Chris Busby: Nuclear Test Veterans betrayal

If the reader recalls, a little while ago, the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement issued statements to the Australian media to the effect that it’s action, as part of the class action against the British Government in the British courts, had ended. This action, ALRM said, was based upon the advice from the British Legal firm funded by ALRM to the effect that the case was hopeless due to lack of proof. As the reader may recall, I posted a series of posts giving proofs of evidence of harms. Including re posting the entire booklet of Lallie Lennon’s experiences and recollections and Royal Commission transcripts.

Much earlier, the British Nuclear Veterans had forwarded to me some of the British documents obtained by Chris Busby in the course of the legal actions in England. These have been posted on the blog quite sometime. They are documents pertaining to the weather conditions at the time of an H bomb test at Christmas Island.

Some of us here in Australia have been perplexed by the withdrawal of the ALRM from the legal action. We understood the failure of the nuclear veterans in a limited way (well, I did anyway, have a limited understanding, the court refused to allow the case to go forward. But I was not following the individual cases except where Dave Whyte has kept us informed by his emails, and except where Dennis Hayden sent information.

Here is a video of Chris Busby’s take on the situation. In this video, Chris provides a straight narrative as to what happened.

In relation to the nature of the British H bombs, in particular Grapple as mentioned by Chris, it is not fanciful to consider an early type of H bombs as variants of very large Uranium tampered Plutonium weapons. In fact was a most definite phase of developement of the US H bombs.

The heart of a fusion H bomb is a Pu fission bomb. The fission bomb’s radiation is focussed for an extemely short period of time after detonation by the internal arrangement of the bomb, in order to cause fusion in hydrogen isotope fuel. One key to the Teller-Ulam H bomb design is the concept of “radiation pressure” and other factors which enable the fission bomb detonation to apply focussed forces upon the Hydrogen isotope fuel to cause fusion. It is covered in brief here:
As can be envisaged, the design calls for specialised construction inside the bomb to enable this occur. And the British were not privvy to these American secrets.

The US development of H bombs went through various phases, including Tritium boosted fission bombs. The US nuclear arsenal was greatly expanded by the addition of tritium boosting to normal bombs once the concept was proven. From there the US went to a “Wet bomb” – a bomb so large it was undeliverable and which was built on a Pacific Island. Upon detonation, this large static bomb virtually completely destroyed the island. Of necessity, it was a ground blast. It was too heavy to be anything else.

Having access only to limited territory in the Pacific, the UK had nowhere to undergo the development of the interim H bomb, the “Wet bomb”.

What Chris Busby says is not fanciful as it may sound to those without access to sufficient historic documentation of these early designs.

It is logical to propose that Britain developed its H bomb without the technical knowledge closely guarded by the USA at that time, and that radiation pressure focussing continued, in all probably, in British designs using incremental design variations of the tritium boosted fission bombs.

The idea that massive uranium tampers may have been used by UK in weapons in the development of the British H bomb is reasonable. A tritium boosted fission bomb was in fact detonated in Australia, as follows:

Operation Mosaic G2

Test: G2
Time: 19 June 1956 (0214 GMT, 10:14 WAST)
Location: Alpha Island in the Monte Bello Islands, Australia, 20.40 S 115.53 E
Test Height and Type: Aluminum tower, 31 m
Yield: 98 kt

This was the highest yield test ever conducted in Australia. Since the test yield broke an assurance made personally by PM Anthony Eden of the UK to PM Robert Menzies of Australia that the yield would not exceed 2.5 time that of Hurricane (thus about 62 kt), the true yield was concealed until 1984.

Mosaic G2 was a test of fusion-boosted weapon system, probably similar to the Soviet Sloika (“Layer Cake”) and U.S. Alarm Clock designs. It incorporated lithium-6 deuteride, and had a uranium tamper (a version with a lead tamper was a standby option). The yield was more than 50% larger than expected.” end quote.

The yield of this weapon was a National secret of the United Kingdom until 1984.

Monte Bello Islands detonations have repeatedly demonstrated the hazards of detonating atomic weapons where sea water is taken into the fireballs. The salt, when it condenses, after being reduced to plasma (as is everything else) by the fireball, forms the microscopic seeds around which fission products, activation products and irradiated materials, including bomb fuel and other material condenses. The more seeds there are, the more fallout particles there may be. Sea water was found to contaminate US vessels and service personnel very effectively during the US Operation CrossRoads.

Here is a video of Ivy Mike, the US wet bomb. This footage is of the first detonation of the Teller-Ulam phased design. It was too big to deliver, was ground based as a result and the island basically ceased to exist as a result of the test.

Tritium boosting as described by FAS:

“Tritium ( 3 H) is essential to the construction of boosted-fission nuclear weapons. A boosted weapon contains a mixture of deuterium and tritium, the gases being heated and compressed by the detonation of a plutonium or uranium device. The D-T mixture is heated to a temperature and pressure such that thermonuclear fusion occurs. This process releases a flood of 14 MeV neutrons which cause additional fissions in the device, greatly increasing its efficiency. ”

The history of personal monitoring during the Australian portion of the British nuclear weapons tests is well known within Australian cultlure. Briefly, where people were isssued with dosimeters and film badges, little record was kept of who wore what and where. More than one veterans testifies that personal monitoring equipment was simply tossed into a communal bucket at the end of the day.

In point of fact, Manhattan Project documents show that US forces in 1945 did possess portable alpha detecting equipment. However, the first American into Nagasaki used a GM detector with a solid tube, and which therefore was not alpha sensitive. In assessing fallout and radioactivity in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japanese scientists used both geiger detectors and Lauritsen electroscopes. Being open bodied, the Lauritsen device, which is small and looks similar to a pen, can detect alpha, beta and gamma.

The controversy goes back to this period of time.

It must be said that the ability to monitor the whole body for internal contamination has existed since Robley Evans designed and constructed such a device prior to World War 2.

The concept of internal contamination became most important from the time radium had been proven, in 1925, to be the cause of “Radium Jaw” as suffered by the radium dial painters who had been instructed to lick their paint brushes with their lips. They did this in order to produce a fine brush tip and fine luminous text on instrument and clock dials.

Paul Frame has a very accessilbe piece on the work of Robley Evans at Paul Frame is the curator of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities Museum.

Evans developed a method of measuring, in conjunction with his whole body scanner, radon gas exhaled by the radium dial painters. He was able to compute the amount of radium each painter had ingested. It was this expertise that brought him to the attention of the US Navy.

Needless to say, the extension of the “radium standard” by the Manhattan Project was a very great failure which was only revealed by the US government during the term of the Clinton Administration. The casualty rate was far higher among the Plutonium workers than had been admitted. This failure of the Manhattan Project safety regime had been hidden for years, later weapons workers would suffer the same fate. The compensation scheme which resulted from the 1990s disclosures has been watered down. Not from contrary evidence, but rather, for fear of ultimate dollar cost.

The hazard of internal contamination is valid and the knowledge of it is very old.

If 0.1uCurie is the maximum permissible interally administered dose of radium for a radiation worker is valid (it has been lowered many times since) and if that amounts ot 0.1u of a gram (which it does, for 1 gram of radium 226 = radioactivity represented by the unit 1 curie) then how much strontium 89 in fractions of a gram is required to produce the same 0.1u curie delivered as an internal emitter, allowing for the variables introduced by way of specific type?

The physical amount required to produce hazard is extremely small.

Remembering that the fission product Sr89 is 28,000 times more radioactive, wieght for weight, than radium 226.

The concept of the max permissible dose was originally applied to radium workers and then weapons workers only and only because the war enabled the imperative. The concept of the max permissible dose for workers became the permissible dose for the entire population in one form or another, as occupational risk was spread to the entire civilian population. And this has been in Japan, although some retreat from the application of worker exposures to babies and children has been made by the Diet. This is a war the PM said. There is a minimum for conscription Mr PM.

