Maralinga Chronology 3

ARL Page 1 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
The following quotations are from the Australian Radiation Laboratory document
“Public Health Impact of Fallout from British Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia,
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
ARL Page 2 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
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
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
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
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
ARL Page 3 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
ARL Page 4 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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)
“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
ARL Page 5 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
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)
Three major sets of measurements were made on fallout from Mosaic, Buffalo and
ARL Page 6 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
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.
“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)
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.
ARL Page 7 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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
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
ARL Page 8 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
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
ARL Page 9 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
her skilful preparation of a difficult text.” (ibid, pages53-60)
ARL Page 10 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
ARL Page 11 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
ARL Page 12 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
ARL Page 13 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
ARL Page 14 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
ARL Page 15 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
ARL Page 16 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
ARL Page 17 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
ARL Page 18 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
ARL Page 19 of 19
file://D:\atomic\ARL\ARL.HTM 7/6/03
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.
AWTSC Page 1 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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
AWTSC Page 2 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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
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.
EFFECTS Effects confined to bone tissue
PRECIPITATE Precipitation and Soil
AWTSC Page 3 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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,
EX.. Gibbs1, JAR. Moroney2, D.J. Stevens3 and E.W. Titterton
PRECIPITATE Precipitation and Soil
FOOD Foodstuffs
MILK Milk as a dominant source of Strontium 90
HUMAN Human Bone Tissue
BONE An Alternate Reading of the Bone Survey Results
AWTSC Page 4 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
AWTSC Page 5 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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)
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
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.
AWTSC Page 6 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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.
J. Bonnyman1, J.H. Harley2, W.K. Matthews3 and J.R. Moroney
AWTSC Page 7 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
(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
AWTSC Page 8 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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
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).
(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.
AWTSC Page 9 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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*
AWTSC Page 10 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
(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
– 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)
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
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.
AWTSC Page 11 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
AWTSC Page 12 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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
AWTSC Page 13 of 13
file://D:\atomic\AWTSC\AWTSC.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/AWTSC/AWPICS/10.JPG [6/17/2003 9:05:25 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/AWTSC/AWPICS/14.JPG (1 of 2) [6/17/2003 9:05:40 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/AWTSC/AWPICS/11.JPG [6/17/2003 9:05:47 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/AWTSC/AWPICS/25.JPG [6/17/2003 9:05:56 PM]
ANALYSIS Page 1 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
Analysis of Results from the Australian Government
Human Bone Strontium 90 Study, 1957-1978
By Paul Langley
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
OFFICIAL Official Information
SYNOPSIS A Synopsis of the Official Results
DISCUSS A Discussion on the accuracy of the Official Nuclear Safety
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
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
ANALYSIS Page 2 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
ANALYSIS Page 3 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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
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
ANALYSIS Page 4 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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.
ANALYSIS Page 5 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
ANALYSIS Page 6 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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,
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
ANALYSIS Page 7 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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
ANALYSIS Page 8 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
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..
ANALYSIS Page 9 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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
ANALYSIS Page 10 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
ANALYSIS Page 11 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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
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-
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
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,
ANALYSIS Page 12 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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).
ANALYSIS Page 13 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/ANALYSIS/ANPICS/utah01.jpg (1 of 2) [6/17/2003 9:07:22 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/ANALYSIS/ANPICS/utah01.jpg (2 of 2) [6/17/2003 9:07:22 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/ANALYSIS/ANPICS/utah03.jpg (1 of 2) [6/17/2003 9:07:48 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/ANALYSIS/ANPICS/utah03.jpg (2 of 2) [6/17/2003 9:07:48 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/ANALYSIS/ANPICS/utah04.jpg (1 of 2) [6/17/2003 9:08:06 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/ANALYSIS/ANPICS/utah04.jpg (2 of 2) [6/17/2003 9:08:06 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/ANALYSIS/ANPICS/utah05.jpg [6/17/2003 9:08:22 PM]
file:///C|/WINDOWS/Desktop/atomic/ANALYSIS/ANPICS/utah06.jpg [6/17/2003 9:08:35 PM]
ANALYSIS Page 14 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
Why Nuclear Test Veterans Deserve an Honest Response from
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
4. Current lack of knowledge of actual whole of life consequences of these unknown
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
ANALYSIS Page 15 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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
ANALYSIS Page 16 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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
