In Contradiction to the Australian and British Position that Proof of Radiological Harm Does Not Exist

The Australian position regarding the proofs of harm caused by the British nuclear bombing of Australia is in fact similar to that of the British authorities. For example:

However, both historic and recent events give the lie to the assertions made by the CEO of ARPANSA in the letter above.

I refer to the Minutes of the Thirty-sixth Meeting of the General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, August 17, 18, 19, 1953, Washington D.C. (USA). Originally classified Top Secret, partially declassified in 1980 by the United States. The public version of this document is a “deleted document” in which facts still secret are omitted, as follows:

(More of this document is presented at

It must be remembered that the Head of the Australian Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee was a Manhattan Project participant and a scientific participant of U.S. Nuclear Weapons tests. He clearly stated to the Royal Commission that he was unable to fully disclose all he knew to the Committee of the Australian nuclear weapons tests (and hence the Committee could not fully disclose to the Australian government and people) because he was subject to the secrecy provisions of the United States and Great Britain.

The first 11 pages of the August 1953 meeting of the AEC Committee in Washington D.C. remain classified.

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of Absence”. Perhaps it is time, in the interest of truth and justice, it is time for the deletions from this August 1953 document be removed by the United States of America.

For about 1 month later, in Australia, United States Air Force B29 bomb cloud chase aircraft took off from an Australian Air Force base in order to assist the Royal Australian Air Force cloud chase aircraft as they all attempted to track the October 1953 Totem 1 atomic bomb cloud.

They failed and the record shows that they reported their failure. They lost major portions of the cloud. A portion of the cloud was rolling through Aboriginal encampments to the north east. Airborne parts of the cloud were tracked over Charleville, Queensland. Such was the confusion that an RAAF aircraft got lost and just made it back to base after a very long flight.

In August 1953, the AEC committee meeting in Washington concluded that the “Minimum nuclear (fission) bomb yield required to bring the population of the world up to the maximum tolerable level of Sr-90 is 25,000 megatopns…..”

(I do not know how many reactor hours that translates to due to refuel and other emissions. But someone does. And the decision to focus only on long term harm rather than immediate dose hazard was taken. The long term hazard of Sr90 build up where fission releases occur at a rate which allows accretion is clearly valid, but it is not the only valid position. The choice between studying either immediate hazard OR long term hazard is a false choice. But a study of immediate harms would involve the study of fission products much more radioactive (and hence much shorter lived) material, such as Strontium 89. And this was clearly described one year later in the Report on Project Gabriel, where the work of Pecher et al with Sr89 in animals and humans (1939 – 1941) was used in secret. This can be read at

There is a major problem with the 25,000 megaton figure in any event. It assumes that the fallout from each and every bomb is equally distributed around the globe. If 25,000 megatons worth of bombs were all exploded at Parliament House Canberra, one would expect Canberra to be a dead zone for a very long time. But Westminster, London, would probably be quite OK.

The tendency to diminish actual local risk and harm by averaging each bomb’s yield over the enitre earth’s surface is a very bad habit. As the 1953 Washington Committee recognized itself: On page 14 of the document, the elevated levels of strontium present in Japanese people is discussed, “Biological concentration in certain types of plant may lead to a special hazard”, “the tolerable figure (for Sr90) was arrived at by the ICRP and is based on radium experience..carcinogenic effects are observed with radium at one microcurie per human.” The difficulty here is that 1. The limit was later revised downward for radium, but never for strontium 90 and strontium 89 is 28,000 times more radioactive than radium, whereas Sr90 is less than a thousand times more radioactive than radium per gram. (the curie is a measure which equates to the radioactivity of 1 gram of radium, thus 1 gram of Strontium 89 equates to 28,000 grams of radium in terms of number of disintegrations per seconds (and hence the number of alpha tracks per second (radium) and beta tracks per second (Sr89)). Even on the basis of the figures being used in 1953, it was known that a vanishingly small physical amount of Sr89 would take a contaminated individual over the tolerance limit set by the ICRP. We have seen in a previous post that Cronkite reported to the US Congress that the Marshall Islander people suffered Sr89 contamination at the maximum permissible level. As big as Castle Bravo was, it was not 25,000 megatons. It was a fraction of that, yet here is a local incident of high contamination which the rest of world did not experience to anywhere near the same degree. And further, the fission product of greatest concern to the Health Physics specialists at that time was not Sr90 accretion, it was immediate Sr89 contamination within individuals. For the dose levels were obtained not by taking the bomb yield and averaging out the fallout over the entire surface of the earth, but by direct measurement via urine sampling of individuals.

By ignoring the short lived radio isotopes, the 1953 Washington Committee had a problem which they recognised:

“Dr Wigner was especially concerned about the effects of inhaled insoluble particulates, on the ground that if radiation originates from one point it is more likely to start cancer than if it is even distributed uniformly (because of the high radiation density near the source)” This is a direct quote from the document. It is not a quote from Dr. Busby, but it could well be.

The document is a long one and it establishes that populations in high fallout areas would reach the tolerance level for Strontium 90 before the rest of the world. That is, the idea of averaging out the fallout over the entire planet is useless in regard to the position of the most vulnerable people. Fallout never deposits in a uniform manner. There are always hotspots.

And this is recognized by the AEC in August 1953.

The simple assumptions of the British are inadequate, for they on estimates of fallout. They do not rely on the actual monitoring of individuals in high fallout areas.

The very existence of those high fallout areas is denied.

The assurance of safety proclaimed by ARPANSA today flies in the face of what was considered in Washington in August 1953. As a participant in both Projects Gabriel and Sunshine, Titterton was fully appraised of the proceedings in October 1953. Even the first 11 pages which we are not allowed to see.


The onus of proof lies with the authorities who caused the exposures to occur in the first place.

In 1954 the Castle Bravo disaster and the resultant consternation of the world, due to an independent media coverage, invited by the United States (Come watch our biggest bomb…) and trauma the disaster invoked in Japan, the AEC’s Libby was forced to make public some of the information considered at the August 1953 meeting.

The folly of only considering global averages and of only considering long term accretion risks enraged a fellow AEC staffer, Ralph Lapp, who battled in public with Libby and his assurances of safety.

Libby had no answer, for the Committee in 1953 actually agreed beforehand that local hotspots presented risks of an unpredictable nature due to uncertainty and that, for vulnerable people at vulnerable locations, the idea of extrapolation and averaging was pretty much useless, for it was the actual dose received that counted.

No Aboriginal Australian received a blood or urine test for fission product contamination resultant from the British nuclear bombing of Australia.

Mapping the falling based on estimates of a cloud which was lost by the cloud chase crews must require some very sophisticated British algebra. But that is no proof of safety nor a measure of what actually occurred in South Australia north east of Emu in October 1953.


I received an email from the solicitor Andrew Collett on 24 November 2010. In this email Mr. Collett explained that he had acted for an Aboriginal Australian who suffered skin lesions as a result of the October 1953 Totem 1 nuclear test. He stated that the court found that the skin lesions were caused by exposure to the fallout cloud generated by the Totem 1 nuclear weapon test.

I immediately began a search of the record for the proceedings of this court case. I was informed that the proceedings of this court case are sealed and are excluded from the public record. The court case cannot be used therefore as a precedent. The evidence and the deliberations regarding this evidence, including medical evidence, cannot be accessed.

As an Australian court has, none the less, actually found proof that nuclear fallout caused skin lesions to an Australian Aboriginal person in 1953, the letter to me from the CEO of ARPANSA is revealed to be total bullshit.

The onus of proof lies with nuclear authorities who were the only ones who had the foresight appropriate to their undertakings at the time. And they arranged things in such a manner that when it came time, the proof of nuclear insult would not be available.

By some miracle someone obtained sufficient proof. And in one case justice was seen to be approached. This case is sealed and secret.

This case, none the less, is proof that since that time, Australian authorities have actually suffered a defeat and the truth, within the confines of the court, was revealed.

And I say and have always said that what is called Psoriasis in Australian nuclear victims is actually Beta Radiation Burn, otherwise known as Local Radiation Injury, and as such is subject to IAEA protocols regarding diagnosis and treatment.

I say that Australia and Britain remain in breach of those guidelines to this very day.

The onus of proof lies with the perpetrators, not the victims. The perpetrators have the proof and have always had the foresight.

Today the suppression of the facts and the demand for proof can be seen to be the deception that it is. For the proof has always been in plain sight.

The US Special Weapons Unit in the 1950s and the IAEA today both reported and report that the extent of local radiation to skin is a precise guide to radiation dose received.

Since 1953 the radiological data encoded (and readable by the trained specialist) in imprint within the beta radiation burns borne by many Aboriginal people IS THE PROOF OF OF HARMFUL DOSE RECEIVED. This fact was secret. This fact is with held from debate by nuclear authorities. Diagnosis was delayed for 30 years. When diagnosis did occur, radiation from Totem 1, 1953, was not considered by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital staff when the diagnosis was made in the 1980s.

This is how the nuclear authorities always behave. Here, in French Polynesia, in the Former Soviet Republics, in the USA, in Japan.

It is the same farce repeated time and time again.

Do the deed, deny diagnosis and testing. Wait the timeline out. When the time comes demand the proof from victims that was deliberately not collected by authorities with the foresight to do so, and with a responsibility to do so, at the time of exposure.

The lack of proof is proof of failure of duty of care in common law.

Premature death is one possible outcome from the nuclear exposures suffered in Australia in the 1950s and 60s. Some people did die at the time. One person did die in an outback hospital, medical staff bullied into silence by authorities at the lethal dose received in that case. There were others.

Medical records have been hidden. The couple of pages from his Maralinga Hospital file John Hutton managed to scavenge, before his file, and everyone else’s, disappeared, apparently for all time, seem to be the only documents which confirm that the hospital existed at all. But not even the government can deny that it did indeed exist.

The demand for proof by authorities who keep that very proof secret themselves is farcical and immoral.

The above barely scratches the surface and it is the Aboriginal people themselves who hold the most relevant knowledge of what they actually endured at the hands of nuclear authorities.

None of this takes away from the claims of nuclear veterans, rather, the truth of both forms a larger proof.

There is no excuse for Aboriginal people living traditional lifestyles from being excluded from three health surveys, as occurred.

The latest exclusion being the health survey concluded in 2006. The official excuse for the exclusion, given to me in writing by the Minister of the day, was that the government did not know who they were.

Ignorance is a call for research, not a reason for exclusion of those identified as the most vulnerable by the Royal Commission. The exclusion of Aboriginal people from the Health Survey of those affected by the British nuclear tests in Australia, concluded in 2006, was yet another barrier to presentation of the proofs of harm held by Aboriginal people. Both in their testimony and as burnt into their skin.

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