditional lands.
Unlike the radiation affected areas of Japan, radiation affected Aboriginal lands
A History of Nuclear Heath Physics CONTENTS
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have not been covered by bitumen or concrete. A proper cleanup of Maralinga
has taken more than 40 years to commence. As of April 1999, accidents
resulting in the spread of radioactive isotopes continue to occur during the
Maralinga cleanup. (Adelaide Advertiser, 14.4.99).
People are damaged by radiation which originates from outside the body. This
is called “external radiation”. Radiation which originates from within the body is
caused by “internal contamination”. Internal radiation also causes damage to
the body. Substances which emit ionising radiation have always existed.
Radioactive isotopes of substances such as carbon and iodine have always
made up part of the environment. The atoms of these substances make up a
very small percentage of our bodies. Granite contains radioactive elements. The
list is long. The radiation emitted by naturally occurring radioactive elements
form what is called “natural background”. This also consists of ionising
radiation, usually cosmic rays, which originate from outer space. One cannot
blame “the government” for background radiation. Presumably this is why the
disseminated residue from government and government permitted nuclear
activity is deemed to now be part of “natural background”.
Levels of background radiation are usually very low. Levels vary from place to
place. Background radiation is generally “external”. Very little “internal
contamination” occurs in most natural environments.
Radiation causes damage to the body in several ways. When ionising radiation
strikes a living cell, it causes electrons to be removed from the atoms which
make up the cell. This creates positively charged ions and negatively charged
electrons which engage in unusual chemical reactions within the cell. For
example when ionising radiation hits a molecule of water within a cell, the water
is changed into hydrogen peroxide. Free hydrogen and ozone are produced.
The chemical reactions these substances produce within the cell result in more
damaging substances being produced. These “metabolites” overload the
immune system and many are carcinogens.
Radiation also produces genetic damage if a ray (gamma, cosmic, X) or particle
(Alpha, Beta) causes direct damage to the chemicals which make up DNA within
a cells gene sequence.
The effect of this damage is usually repaired by the cell. But as age, chemical
exposure and radiation dose rate increase, the chance of a mistake occurring in
the repair process increase. This leads to genetic change, possible genetic
disease and cancers.
Children are vulnerable to radiogenic illness because their cells are highly
active, and carry out rapid chemical reactions and rapid cell growth. Cellular
damage caused by radiation has a far greater chance of causing disease
because the damaging chemicals created in the young and rapidly reacting
cells take part in many more chemical reactions than in an older person.
Women of child bearing age are vulnerable to genetic damage.
Background Radiation CONTENTS
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Many experts not aligned with the nuclear industry believe that even natural
background radiation is a risk factor. These doctors and scientists observe that
the large mass TB screenings via X Rays in the 1950s and l960s produced
greater numbers of cancers in populations than would otherwise have
occurred. The point of view held by these experts is that ionising radiation
should be minimised and that no industrial or military use of ionising radiation
which adds to natural background radiation exposure doses is safe.
On the other hand, other experts state that safe working dose rates can
calculated for radiation workers and members of the public. Experiments in
Britain and USA throughout the 1 950s, 1960s and 1970s (including injections of
radio isotopes upon unaware test subjects), the constant monitoring of
Japanese A bomb survivors, and tests upon animals have led to the setting of
what is termed “safe limits” for exposure doses. The Australian government
denies that Nuclear veterans were used s guinea pigs. Few veterans believe
this. The imperative to use nuclear medicine and to provide jobs in mining and
nuclear Facilities drives the continued research into safe working levels.
The two sides of the argument are unlikely to meet given the continued drive to
use nuclear technology. I can say though that historically, safe limits tend to be
revised downwards as research continued.
Definitions
It is essential that the terms External and Internal hazards are thoroughly understood.
The distinction is based on the location of the source of radiation. i.e. whether the
source is inside or outside the body. It is possible to take the source of radiation into
the body, for example by inhaling radioactive dust or eating contaminated food.
a. An external hazard exists if the source is outside the body. b. An internal hazard
exists if the source is inside the body.
When experts talk about “background radiation” external radiation is usually being
referred to. However the radioactivity of the human body also forms part of the
background dose we are exposed to. As external radiation poses less of a threat to
life, the so called ‘safe level’ for this is generally set at a much higher level than for