ANALYSIS Page 17 of 17
file://D:\atomic\ANALYSIS\ANALYSIS.HTM 7/6/03
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.
HISTORY Page 1 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
Update 1.3 22/09/96
Dedicated to The Atomic Ex-Servicemen’s Association.
Compiled and written by Paul Langley
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,
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
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
1956 1967 1980
1921 1947 1958 1968 1981 1991
1929 1948 1959 1970 1983 1992
1931 1949 1960 1972 1084 1993
1932 1950 1961 1973 1985 1994
HISTORY Page 2 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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”
1907 November
HISTORY Page 3 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 4 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
Source A Oct 24 Black Thursday. Wall Street Collapses
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.
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
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.)
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
HISTORY Page 5 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
Source A IMF and World Bank established. The idea came from the Bretton Woods
agreement in July 1945.
1946 January
Source A The United Nations sets up an Atomic Energy Commission (*The
HISTORY Page 6 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 7 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
Source A The US urges the USSR to take part in four-power talks on Korea.
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.
HISTORY Page 8 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
March 6
HISTORY Page 9 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
HISTORY Page 10 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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
HISTORY Page 11 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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
HISTORY Page 12 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
March 15
HISTORY Page 13 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
HISTORY Page 14 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
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
HISTORY Page 15 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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
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.
HISTORY Page 16 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 17 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
HISTORY Page 18 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
September 8
Source A Menzies gives assurance that no lives will be endangered by atomic tests at
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.
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
HISTORY Page 19 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
Source A President Eisenhower says it would a tragedy if the USA become involved in
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.
HISTORY Page 20 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
June 30
Source A Opening of Peter McCallum Clinic for Cancer patients.
July 21
HISTORY Page 21 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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.
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
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
HISTORY Page 22 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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)
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.
HISTORY Page 23 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
HISTORY Page 24 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
Source E1
Sappers of 7 Indep. Field Squadron hurry into the contaminated area after an atomic
detonation to release trapped servicemen.
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
HISTORY Page 25 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 26 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
May 31
Source A USSR agrees to early talks with the West aimed at ending nuclear test
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
HISTORY Page 27 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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.
Source I Australian navy finds evidence of visits to contaminated areas on Monte Bello
HISTORY Page 28 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
by unknown persons, probably fishermen.
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.
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
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.
HISTORY Page 29 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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.
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
HISTORY Page 30 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
January 25
Source A Bertrand Russell calls atomic tests “butchery” and attacks conviction of antinuclear
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
HISTORY Page 31 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
January 2
Source A 50 die as Viet Cong shoot down 3 US helicopters.
HISTORY Page 32 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
HISTORY Page 33 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
January 23
Source A UK troops fly to Uganda to crush Army mutiny by soldiers angry at their low
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 34 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
June 23
Source A Robert Kennedy proposes a nuclear arms limitation treaty.
June 30
Source A Robert Menzies declares war against North Vietnam.
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
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.
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 35 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 36 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
HISTORY Page 37 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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.
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.
August 30
HISTORY Page 38 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
Source A 10,000 people lay in Melbourne street to simulate a nuclear disaster.
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.
HISTORY Page 39 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.)
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.
Source A Soviet troops are to be withdrawn from Afghanistan.
June 12
Source A Ten million face famine in East Africa.
June 17
HISTORY Page 40 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
Source A Nuclear Cruise missiles to be based in UK.
January 7
Source A France becomes sixth country to sign a nuclear safeguard agreement with
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.
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)
March 10
Source A Unemployment in Australia reaches 10.7%, the highest since the
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
HISTORY Page 41 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
Source A First suspected case of AIDS contracted in Australia is notified by a hospital.
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
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.
January 4
Source A In London, the Australian Royal Commission on British atomic tests hears
HISTORY Page 42 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
that Menzies said “What the bloody hell is going on, the cloud is drifting over the
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
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
April 24
Source A Congress rejects President Reagan’s request for funds
for Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
April 28
HISTORY Page 43 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
Source A Australian Nuclear Disarmament Party spilts.
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 44 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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
HISTORY Page 45 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
