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UK government study shows that nuclear test veterans were more likely to have cancer and die

More than 20,000 men, many on National Service, were ordered to take part in 45 nuclear weapons tests and 593 radioactive ‘minor trials’ in America, Australia and the South Pacific between 1952 and 1991.They later reported cancer, blood disease, miscarriages for their wives and 10 times the usual rate of birth defects in their children, but the MoD spent millions denying war pensions and compensation, insisting there was no proof.


Nuclear test veterans were more likely to have cancer and die, government study finds, Mirror, By
Susie Boniface 25 Feb 2022

A study found out that nuclear test veterans were more likely to die. There are now cross-party calls for a public inquiry and immediate compensation, as well as a medal, 
Men ordered to take part in Cold War radiation experiments WERE more likely to die, according to a government study which has blown apart 70 years of official denials.

  • Nuclear test veterans told to watch atomic blasts then live, eat, and drink amid the fallout have raised rates of multiple cancers, the research has found.They are nearly four times more likely to die from a bone marrow cancer seen in survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and more likely than other servicemen to take their own lives.The shocking research proves:
    • HALF the crew of HMS Diana, ordered twice to sail through fallout in 1956, died from tumours;
    • Atomic scientists were SEVEN times more likely to kill themselves;
    • RAF decontamination crews were FIVE times more likely to die from leukaemia;
    • There were more cancers than deaths, meaning some veterans have fought multiple malignancies;
    • And despite Ministry of Defence claims servicemen were well-protected, three-quarters were not checked for radiation, while clean-up workers were both unmonitored, and more likely to die from blood cancer.
  • There are now cross-party calls for a public inquiry and immediate compensation, as well as a medal.Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “This is all the evidence required to seek a formal inquiry into the issues and injustices that more than 20,000 veterans of nuclear testing have faced. It appears to be incontrovertible proof that their service led to serious health issues.“They need recognition and for the government to give them the respect owed to them by acknowledging what they have known for years: they paid a devastating price for their vital role in protecting our country. We are at a critical moment in this journey for justice and we need to see action now.”
  • His call for speed was echoed by Tory grandee Sir John Hayes, patron of the British Nuclear Test Veteran Association, who said: “There can be no doubt and no more excuses. Based on these facts, we need to act with no delay to recognise these exceptional veterans’ extraordinary sacrifice.”
  • More than 20,000 men, many on National Service, were ordered to take part in 45 nuclear weapons tests and 593 radioactive ‘minor trials’ in America, Australia and the South Pacific between 1952 and 1991.They later reported cancer, blood disease, miscarriages for their wives and 10 times the usual rate of birth defects in their children, but the MoD spent millions denying war pensions and compensation, insisting there was no proof.

The new research comes eight months before the 70th anniversary of Britain’s first nuclear test, Operation Hurricane, on October 3, 1952. It was published without warning on the morning that Russia invaded Ukraine.

It looked at causes of death among 21,357 veterans compared to a control group of servicemen who were not at the tests. It traced only 85 per cent, but found three per cent more veterans had died from cancer and two per cent more veterans died from other causes.

Test veterans were 20 per cent more likely than controls to die from stomach cancer or pleural cancer, 59 per cent more likely to die from skin cancer, and 26 per cent more likely to die from acute lymphatic leukaemia.

  • There were 12 per cent more deaths from suicide, and 377 per cent more deaths from chronic myeloid leukaemia.
  • CML is caused by genetic mutations in the bone marrow. By-products of nuclear weapons, including plutonium-239 and strontium-90 are considered “bone-seeking” when absorbed by man, and it is known that they can damage DNA.Stuart Ross, whose dad Archie was a RAF corporal at Christmas Island in 1958 and died in 2015 from aggressive leukaemia, said it was time to released the veterans’ military medical records.
  • “My dad suffered for years with a layer of skin growing between his eyelid and eyeball, a daughter born with an outsized arm, and a grandson with Down’s syndrome. Then he died within six weeks of being diagnosed with blood cancer,” said Stuart, 57, of Hertford.“I’ve asked for the blood tests dad and many other veterans had taken when he was on the island, and officials tell me they don’t exist. They’re hidden somewhere. The Defence Secretary must order them to be released to the families. We deserve the truth.”The latest research studied an extra 19 years of data, and found higher rates for many types of death than were in three previous studies, first ordered by Margaret Thatcher in 1983.The report’s authors at the UK Health Security Agency warned that the MoD could no longer rely on dodgy dose records from the 1950s, saying that there should be no raised risk of death or cancer if the records “accurately reflect the broad levels of exposure”. They added that risks they found should be expected “if, in fact, doses… had been much larger than recorded”.
  • The Mirror has campaigned for justice for the test veterans since the 1980s………….. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nuclear-test-veterans-were-more-26331008

February 26, 2022 - Posted by | health, politics, Reference, UK, weapons and war

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