“internal” hazards. This ignores the fact that external radiation becomes internal
radiation if ingested. Experts often talk about nuclear technology producing, hazards
which are “less than or equal to natural background”. If natural background radiation,
which poses a natural risk to health, is added to man made radiation levels, the actual
radiation dose rate can be calculated. Politicians and scientists often forget that 2 plus
2 equals 4 when setting safe limits for nuclear industry. The unacknowledged body
burden carried by nuclear test veterans places them at risk.
What is a Safe Dose of Radiation? CONTENTS
Internal vs. External Exposure CONTENTS
External Hazard CONTENTS
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Alpha Radiation
Due to the short range and poor penetrating power of alpha particles they do not
constitute an external hazard. Most alpha particles would be stopped by air before
they reach the skin. Even if an alpha emitter was in contact with the skin only the first
layer of skin would be damaged. This would cause little damage as the skin is
constantly dying and being replaced.
Beta Radiation
When large beta emitting sources come into close contact with the skin they can
become an external hard. It can cause reddening of the skin similar to sunburn and
even blisters. Beta radiation is generally termed a limited external hazard.
Gamma Radiation
In view of the great penetrating power of gamma radiation even from a very distant
source a person’s body may be irradiated causing biological damage. Therefore
gamma radiation is a definite external hazard
Neutron Radiation
As for gamma
Alpha Radiation
When alpha particles damage only the first layer of skin cells, it is not important
because these cells are not vital to the functioning of the body. However when alpha
particles cause injury to the first layer or two of cells in an internal organ it is important
because those cells are vital to the bodyís’ well-being. If for example an alpha
emitting particle became lodged in a person’s lungs, the layer of cells destroyed would
be those which permit the transfer of oxygen from the air to the blood stream. The
loss of these cells would be of great significance. Similar reasoning applies to any
internal organs. Alpha particles are the most severe internal hazard. (eg as emitted by
Radium and Radium paint. See Senator Parerís letter in the Appendix)
Beta Radiation
The same line of reasoning used for alpha particles also applies to beta except that
the beta particles would expend their energy over six or seven times as many cells,
causing less damage to each cell than by alpha.
Internal Hazard CONTENTS
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Gamma Radiation
As with alpha and beta radiation the critical nature of internal organs that could be
injured by radiation from a gamma source inside the body makes gamma a definite
internal hazard causing biological damage. Therefore gamma radiation is a definite
internal hazard. However the gamma photons would spread their energy over a very
long distance extending outside the body so each cell would receive less damage
than from alpha or beta radiation
Neutron Radiation
As for gamma
The natural environment, air, water, food, housing and even our own bodies contain
radioactive elements. The dose rate produced is called “background radiation” It
varies from place to place. It includes cosmic radiation. Background radiation is not
harmless. The cumulative effect of background ionising radiation, cell damage,
genetic change and illness cannot be discounted, although its statistical effect on
human health is very low. Without naturally occurring mutations caused in part by
background radiation evolution or the development of the species might not have
occurred. Life might not have arisen on earth at all.
That said, there is no simple way of separating additional man made radiological
doses from natural background. As a result, natural background in many places (eg
Nevada, New Mexico, parts of China, Russia and South Australia) is much higher in
1996 than it was in 1940. In evolutionary terms, 56 years is less than a blink of an eye
In the home the most common source of radiation exposure is radon gas. Radon is a
decay product of Radium. Radon itself decays into a solid radionuclide. Thus when
Radon in inhaled, a proportion of it may “daughter” into a solid and remain in the
lungs, forming a internal hazard. Poorly ventilated brick houses built on conventional
foundations accumulate more radon than timber or fibro houses built on stumps or
above ground. Regardless of building type, the main risk factor encouraging Radon
build up is poor ventilation.
Always use disposable vacuum cleaner bags. Buy the best vacuum cleaner you can
afford, preferably one with multi-stage filtering. Use disposable dusting cloths. Spray a
liquid polish or cleaner onto surfaces prior to dusting. Don’t smoke inside (wont
smoke. Tobacco smoke, due to the concentration of a radioactive isotope of Arsenic
in the Tobacco, is radioactive. Ions generated by a burning cigarette attract and
concentrate Radon which precipitates as dust in the room. Every packet of tobacco
product should have a radiation hazard warning on the packaging. It is a mystery as
to why this is not implemented. For many years, the Australian military encouraged its
personnel to smoke and to enjoy “smoke breaks”. Peer pressure in the military is very
strong. No serviceman wants to be seen as a deviant by the group. Smoking in the