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.
HISTORY Page 46 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
Leukaemia Deaths
Digestive System Cancer
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
HISTORY Page 47 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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”.
Source E1
Six RAN ship’s captains of vessels involved in Hiroshima and Monte Bello committed
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 48 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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,
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 49 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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.
HISTORY Page 50 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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,
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
HISTORY Page 51 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
HISTORY Page 52 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 53 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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.
HISTORY Page 54 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
HISTORY Page 55 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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”.
tape 34/92
The first Russian to head a weapons inspection team in Iraq arrived in Bahrain
HISTORY Page 56 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
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.
11.588MHZ tape 42/92
HISTORY Page 57 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
HISTORY Page 58 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
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
HISTORY Page 59 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
Source M RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL 12.30AM 3.1.93 17.650MHZ Tape 72 &
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.
HISTORY Page 60 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
HISTORY Page 61 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
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
HISTORY Page 62 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
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
HISTORY Page 63 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
HISTORY Page 64 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
HISTORY Page 65 of 69
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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.
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
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
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
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
, , ,
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
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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
file://D:\atomic\HISTORY\HISTORY.HTM 7/6/03
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.
CAUTION Page 1 of 2
file://D:\atomic\PERIFER\CAUTION.HTM 7/6/03
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
CAUTION Page 2 of 2
file://D:\atomic\PERIFER\CAUTION.HTM 7/6/03
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.
README Page 1 of 2
file://D:\atomic\PERIFER\README.HTM 7/6/03
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
Thank you for purchasing this CD Rom.
September 2002
System Requirements for running this CD Rom:
Any model fitted with CD Rom drive and web Browser. Start by clicking “Default.htm”.
Best with Mac OS 8, 9 & OSX
Best with Pentium processor-based personal computer or equivalent.
Microsoft Windows 95 or later, Internet Explorer 6, Adobe Acrobat 4 or later – 5
pdf files are located in the root directory of the CD Rom
Contact Details:
Paul Langley, PO Box 539, Noarlunga Centre SA 5168.
README Page 2 of 2
file://D:\atomic\PERIFER\README.HTM 7/6/03
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.
Parliament of Australia:Senate:Committees:Foreign Affairs, Defen……
1 of 2 4/11/06 2:42 AM
Search the Senate
<< Return to previous page | Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee
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…;
2 of 2 1/11/06 3:04 AM
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:
Committee Secretary
Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee
Department of the Senate
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: +61 2 6277 3538
Fax: +61 2 6277 5818
Comments to:
Last reviewed 31 October 2006 by the Senate Web Administrator
© Commonwealth of Australia
Parliament of Australia Web Site Privacy Statement
Images courtesy of AUSPIC
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)
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Parliament of Australia
PO Box 6100
Parliament House, Canberra
T: 02 6277 3538
F: 02 6277 5818…missions
Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade
Inquiry into the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests
(Treatment) Bill 2006
Email: ]
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.
The “Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Debates HOUSE OF
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
who participated in British nuclear tests in
Mr Bruce Scott—The answer to the honourable
member’s question is as follows:
(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
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
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
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
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”
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.
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 – ,
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
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:
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
ATOMIC TESTS Senator ELSTOB – inquiry into deaths of Aboriginals
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
(Warringah – Minister for Health ) – Radiation exposure
SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Question No 5785) – Health effects and compensation
5783) Maralinga workers
personnel involved
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
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
“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
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
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
"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: ]
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.
“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
"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
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
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
Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade
Inquiry into the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests
(Treatment) Bill 2006
Email: ]
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.
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
STATIONS PROVIDED GOATS MILK (Sources: Jack Horners notes to the Warburton
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:
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.
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
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:
A – P, RE SAME, DTD 5/17 – 8/17/48 ) 03/31/2006 10:20 AM Page 1 of
DTD 5/17 – 8/17/48 )
Local PDF: 3351_.pdf
Remote PDF:
Author: CLARK J C
Document Date: 07/27/48
Pages: 0048
Document Number: 0403351
Document Type: RT
Kijiner Code:
Original Doc Number:
Source Agency: LASL 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
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 :
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

2 Responses to “Maralinga Chronology 3”

  1. stone crusher Says:

    stone crusher…

    […]Maralinga Chronology 3 « Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog[…]…

  2. hair loss guide Says:

    Hello to all, how is everything, I think every
    one is getting more from this web site, and your views are good
    in favor of new viewers.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: