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British nuclear weapons tests, carried out in Australia.

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posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 06:08 AM
While reading the Second Book of General Ignorance from the TV show 'Q.I.' , I was shocked and alarmed to read that the British military conducted SEVEN nuclear tests on Australian soil in the fifties and onward. As if this was not terrible enough, the book claims that the British government has only in recent times, provided ANY affected party with some sort of restitution or aid.

Being an enquiring sort of a chap, I decided that I ought to look these events up for myself, and I found a Wiki on the subject, and a whole host of places where the actual McClelland Royal Commission report (in three volumes I believe) can be found and down loaded. I will not be downloading the report, simply because I have not the space on this ancient hunk of junk. So I resorted to a few Wiki pages:

Summary points will follow, detailing the things that jump out at me, and make me sick to my guts.

Essentially the bones of the issue are that between 1955 and 1963, at a place called Maralinga (in the central south of Australia), seven major nuclear events occured, with the co-operation of the Australian government of the time, under the management of the British military. These detonations ranged in yeild from one to twenty seven kilotons of TNT. This is of course all fine and dandy, until you look hard at the detail.

1)The area concerned was culturally important to the local aboriginal population, being home to two tribes of indigenous peoples, and was not properly secured after being taken from these people, who returned to the site barefoot, and were merely allowed to walk around in the radiological nightmare that remained, more often than not oblivious to the danger it represented.

This makes me want to vomit up the nostrils of those responsible, and makes me determined to see my government make a decent apology and if possible a package of restitutionary measures. It is one thing to use another nations land to test a bomb that you are afraid to test on your own land, but it is quite another to take a culturally relevant location, and turn it into a lethal wasteland, whose very soil is anathema to human life. How much blood would have been shed in retaliation, if the west had tested such things in Jerusalem in Israel? Or maybe at Mecca? Or Vatican city? On top of the vile action of actually causing this contamination, the joint operation between the British and Australian governments never actually properly secured the site, meaning that
unaware indigenous peoples trickled back to the area, only to become very gravely ill, and die quite often, from the exposure to dangerous levels of radiation in the place they had called home. This level of irresponsibility is of course par for the course, but none the less utterly unacceptable. It is now, and it was then.

2)Fallout from the tests was often higher than was predicted, both in terms of concentration, and in terms of how high into the atmosphere the fallout cloud reached. Reports of radiation increases came in from South Australia, the Northern Territories, New South Wales and Queensland. According to one report, a certain detonation caused a large cloud of deadly radioactive trash to float over highly populated areas, causing an Australian official of the time, to call the British government to ask "What the bloody hells going on? The clouds travelling over towns and cities!".

If you are about the business of testing a nuclear device, then surely you have no business doing it on a nations soveriegn soil, if you cannot GARUNDAMNTEE that the device will not, in any way threaten the lives of anyone living there? Even in the early days of nuclear testing, this is surely an enormous gaffe, and not something one could excuse in the same way that one excuses the Model T Ford for having a "slightly uncomfortable ride"!?

3) British servicemen, serving in the area, were told to march, crawl and generaly operate in the area in the days immediately after the tests, PURELY to assess the affects of the radioactivity on them over time, which although later admitted by the British government, goes directly against all available comments by them, that it is not and has never been British military policy to use thier personel as test subjects, something most of us know to be a bunch of words and little else.

This is thoroughly disgusting, but not as sick as the fact that it took until 1988 for the British government to compensate its own personel for the suffering caused by its appalling behaviour, AND for the Australian government to compensate its personel also. Worse than any of this, is that the people who had no choice in the matter, who did not sign up to be ordered around, who had thier homeland taken from them and raped in this way, were not compensated one iota until 1994, despite suffering blindness, cancers of every stripe, and christ knows what other ailments, doubtlessly caused by the continued presence of radioactive elements left over from the testing. The clean up only finished officially in the year 2000, and there are still areas within the affected zone, which are only fit to be accessed, not settled.

Now, anyone can see that most of my information comes from the linked wiki, however there are other sources, including the actual report itself, available as a download here:

And here is a link to volume two, although I am sure that other volumes are available from the same source, should you wish to delve further.
I did search the site for previous mentions of these incidents, and found nothing. If there is something, I would love to know why a quick search did not reveal this to me before I posted this thread.

So, the questions posed by this are, how can the British government speak with a straight face about the affects of the behavior of other nations and thier leaders, on thier people, and people from other lands, without biting the apple of hypocrisy? How can the Australian government be confused about the reason for aboriginal angst toward the government? How can any of us support our nations, if they are prepared to do this to innocent people, without cause or provocation?

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 06:21 AM
Yep.. had a mate work out on maralinga in about 1989-90. he walked right over the NO GO zone.

Apart from his third arm and two heads, he's fine.

nahh, he's not even got lung cancer from smoking like a chimney...

worked for an offshore navigation company, was there with one other bloke for 6 months.

even wrote his own version of Yahtzee on the 386 laptop he had.. now that would take a nuclear monster to do.

ahh well, the lizards were pretty aggressive he says..

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 06:22 AM
reply to post by TrueBrit

This is not news; everyone of my generation knows all about it

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 06:25 AM
Australian service personel were also lab rats to these experiments. Australian personel
were also used as lab rats for chemical warfare tests during WW2, volenteirs of couse.
It fairly indicative of the type of attitude the Brits have alway shown Australians, just
like Winston churchil turning around an Australian troop ship on it's way home after
the fall of singapor, in direct contradiction of Curtin's( Australia WW2 PM) wishes.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 06:27 AM
I'm pretty sure that the Australian government gave the land back to the Aboriginals.

Also a couple of years back the British government released papers stating that
clouds of fallout drifted over to the north of Adelaide the capital city of South Australia
which is vineyards and farm crops.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 06:29 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 07:08 AM
I thought I was right, here's some stuff

MORE than 50 years after their ancestral lands were devastated by nuclear testing, the Tjarutja people of western South Australia will next month be handed back the infamous expanse of remote desert the British named Maralinga.

The proposed handover will help bring to a close one of the most damning chapters of modern Australian history, one that saw 20,000 British, Australian and New Zealand servicemen and the local Aboriginal population become virtual guinea pigs for the nuclear ambitions of the British war machine.


And this one, I live in Adelaide by the way.
That kind of explains alot

Radioactive clouds from two atomic tests at Maralinga were swept across the Nullarbor Plain to Adelaide, classified documents have revealed. Despite repeated official denials the fallout was dangerous, levels recorded at secret sampling stations exceeded those now permitted under federal health standards.

The towns listed below cover most of the state of South Australia

The Advertiser has obtained classified documents which reveal radioactivity was detected in Adelaide, Woomera, Oodnadatta, Ceduna, Giles, Cook, Cleve, Leigh Creek, Tarcoola, Marree, Port Augusta and Mt Gambier after atomic bombs were exploded at Maralinga in 1956 and 1957.


posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 07:24 AM
Yeah the British weapons test in australia is a sad fact.
And the fact is Australia and australians have also been used as guinea pigs by the americans to test their Agent Orange.

There is another worrying Australian connection. Jean Williams, a researcher who received the Order of Australia medal for her research on the effects of chemicals on US war veterans, found that cancer rates in Innisfail, in Queensland, were 10 times higher than the state average. This was linked to secret testing of Agent Orange by Australian military scientists during the Vietnam War

Here the link

edit on 13-2-2012 by WozaMeathed because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 07:45 AM
reply to post by bluemirage5

A fair point. This is however, not a thread that I created with the intention of alerting people to the facts, but more to remind people of them. Admittedly , I have only very recently learned of the events that took place in this instance, but they strike me as the sort of thing that ought to be discussed here in Weapons and Tactics, as an examination of the moral implications of not just the deployment of, but the machinations which preceed the use of atomic weapons in a combat situation.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 07:49 AM
why do you think the ozone layer over Australia is destroyed!!! Its the brits, they are no good.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 07:57 AM
post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 09:32 AM
reply to post by RizeorDie

Please be specific. The people of Britain do not support the British governments past, present or probable future behavior with regards to the testing of such devices on the whole. Most people would be aghast if they knew the damage our nation has done in this way.

However, without resorting to lawless thuggery, we have no recourse to change these things, because no matter which party we vote for, like most peoples in most nations, we are pretty much choosing who screws us next, not the leadership we actually want, nor promoting or condoning the actions or intent of these parties and thier leaders.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 09:41 AM
reply to post by TrueBrit

I am British, and when I look at British history all I see is manipulation and destruction. Then Britain passed that title to the USA, and now the USA has passed the title to Israel. Israel is currently running the world.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 10:02 AM
reply to post by RizeorDie

That may well be the case, but it is still a point worth making that the people of Britain on the whole, do not support the actions of thier government in these matters. Many demonstrate vocally on the subject, and those who do not are not automatically fans of the system which creates these situations.

The more people are made aware of, or reminded of the mistakes of our past, the less likely it is that those mistakes, those tragic incidents will be repeated in ignorance. In future, one will be able to see these things as a deliberate act of malice, and deal with them appropriately in future.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 10:54 AM
C'mon. Australia is a lot bigger than the Nevada testing grounds that shook the windows of the Las Vegas casinos, or larger than New Mexico's Alamgordo Trinity Stie.

Anyway, nuckes are becoming obsolete, eventually replaced by more neutron weapons and the new generation of directed energy/laser weapons.


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