Military in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s was facilitated and encouraged by the
Common Radiation Sources CONTENTS
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employer.)
Australian soils generally emit levels of radon which are comparable to other parts of
the world. There is little doubt that radon exposure contributes to lung cancer rates in
occupations such as mining and farming if the farming techniques used include
regular ploughing. Residual fallout from the era of nuclear testing contributes to
occupational exposures.
Luminous clocks and other instruments form another domestic source of radiation
exposure. The radium paint which until recently was used on luminous dials produces
radon. If an old luminous clock is examined in a darkened room, specks of light will be
seen coming not only from the luminous numerals of the clock face, but also from the
internal surface of the glass. The radium has decayed to Radon gas, which has then
deposited radioactive solids onto the inner surface of the glass. In l972, a Chinese
made “Diamond” brand alarm clock was measured for alpha radiation emission.
Alpha radiation was detected with the clock glass in place. On removal of the glass
face, Alpha emission from the dial was found to be fifty times the World Health
Organisation permitted level. The glass face was found to be highly contaminated.
The clock qualified as low level waste and was disposed of accordingly. The technical
staff undertaking the measurements wore face masks and gloves. Old luminous
clocks present a particular hazard when the gasket between the clock body and the
glass deteriorates, or when the glass is broken or removed. Radon emissions occurs
in this case, radioactive dust may also be released. Many luminous alarm clocks
reside in bedrooms, in close proximity to sleeping family members
Children should never be given old luminous clocks to play with. They are radiation
hazards. The lure of the clockwork mechanism to mechanically minded children has
exposed children to radium and radon. It should be pointed out that the Medical
Facility of the University of Birmingham is of the view, along with many other experts,
that there is no safe limit of radiation exposure in the case of leukaemia.
Televisions and computer monitors emit minor levels of X rays. Children should sit as
far away from the screen as possible. Liquid crystal computer monitors do not emit
ionising radiation. Australian education Departments must be made aware that no
growing child should be forced to sit in front of a cathode ray computer screen. Until
liquid crystal computer screens become economically viable, schools should use
large screen RGB projectors located at a distance of more than 2 metres from the
students. Childhood cancer rates in the USA increased proportionally with the
introduction and market penetration of CTV in the USA. It is likely a similar increase is
currently occurring with computers. Children currently sit far too close to computer
monitors. It must be remembered that Colour TVs and Computer monitors are direct
descendants of X ray machines. Non-ionising EMR emissions from electrical
equipment is another issue, but here again the distance between the monitor and the
child should be more than 1 metre. The rear of the monitor is the most dangerous
place for nonionsing EMR. Never place the rear of a TV or monitor toward an
adjacent childís bedroom. Walls don’t stop EMR)
In 1985 French research indicated that common bacteria may provide the vector
between radiation workers and their children. The bacteria has an affinity with heavy
metals, including radium and plutonium. Bacteria transported between nuclear facility
and the home, ingested by the children of radiation workers might account for the
infamous leukaemia clusters which occur in Britain, around all of that country’s
nuclear facilities. Although this link remains theoretical, it now appears that nuclear
Facilities, including mine sites and tailings dams should be sterile. That is, as isolated
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from the microscopic environment as possible. In Australia, cancer clusters among
rural populations hit the headlines from time to time. In the ever increasing complexity
of the modem world, it is difficult to separate out individual disease agents. However
increasing levels of “background” radiation in combination with chemical exposure
and other rural factors must surely play some role. The mechanism by which radiation
damages the body and presents a challenge to the immune system is in its essence,
chemical. So chemical exposure and radiation exposure probably have compounding
effects upon human health. This factor has the potential to render all nuclear activity
worldwide unsafe.
There are many instances of radium induced illnesses. However, on 23 .7.96, the
Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator the Hon. Warwick Parer wrote to me and
stated in part “I am advised that there have been claims that plutonium contaminated
waste originating from the British nuclear test program was disposed of in the sea
near Fraser Island. None of these claims has been substantiated. Air Force records
have established that radioactive waste from radium based luminescing paints stored
at Richmond and Amberley RAAF bases was disposed of in this manner. There is no
evidence that this material presents a hazard to people or the environment.”
The Air Force dropped many forty four gallon drums containing radioactive waste in
the sea off Fraser Island. Some refused to sink and so were strafed by machine gun
fire. At least one drum full of either radium paint or plutonium waste washed up on a
beach in New Zealand. In my view liquid radium paint presents more of a hazard than
solid Plutonium contaminated artefacts.
So it is easy to see that what passes these days for “natural background” may well
contain the residue of human activity also.
Already scientists working in the Ukraine have determined that the rate of genetic
change has increased as a result of the Chernobyl disaster (SBS TV). New Scientist
magazine was reprimanded by the European Union for publishing an article on
European radiation levels on the grounds that the publicity could cause an increase in
the number of heart attacks.
Expired Smoke Detectors must be treated as low level radioactive waste and must be
kept away from children. Unlike luminous clocks, smoke detectors do not emit-radon
gas and so are very safe in use. Should a smoke detector catch fire, radioactive
particles may be released if the containment box is damaged, and thus fire fighters
contend with the resulting radiation dose as an occupational hazard. Given the
increasing use of breathing apparatus and protective clothing among fire crews, this
hazard is minimised and indeed is minor compared to the carcinogenic and
mutenogenic nature of smoke and other combustion products of plastics and foam
found in the modern home.
However designs for smoke detectors which do not use radioactive substances do
exist.
(from “Effects of Radiation”, RAEME, RADIAC handbook, 1972, unclassified)
As electrons take part in chemical reactions, anything affecting the orbital electrons of
atoms may affect their chemical reaction. Although an ionised may only remain so for
Effects of lonisation on the Human Body CONTENTS
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a fraction of a second, in this brief time a chemical reaction may occur because of a
momentary loss of an electron. In the human body many reactions are possible and
only a few can be suggested here. During the brief moment of ionisation, a long and
complex protein chain may be broken; the smaller chains resulting cannot perform the
same physiological function as the original chain, as a result the functioning of a living
cell may be impaired. Water molecules in the body now change to form hydrogen
peroxide, H2O2 or other oxidising agents which may produce chemical reactions that
are abnormal to the body’ s functioning. As the body’s balance of chemical
substances is extremely delicate, a small change in one place in the body can lead to
larger changes elsewhere. The end result of all these chemical changes is that the
cell becomes abnormal or dies and if sufficient cells are affected the body may
become sick or die The severity and nature of the symptoms depends upon the
amount and type of radiation received.
Many parts of the body are more or less sensitive to radiation than other parts of the
body
The most sensitive are:
Lymph Tissue.
Bone Marrow
Spleen.
Gastrointestinal Tract
Reproductive Organs.
The next most sensitive parts are:
Lungs.
Liver.
The least sensitive are:
Adult bones.
Muscles.
Nerves
Injury caused by certain doses of radiation will depend upon the extent and part of the
body exposed. If a small part of the body is injured the rest of the body can contribute
to its recovery. This effect is used in the treatment of cancer. However, if the whole
body is exposed many organs are affected and recovery is much more difficult.
The effect of nuclear radiation on humans depends not only on the total dose
received but the rate at which the dose is received. If, for example a dose of 200 rad
were received in one hour, it would have far more harmful effects than the same dose
over a number of years.
The following are factors which will affect the degree of body damage or sickness.
a. Dose accumulated from previous exposures.
Effects on various Human Systems and Organs CONTENTS
Severity of Effect CONTENTS
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b. Physical condition of the body
c. Period over which doses were received.
d. Sex and age of the person
e. Period between exposures
f. Presence or absence of additional injuries.
g. Type of radiation and the source.
(It should be pointed out that many nuclear veterans suffer prolonged periods of ill
health with symptoms similar to those experienced by sufferers of Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome.)
(Please note that chronic health problems associated with low level internal
contamination are poorly documented and disseminated. The following description of
acute Radiation Sickness however contains facets of long term (chronic) suffering
experienced by victims of “legally permitted” doses in some circumstances. eg Atomic
Veterans.
Note the similarity to Clinical Depression and Substance Abuse. This similarity has
been used against atomic veterans by the Commonwealth in arguments against the
veterans in Federal Court.)
a. One to two hours after exposure sudden listlessness and fatigue sets in. The
casualty becomes increasingly quiet, withdrawn and anti-social.
b. The casualty complains of headache, dullness, dizziness and frequently
becomes mentally depressed.
c. At about the same time he complains of upset stomach and loss of appetite,
soon followed by vomiting. These effects reach a climax from 5 to 8 hours after
exposure.
d. These symptoms subside on the second or third day at which time the majority
of casualties show no symptoms.
a. From about 3 to 20 days after exposure, the casualty feels well and is able to
carry out normal duties: however important blood changes are occurring.
b. From 13 to 17 days the casualty may experience a loss of hair.
c. On about the 10th day after exposure symptoms begin to erupt again: the
casualty now begins to enter the bone marrow depression stage.
Characteristics of Radiation Sickness CONTENTS
Prodromal Stage CONTENTS
Latent Phase CONTENTS
Bone Marrow Depression Stage CONTENTS
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The Casualty first experiences: Chills, Feverish feeling, Headache, Difficulty in
breathing. Within a short period of time his condition deteriorates and it is necessary
for him to be confined to bed.
The picture is soon aggravated by:
Reddening and swelling of the throat. Tendency to bleed. High fever.
This phase reaches a climax in 4 to 6 weeks.
This period may last up to several months. During this stage many casualties will
have recovered sufficiently to require only convalescent care. This includes such care
as:
Rest, good food, vitamins and minerals, good nursing care, other measures helpful
for complete restoration of the blood forming cells.
The normal treatment for radiation sickness is generally confined to relieving the
symptoms eg taking aspirin for headaches or removal of damaged organs.
Delayed effects that are important are:
Shortened life spun
Increased incidence of Leukaemia
Cancer
Cataract
Genetic damage
Speeding up of the cellular aging process
(It is worth noting that the role played by vitamins and anti-oxidants in the treatment of
radiation victims was identified by Dr Linus Pauline during his employment with the
US Army in the 1950s. Is it significant that modern experts continue to belittle his
findings in the role of Vitamin C in assisting tissue repair and free radical
destruction?)
Within the past few weeks (late July l996) the Australian Democrats have raised the
issue of radiological safety in the SA State Parliament.
The Democrats report that workers employed at Roxby Downs were contaminated
while performing nuclear duties in relation to radioactive waste owned by the
Recovery Phase (if any) CONTENTS
Treatment of Radiation Sickness CONTENTS
Examples of current Scientific and political attitudes to
Radiological Safety – what modern victims can expect CONTENTS
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Commonwealth.
On 2.8.96 the Adelaide Advertiser reported that the State Liberal Minister Stephen
Baker told parliament that the contamination did not take place. Mr Baker further
stated that uranium oxide is not radioactive.
The Atomic ExServicemensí Association is taking steps to ensure that the
contaminated workers receive invitations to join the Association. The association is
engaged in action against the Australian Government via the Federal Court, the
International Court of Justice, the UN, and the European Union. (This last point is
relevant to workers who retain European/UK citizenship).
The Association is in regular contact with nuclear safety experts located in the US,
Scotland and England.
The “Silkwood Syndrome” of denial by employers and governments has dogged
Australia since the 1950s.
Current events are proving that social isolation and its consequent political
disenfranchisement remains a tool of the nuclear industry and its propagandists.
However, given modern mass communication and alternative media the nuclear
industry must realise it risks embarrassment on a global scale should it persist in
these tactics.
The Association will be watching the pending decommissioning and decontamination
of the elderly Lucas Heights reactor and its environs with interest. Odds are that a
large proportion of it will end up buried in South Australia. Are we being softened up
for this eventuality?
NUCLEAR WASTE CONTAMINATED ROXBY – ADVERTISER 26.7.96
By Phillip Coorey
Workers at Roxby Downs had become contaminated with radiation when they
handled “illegal” high level nuclear waste it was claimed in State Parliament yesterday
Democrat MLC Ms. Sandra Kanck, who said she had been contacted by some former
WMC employees, called on the Government to investigate the alleged incident. Late
yesterday WMC (Western Mining Corp) issued a statement emphatically denying any
impropriety. WMC’s corporate affairs manager, Mr Richard Yeeles, said the material
transported was 11 tonnes of yellowcake, “Not high level waste”.
“All necessary government clearances were obtained for the transportation and the
material underwent normal processing at Olympic Dam,” he said. “There was no
failure of the process.” Ms Kanck told Parliament drums of waste were secretly and
illegally transported from the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in NSW to Roxby Downs
in 1995, for reprocessing in tanks at the concentrator leach section of the plant. The
process failed and “waste precipitated to the bottom of one of the very large
separation tanks and set like cement”. A team of workers had been sent in to remove
the deposit but, on the first day of excavation, they sent Geiger counters ‘off the
scale” when they entered the lunch room. They had taken off their protective clothing
NUCLEAR WORKERS STILL NOT SAFE CONTENTS
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and washed but still had a comparatively high level of radiation on their bodies, said. .
The Liberal Leader in the Upper House, Mr Lucas, said the allegations ‘needed to be
investigated thoroughly before being accepted as fact”.
Advertiser 2.8.96 “EXPOSURE TO RADIATION DID NOT HAPPEN”
Workers at Roxby Downs were not contaminated when treating radioactive waste
because the alleged incident never took occurred, the State Government said
yesterday. The Mines and Energy Minister, Mr Baker, was responding to an
Advertiser report last week when Australian Democrats MLC Ms Sandra Kanck, told
Parliament several workers became contaminated after removing a cement like
deposit from a tank. The deposit was the result of a failed experiment to treat
radioactive waste “secretly and illegally” imported from the Lucas Heights nuclear
reactor in New South Wales, she said.
Mr Baker said the material was uranium oxide – processed uranium ore known as
yellowcake – and was not radioactive.
“The transport took place with full knowledge of both State and Commonwealth
Governments All necessary and appropriate notifications were made”, be said.
Outside Parliament, however, a spokesperson from the SA Conservation Council said
yellowcake was a medium level radioactive substance. (end quote from Advertiser.)
In 1896, Becquerel discovered that salts of the metal Uranium emitted ionising
radiation.
Mr Baker’s deeming of Uranium oxide not to be a radio-nuclide occurs in the
centenary year of Becquerels discovery. The unit of radiation named after Becquerel
has been used for many years as a unit of measure critical in monitoring the degree
of risk to which nuclear workers are exposed. I suppose if Mr Baker is going to ignore
the risk, he may as well ignore the unit of measure. We are all just whirling bundles of
atoms after all. Some are just denser than others. May Mr Baker incarnate in his next
life as a lump of lead.
In the early 1970s soil in suburban houses surrounding the Lucas Heights nuclear
reactor was found to be contaminated by radioactive elements. Soil was removed
from at least one home garden, and stored. With this knowledge in mind, the
following Federal Parliament Hansard record is of interest
13 4.5.92, 2298-2321 House of Representatives, Australian Nuclear Science and
Technology Organisation Amendment Bill 1992 Second Reading
The passage of this Bill enabled the Commonwealth to over ride the Rights of the
A ‘THOROUGH’ INVESTIGATION CONTENTS
A FURTHER EXAMPLE CONTENTS
PARLIAMENTARY RECORD CONTENTS
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State of South Australia in order to deposit large quantities of radioactive waste at
Woomera, despite the protests of citizens and the state government. Mention in the
reading of the Bill is made of waste being stored in paint tins in a Melbourne office
building used by clerical workers. Mention is made of the negative affects of locating
the waste in storage in agricultural areas, specifically where its presence may damage
Australia’s export meat market. Politicians berate the “Not In My Backyard mentality”
of the Australian electorate. (Pretty ironic when you consider some of the waste
literally came from domestic gardens – backyards) It is obvious lessons have yet to be
learnt. I have written to a Public Sector union in Victoria asking for assistance in
identifying, the building workers and visitors who used the building as described in
Hansard as a nuclear waste storage area. Questions to the Federal Government in
this matter were not fully answered, as the Department of Primary Industries and
Energy considered the matter one for the Victorian government. IAEA regulations
regarding nuclear safety, however, are international and as such fall within the
responsibility of the Commonwealth.
I also asked that Department why the waste from Lucas Heights was stored upon a
space vehicle launch site. The launch site is known as the “Range Head”. To quote
from the letter signed by the First Assistant Secretary, Coal and Mineral Industries
Division, :” the interim storage site is located at the Rangehead which is some 45
kilometres distant from Woomera Village. All the wastes at the Rangehead are safely
stored pending decisions on their long term management/disposal. Virtually all of the
waste stored at the Rangehead is slightly contaminated soil and represents a very low
radiological hazard. The small quantity of material which represents a more significant
radiological hazard is stored in a substantial concrete bunker. The waste is stored
behind the operational launch area and away from the line of the instrumented
range.” end quote. In short, the Woomera Rocket Range and proposed Space Shuttle
launch and landing site doubles as a nuclear waste dump. Nothing it seems to me,
has been learnt from the nuclear disasters the world has experienced.
So called “minor” accidents involving radioactive substances occur daily. There is
rarely any physical evidence of such accidents. Sub lethal exposures which result in
minimal or no immediate symptoms nevertheless are likely to involve internal
contamination. Such contamination leads to the long term effects previously listed.
This being the case, it is very difficult to demonstrate that a sudden onset of vague
symptoms not unlike the flu in 1953, when connected to cancer 25 years later,
establish that radiation exposure was the disease causing agent. Although the link
has been firmly established scientifically, the link may not be made by victims and the
legal system.
The documented costs of nuclear industry reveal that it is not a profit making
undertaking It cannot exist without capital intensive public infrastructure. The current
and future decommissioning costs, as exemplified by the Maralinga cleanup and
pending Lucas Heights decommissioning, place pressure on national and global
financial resources. To quote former US President George Bush: ‘There isn’t enough
money in the world to solve the Russian problem”. Which raises an interesting
question. Where does money come from?
The simple answer is that Governments print it.
More interesting still is the question, where does the money go once it is spent?
CONCLUSION CONTENTS
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The history of nuclear technology consists of one huge unsupervised experiment on
the planetary gene pool. At the same time vast amounts of money are transferred
from tax payers to corporations involved in nuclear industry.
The nuclear deception excused by the Cold War continues today. Denial of effects,
denial of exposures, denials of costs, denials of help.
Propaganda techniques, based upon apparent “credible denial” of the invisible, which
successfully convinced most of a generation of Australians that British A bombs
detonated over, on and under our country were good for us are still in use today. In
1953, only a foolhardy South Australian would ask ëwhy is it good if the British do it,
when World War 3 would erupt if the Russians dropped the same bombs on
Maralinga?” Such people were labelled subversive.
Yet the people who suffered would really have been better off had the Russians done
the deed. Instead of uninvestigated mass burial pits up North (as recorded in Federal
Hansard), the Government of the day would have hung the bodies out to dry in order
to demonstrate what bastards the other side was. Had the Russians done the deed,
there would have been an apology.
Nuclear technology enabled the world to be reduced from hundreds of nation-states
with local governance into four blocks – West, East, Third and Non-aligned. In the
end, the East and Non-aligned were bankrupt, the Third was the field of proxy combat
and the West is now subsuming remanent and radical nationalism within a single
global economic system. Given the post Cold War Western economic situation, the
overt source of monetary exchange may be about to change. Multi-polar politics is no
match for that. It could not have happened so quickly without the Cold War. The Cold
War could not have happened without the bomb. The lessons have been learnt. And
that is why it continues. The reason for the existence of nuclear industry is not to
produce electricity. It is there to facilitate a final power shift The answer to the
question “what happens to the money?” is – it goes from tax payers to Government to
corporate conglomerates. This is not typical “Conspiracy Theory”. It is a testament to
Anglo-Saxon ignorance and arrogance. The sun never sets over the nuclear fuel
cycle.
Sources:
Atomic ExServicemens Association
Commonwealth Hansard
Nuclear Health notes (unclassified) RAEME 1972
Meltdown by Crispin Aubrey, Collins and Brown, 1991 ISBN I 855850176
The Adelaide Advertiser
Thanks:
Mr Terry Toon, the Australian Nuclear Veterans
SA Greens
Sue Regione
Ali & Bob
SA Democrats
Senator Parer
Senator Vanstoneís Adelaide staff
SA Water
Willunga LandCare
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Aldinga and Willunga Libraries
Following graphics are thumbnails. To view full image click on thumbnail
CLICK ON THUMBNAIL IMAGE TO SEE FULL SIZE PICTURE
ILLUSTRATIONS: CONTENTS
LINK ILLUSTRATIONS
NO 1 Seven Year Old South Sea Island girl affected by nuclear test fallout. No
long term effects? From “Atomic Radiation & Life”, Peter Alexander, Pelican
Books, 1957
NO 2 Radiation burns on South Sea Islanderís skin. No long term effects? From
“Atomic Radiation & Life”, Peter Alexander, Pelican Books, 1957
NO 3 1993 list of US Government Marshall Island Nuclear Claims Tribunal compensation
payments.
NO 4
1953 graph showing leukaemia rates at various distances from Hiroshima atomic blast
NO 5
1957 graph showing leukaemia rates according to dose rate in irradiated mice.
NO 6
1957 photo showing hair discolouration in irradiated mouse
NO 7 Veteranís testimony of hair discolouration and leukaemia as a result of exposure to British H
bomb fallout.
NO 8 Letter from Federal Minister for Energy denying the dumping of plutonium at sea, and
denying the hazardous nature of Radium
NO 9 Letter from Federal Minister, continued. Testimony of the dumping of plutonium waste at sea,
giving map coordinates.
NO 10 Testimony of the dumping of plutonium waste at sea, giving map coordinates. Testimony of
Australian RADIAC troops serving at Pine Gap.
NO 11 Testimony of Australian RADIAC troops serving at Pine Gap. Letter from Department of
Primary Industry and Energy confirming radiological hazard exists at Woomera rocket range.
NO 12
Letter from Department of Primary Industry and Energy confirming radiological hazard exists
at Woomera rocket range. Testimony of lack warning to Australians over hazards of UK
Atomic tests in Australia.
NO 13
Testimony of lack warning to Australians over hazards of UK Atomic tests in Australia.
NO 14
Map showing path of fallout cloud from atomic tests at Maralinga.
NO 15
Map showing path of fallout cloud from atomic tests at Maralinga.
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Many schools in Fukushima still limit time spent outdoors by students

October 16, 2011

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111015p2g00m0dm013000c.html

Many schools in Fukushima still limit time spent outdoors by students
An educator checks the state of contaminated pool water at Watari Elementary School in Fukushima on Aug. 4, 2011. (Mainichi)
An educator checks the state of contaminated pool water at Watari Elementary School in Fukushima on Aug. 4, 2011. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Many elementary and junior high schools in the city of Fukushima limit the time their students spend outside school buildings despite completion of soil decontamination, as parents continue to voice health concerns, local education board officials said Saturday.

Of the city’s 72 public elementary and junior high schools, only 14 allowed their students to freely engage in outdoor activities as of Sept. 20, even after the removal of surface soil from schoolyards tainted by radioactive substances originating from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, they said.

The city told the schools to allow students to go outside as normal on Sept. 1 after airborne radiation had fallen to safe levels.

With many parents worried about their children’s exposure to radiation at school and elsewhere, the government needs to demonstrate reliable safety standards, an official with the city’s board of education said.

(Mainichi Japan) October 15, 2011

So much for Sykes “Radiation is good for you” Hormesis & adaptive response is crap:

October 16, 2011

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111015p2a00m0na017000c.html

Read Full Story Here Home > News > Full Story
News
Radium-filled bottles removed from Tokyo home; local radiation levels drop
A worker carries a drum containing bottles filled with radium 226 out of a home in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward on Oct. 14. (Mainichi)
A worker carries a drum containing bottles filled with radium 226 out of a home in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward on Oct. 14. (Mainichi)

Bottles of radium-226 found under the floor of a home in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward are in the hands of a radioactive materials processing organization after the government removed the toxic vessels on Oct. 14.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology put the bottles in the care of the Japan Radioisotope Association, which will store them for now in a specialized warehouse. The bottles were discovered on Oct. 13 after local residents measured high airborne radiation levels on the sidewalk outside the home, sparking fears that the neighborhood had been contaminated by fallout from the crisis-stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

After the bottles’ removal, ward officials confirmed that radiation emissions on the sidewalk had dropped to safe levels of between 0.062 and 0.118 microsieverts per hour, allowing barricades around the area to be taken down.

Science ministry examinations of the glass bottles revealed some had what are thought to be manufacturer’s labels reading “Nihon Yako,” or “Japan luminescence.” Officials said the radium was likely originally intended for use in making glow-in-the-dark watch numbers and hands — a common practice until the 1950s. According to the Radioisotope Association, watch makers switched to the cheaper and far less radioactive element promethium around 1960. Meanwhile, in 1958, the government implemented a law requiring a government license to store or use radioactive substances including radium.
A box found under a house with multiple glass containers believed to contain radium is seen in this photo. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
A box found under a house with multiple glass containers believed to contain radium is seen in this photo. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

“It’s certainly possible the owner of the substance did not know that the law requiring a license had gone into effect, and then simply forgot the material in the bottles was radioactive,” an official with the science ministry’s radiation regulation section told the Mainichi.

(Mainichi Japan) October 15, 2011

Mongolia abandons nuclear waste storage plans, informs Japan of decision

October 16, 2011

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20111015p2a00m0na023000c.html

Mongolia abandons nuclear waste storage plans, informs Japan of decision
Workers examine an underground tunnel of
Workers examine an underground tunnel of “Horonobe Underground Research Center,” where the Japan Atomic Energy Agency conducts research on disposal techniques. (Mainichi)

PARIS — The Mongolian government told Japan government officials and others concerned in late September that it had decided to abandon its plans to cooperate with Tokyo and Washington and build facilities to temporarily store and dispose of nuclear waste, it was learned on Oct. 14.

Mongolia appears to have judged the plan unfeasible because of opposition movements in the country.

It is the latest turn of events that underscores the difficulties in carrying out international projects to build nuclear waste storage facilities. A similar project was also abandoned in Australia in 2002 due to strong public backlash.

Negotiations on the Mongolian nuclear projects started when U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel B. Poneman visited Mongolia in September, 2010. Officials of Japan, the United States and Mongolia held their first round of talks on the projects in Washington in February this year. Then, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which wants to procure nuclear fuel from Mongolia, joined in the negotiations. In early July, Poneman sent a draft of an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding (MOU) to then-Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda in an effort to secure a deal by the end of this year.

The Mainichi reported on the secret talks between the three countries in May, but the Mongolian government has officially denied the existence of such negotiations. After the Mainichi’s report, Mongolian citizens harshly reacted to the envisioned projects and demanded the government withdraw the plans and disclose information.

Following such developments, Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj issued a presidential order on Sept. 13 banning negotiating with foreign governments or international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on nuclear waste storage plans in Mongolia. Elbegdorj sacked government officials, including Ambassador A. Undraa, who had attended trilateral talks with the United States and Japan in Washington from Feb. 3 to 4 as representatives of Mongolia.
Yellow drums containing low-level radioactive waste are temporarily stored at a temporary storage site. (Photo courtesy of Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council)
Yellow drums containing low-level radioactive waste are temporarily stored at a temporary storage site. (Photo courtesy of Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council)

In the meantime, the Japanese government had told the U.S. Department of Energy that it was difficult to continue with the negotiations because it was busy dealing with the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant as well as public backlash.

According to a survey conducted by the IAEA, Mongolia has abundant resources of uranium estimated at 1.4 million metric tons. The Mongolian government was considering processing uranium into nuclear fuel and exporting it in an attempt to make good use of the uranium resources. For this purpose, Mongolia was exploring the idea of introducing “nuclear fuel lease contracts” in which Mongolia would receive spent nuclear fuel from countries that buy uranium nuclear fuel from Mongolia.

The U.S. Department of Energy took the idea and came up with a proposal that Mongolia collect, store and dispose of spent nuclear fuel from other countries. Since then, the United States and Japan had been negotiating with Mongolia on the project.

Click here for the original Japanese story

(Mainichi Japan) October 15, 2011