In the context of the veterans of the bomb tests, the inadequate protections and false concepts are abundantly clear as they are for America’s weapons workers. The state of the land gives the lie to the false declaration of low exposures issued by government. This has been long known.

The Maralinga cleanup as undertaken by Britain in the 1960s had a devastating effect upon people involved – as written in Australian Federal Hansard – and upon the land. Ploughing the desert did not secure the large amount of plutonium which formed a significant part of the resdiual hazard. It merely hastened the disperal of the substance by wind and rain. It was only at the time of the Royal Commission that the Australian government listened to what veterans and others had been saying for decades. That the land was unsafe. And even then the eventual cleanup in the 1990s was compromised. Areas remain unsafe. Britain was found out to be a liar of the highest order in this foriegn land. The state of the land was sufficient to delay until the 21 century the return of the land to the traditional owners of the land. Many of who died waiting to go home.

The cleanup of Maralinga aimed to provide a certain level of plutonium residue, one deemed by government to be acceptable and one which, in the absence of a better outcome, was accepted by the owners. They had waited long enough. The following ARPANSA link gives details about the condition of the land and the nature of the remaining hazard post cleanup. The information confirms the facts as given by Chris Busby. These facts have been known for decades. “From pre-remediation dose estimates, certain areas were found to have inhalation dose rates that were too high to be acceptable under all but the most rigorously controlled circumstances. These included central areas at Taranaki, Wewak, TM100 and TM101.” ARPANSA. Many decades after the nuclear activities, the site, contrary to British assurances, was found to be grossly contaminated. What was it like, as far as internal hazard potential, in the 1950s? Much worse.

Where a test is available and is not used, where evidence is available but is not accepted, then that to me is the core of suppression of evidence and of a justice which is not blind but rather concerned with something other than the truth.

With the invention of the Hydrogen bomb, the Western world was treated to the propaganda that, at last, a clean nuclear weapon, with a known and therefore accurate blast effect could be used as a deterent to war. A bomb free from concentrated fallout. The period of this falsehood as effective propaganda was shortlived, the Castle Bravo disaster of 1954 putting paid to it as the contents of the fission component of the weapon rained upon the Marshall Islands with immediate effects.

The H bomb was not clean. It delivered large amounts of fallout capable of immediate harm hundreds of miles from blast point.

That the United Kingdom should continue with the pre 1954 mythology (the myth that H bombs are clean) in the modern courts is incomprehensible.

The British weapons used in Australia astonished the US monitoring crews with their dirtiness. Whenever the US crews participated in British tests. As they did in October 1953 in South Australia.

Another thing. While the United States possessed fully portable alpha detectors before July 1945, the only such devices sent to Australia for the atomic tests here a decade or so later were big enough to fill the room in which one was located at the CSIRO in Adelaide. It was from that location, with the aid of a US postgraduate student, that Marston connected a volmetic meter box and measured the radioactive particles which engulfed Adelaide one particular day.

We need to look again at the work of Sue Roffe which resulted in the health survey completed in Australia by government in 2006. A Health survey undertaken by the Australian government in order, it thought, in my opinion, to discredit the Roffe findings. In fact, the data confirmed these findings, though the personnel engaged by government to study the findings state they cannot find any concrete reason for the increased risk of disease nuclear veterans suffer. The only concrete finding re causes is this: They say that the only cause which can be ruled out is the exposure to the atomic bombs and the associated effects. That is, the only factor in their view which is precluded them as a cause for the increased risk of disease among the cohort are the events which caused the creation of the cohort in the first instance.

Roffe, nearly a decade earlier found to the contrary and nothing achieved by the government survey contradicts the Roffe findings.

What was known and when remains most important, no matter in which country the timeframe of knowledge is looked at. Over many decades nuclear veterans and nuclear victims have duplicated work as isolated groups. Meanwhile the nuclear powers form their own cohort which possesses a a well rehearsed shared legalistic routine aimed at thwarting the just cause of those adversely affected by the nuclear adventures imposed upon populations as if they were press ganged luminous painters of some kind. Buy our electricity, have our routine volatile emissions for free, and every now and again, have a forced decades long holiday from your farm in a spnaking new prefab nuclear refugee camp.

There is no way to differentiate between nuclear victims from the perspective of the legal process they have forced to endure. Or the effects they have to suffer.

Each group is traumatised by the specifics of their situations, but in fact the opponents to justice use the same routines to justify denials of justice. And in the end, nations cannot afford the full costs.

5 Responses to “Chris Busby: Nuclear Test Veterans betrayal”

  1. Dave Whyte Says:

    I found the Chris Busby film clip fascinating and was surprised to hear that Hogan Lovell had taken over the cases from Rosenblatt’. It is my belief that Hogan Lovell was acting on behalf of the Royal British Legion as many of the claimants were claiming through the British Legion and Rosenblatt’s and Rosenblatt’s dealt with caes not in the legion. The 16 cases referred to were heard at the end of February 2013 and the Judges decision is not expected to be given until May or June this year. I had been informed that I may be required as a witness for both Rosenblatt’s and Hogan Lovell for these cases due to the information I had obtained from Freedom of Information Questions. It appears that I was not required but some of the information I had supplied to the legal team was used. As I mentioned the results of these 16 cases are yet to be given.

    A few months ago the Solicitors had hoped my case could have been added to the 16 being heard but the court would not allow this to happen so I am still waiting to get a date for my hearing.

    I have written this to let you know we are still fighting and I will sent a copy of the film clip to both Rosenblatt,s and the Solicitor working on behalf of Hogan Lovell for their observations.


    • nuclearhistory Says:

      Hi Dave, thanks very much for your information regarding the video. I think the film clip and your comments need to be put on the emailing list and passed around to Patrick Byrt and SBS TV down here, if you could circulate to all and sundry as you wish, with your observations that would be good. Paul

  2. CaptD Says:

    Great fact filled article, Paul you are an AU Treasure!

  3. Dennis Hayden Says:

    Atomic litigants, since the UK Supreme Court verdict in 2012 stating we have no proof of causation of ill health from radiation, have had great difficulty understanding how that verdict was reached . We knew the evidence of causation was in the hands of the lawyers because we had sent it to them .We therefore expected at some time this sceince would be fully presented in court .

    Dr Chris Busby has therefore done all nuclear veterans and widows a great service by throwing some light into a very dark corner of legal process .His experience and expert witness testimony was urgently needed in court to balance the views of government epidemiologists who rely on the outdated/ significantly flawed ICRP radiation risk model , without taking account of blood tests showing genetic damage in exposed individuals and who totally ignore inhaled and ingested fall out particles .

    The veterans fight goes on for truth and justice .Dave Whyte has yet to have his pension appeal hearing and after his succesful First Tier FOIA hearing of February 2012 and five years seeking Freedom of Information answers we have reason to believe he can confidently prove exposure to radiation .

    It is reassuring to know the evidence held by Dr Busby being denied hearing in court is being made available on line . In the meantime Judge Stubbs verdict on the recent 16 pension appeals is due in May and June . At this time we will know just how far the veterans and widows have been sold out to the establishment .

    Whatever happens , it is the truth of the science that will be the final arbiter in this case and not the manipulations of politicians , lawyers or governemnt sponsored scientists . I thank Paul Langley’s Nuclear History web for posting Dr Busby’s video and will be sending the link to the legal firm Rosenblatts with copy of the above comments .


  4. Dave Whyte Says:

    I have now received a response from Rosenblatt’s Solicitors and I am assured they are still fighting for the Nuclear Veterans.

    I have every faith in them to do what they can to obtain a settlement for this long running dispute.

    It is the Ministry of Defence that are guilty of causing the delay in the hope we will all be dead before they are forced to reveal the truth regarding the atrocities committed against their own Troops and Allies when using them as ‘Human Guinea Pigs!’

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: