Combined Veterans' Forum International report 0219.

Complied by Dennis Hayden - Nuclear Test Veteran , former RAF Junior Technician at Maralinga 1965 to 66 in support of all who took part in the UK nuclear weapon test experiments 1952 to 67 and their families.


Like many surviving nuclear veterans I have received recently an invitation to take part in a cytogenetic blood test study by Dr Rhona Anderson , the UK's leading cytogenticist ,of Brunel University , London . The methodology is being co-ordinated in collaboration with Professor Julian Peto, an epidemiologist of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine . This invitation was accompanied by an interesting and revealing nine page Information and Consent Form giving details of the purpose , the organisation and the methology of:

The Nuclear Community Charity Fund (NCCF) Chromosomal Study

Nuclear veterans have found there exists historically a wide schism between epidemiologists and cytogeneticists in the interpretation of damage induced by radiation . For reasons expressed in this letter the epidemiological 'collaboration' a cytogenetic study is liable to have a negative and biased impact upon the conclusions in any final report .

This is a fact experienced by nuclear test veterans and families over many decades of research into their mortality and the links to their premature deaths .

Cytogenetics is known, admired and respected by nuclear veterans as an advanced diagnostic technology with the capability of showing elevated chromosomal translocations and aberrations induced by exposure to radiation .

In data and archive documents compiled by nuclear veterans, this expertise has been seen to have been used by UK Medical Research Council and other scientists here and abroad since, at least, the 1960's to monitor nuclear veterans and nuclear workers damage by radiation by the dosage of induced that is inhaled ingested gamma radiation into the body.

We nuclear veterans underpin evidence of radiation damage in our DNA and have been lied to for years, mainly by epidemiologists. We knew nothing about the truth seeking branch of cytogenetic blood testing until about the late 1990's. Thanks for the internet we found out very quickly!

We also understand, from our accumulated archives etc, that the many benefits of research in the UK by cytogenetics has been used by successive governments, not for the benefit of early diagnosis and remedial treatments of radiation damage in veterans, their children and grandchildren but for the eyes of government academics only.

We consider this a key failure of government and the MoD. Nuclear veterans and families are owed a duty of care since these loyal servicemen returned from participation at UK nuclear sites. This cohort of persons exposed to ionising radiation have received do help. The MoD have treated us as research subjects not openly and transparently but almost always in a clandestine manner to avoid any accountability.

Our archive search has found cytogenetic experts are not at fault in the culture of deception and denial which has led to a lack of trust in the reasons given for the research. This is the legacy of dogmatic government policy we find ourselves in the impasse of today.

Historical records held by nuclear veterans and others, including academics here and abroad, confirm our lack of trust in government is primarily due to epidemiologists who have perverted government funded mortality studies and also cytogenetic studies to a bias that ill health is not attributable to radiation exposure. All this being done, by the way, using a vast quantity to tax payers' money.

Historic references in the Addendum to this letter show this research has been done for political reasons to avoid accountability and responsibility for the duty of care owed to the nuclear veteran community.

The NCCF chromosomal study's methodology sets alarm bells ringing.

Alarm bells are ringing in the ears of nuclear veterans for the NCCF study because the study is being undertaken in collaboration with epidemiologist, Professor Julian Peto of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This alarm is expressed for reasons below and in the historic references to the use of epidemiology, as a bias to scientific truth, in the supporting addendum to this letter.

As a married nuclear veteran, without children, it is noted, from the nine page Information / Consent sheets enclosed in the NCCF letter, that I'm excluded from the study. The study is for trios of veterans, spouses or partners, and conceived children. Nevertheless the information sent is very much appreciated as an explanation and confirmation of the inadequacy of methodology being used to prevent any bias.

Cytogenetics has already shown those who took part in nuclear weapon sites have a significant increase of chromosomal translocations and aberrations than veterans who did not take part.

The study in any event is of little consequence to myself and other child-less surviving veterans because the advanced technology of cytogenetics has already shown elevated chromosomal translocations in veterans who attended the 1952 to 1967 UK nuclear weapon test experiments.

The successful, meticulous and well controlled New Zealand Professor Al Rowland's cytogenetic study of 50 NZ nuclear veterans compared with the blood of 50 veterans of similar age and life style habits (such as smoking etc) who had not attended any nuclear test location was peer reviewed in 2008.

The Rowland study showed the nuclear veterans had a significant 3 times increase in translocations of chromosomes than veterans who had not attended a nuclear test location.

The NCCF study is taking a similar 'meticulous' control path using 50 trios of military families with no connection to attending a nuclear test location. But this will not, in the schism of scientific truth that exists, prevent political bias of this study by any so called 'expert' panel nominated by government. (see references below and in the addendum of references to this letter.)

The general public and others with little scientific knowledge (like myself who left school at 16 attaining only 'O' Level Biology) will be interested no doubt to know conclusions of the NCCF study. But they, and others, will have nothing much to say about the figures because the standard practice in these matters is to deny any link to radiation, even if peer reviewed, and use of the results will be for the 'eyes of academics only'.

We have reason to ask why such a study not been been carried out earlier on any person potentially exposed ionising radiation without of course muddling by epidemiologists ? The answer we have found is simple :

Whosoever pays the piper, calls the tune.

At vast expense to the taxpayer of course!

The NZ Rowland cytogenetic study of 2008 , affirmed in a report by Dr Rhona Anderson to Rosenblatts solicitors of London, was 'meticulous' in all its methodology.

But this ground -breaking study had the added one significant benefit: it was totally independent of UK government and Ministry of Defence interference. The study was paid almost entirely by the New Zealand Nuclear Veterans Association and by public subscription with the methodology out of control of the hands of government, Alarm bells rang in this instance also but only in the corridors of UK government and the MoD.

However, after publication and 'peer review', politicians in New Zealand put a sledgehammer through the efficacy of the Rowland cytogenetic study by use of what became known as 'The Expert Panel'.

Panel of so-called experts undermine cytogenetic science.

This so-called panel of 'experts' did not even include cytogeneticist ! By use of epidemiology the positive impact of significant genetic damage found was diminished for political reasons.

However, not all academics in UK were fooled by this scientific vandalism against Professor Rowland's cytogenetic work. In June 2009 Mr Justice Foskett (at the High Court in London) in summary of his decision to allow all nuclear veteran litigation group cases, led by Rosenblatts, to proceed to individual case hearings stated; "The prime causal link to ill health of nuclear veterans is fallout and the Rowland Study is 'crucial and pivotal evidence'".

The NCCF study will be undermined and biased because the epidemiologist collaborating in the study has strong connections with the Ministry of Defence.

Referring to the 9 page NCCF Information document at page one nuclear veterans have noted the statement :

"we need blood samples from both parents to determine whether any chromosomal changes in the child are also seen in the father and mother"

This of course is a gift for epidemiologists to cast doubt which is their historic role in past decades regarding nuclear veteran studies (see supporting references in particular regarding epidemiologist Professor Peto's chairmanship of the October 2007, cross party Parliamentary Inquiry (Nuclear Veterans).

Professor Julian Peto is named in the NCCF information sheet page 2, as the co-ordinator and collaborator of the study. This is unacceptable in view of his biased chairmanship of the PIq (Nuc Vets) in 2007 and his close ties to the Ministry of Defence.

This connection confirms a belief that any meaningful help to the nuclear veterans and families will be buried deeply in government archives for the eyes of academics only and will not be seen for many years by nuclear historians, nor by the public.

The withholding and withdrawal of files relating to radiation.

(see reference January 2019 CNN report "Review or Cover Up? Mystery as Australian nuclear weapon test files are withdrawn"):

The above report confirms the aim of the UK and Australian Governments is to conceal documents connected to the nuclear tests and other nuclear issues, industry, waste storage etc for long enough (30, 50, 100 years or more!) from historians and other academics in order, it has been suggested, to prevent access to data helpful to the claims of nuclear veterans families and others with interest in this subject.

This is no surprise to nuclear veterans and families. Every effort made in the last decade, even by FOI questions, to gain access to this infomation for the help of widows and families has been met by a wall of silence and denial.

The 11 January 2019 CNN report (in the above link) states many researches are shocked to find scores of files have been removed from national archives.

Alan Owen , chairman of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association is reported as saying :

"The removal of these documents not only affects our campaign , but it affects the many academic organisations that rely on this material."

"We are concerned that the documents will not be published and the Ministry of Defence will again deny responsibility for the effects the tests have had on our membership."

Jonathan Agar, a Professor of Science and Technology at the Univeristy of London said:

"It is not several records but two whole classes of files many of which have previously been open to researchers at the national archives (at Kew)."

A 'Final solution' to avoid the truth ?

Some files according to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) are to be removed to the far distant northern tip of Scotland to a new archive called - 'Nucleus'.

For nuclear test veterans and families this suggests the Ministry of Defence have embarked upon a 'final solution' similar to the 1940's 'holocaust' as a means to bury the truth of their betrayal of loyal servicemen. It appears to be a move to prevent information helpful to nuclear veteran campaigns from ever seeing the light of day.

The withdrawing of such information from research academics appears similar to the 'kristal nacht' destruction of books by the National Socialist government of Germany in the 1930's. Nuclear Veterans over decades have found the government and MoD to be regressive in their treatment of former servicemen, this current news is confirmation they are continuing with their historic dogma of avoiding accountability and responsibility to provide a duty of care.

The NCCF study may be part of the dogmatic determination, by a 'final solution', to deny nuclear veterans any justice in their lifetimes.

The NCCF study - another waste of tax payers' money ?

The conclusions of findings of any cytogenetic report with the methodology including epidemiological input will dilute the findings because the most heavily irradiated i.e. the most genetically damaged nuclear veteran fathers are now almost all dead. Those who may be surviving at this date are inevitably ones with less genetic damage than the many who have died prematurely in the past. Especially those who died in the 60's and 70's from leukaemia within 15 years of returning from these locations.

From archive data held by the Combined Veterans Forum Internationl (CVFI), and veterans of the BNTVA (prior to becoming a charity), and other surviving veterans self funded and acting as independent searchers for the truth here, in Australia and New Zealand three main situations, of many know instances to nuclear veterans, relevant to the subject of this letter are:

1) The death of veterans in the last decades who were fathers of significantly genetically damaged children are conveniently unable to participate in the study.

2) Veterans who committed suicide after returning from a nuclear weapon test location who fathered genetically damaged children are also conveniently, for the MoD, unable to participate in the study.

3) The large numbers of veterans who returned as young men to civilian life sterile. Men who, several years later in the 70's and 80's, subsequently fathered genetically damaged children are now many dead and buried.

All the above is convenient for epidemiologists to muddy the conclusions of the NCCF study methodology.

The above begs the question will the NCCF study even include children born before the nuclear veteran fathers participation in the nuclear weapon experiments and compare their chromosomal damage with any conceived and born after return from these locations?

It is to be noted the degree of translocation breaks in chromosomes does not indicate the exact legacy illness that may result. That is, the legacy of ill health from the breaks of chromosomes is said to vary from individual to individual and it is more of a lottery of life or death dependent on where the breaks occur which contribute to the variation and type of health damage. This again is a gift for epidemiologists.

The ability of the body's immune system to repair damage may explain why some who returned sterile after several years may later have fathered children who are genetically impaired. The human body is a remarkable creation of evolution. It is said we evolved with an internal skeleton of bone within which marrow, producing new blood for circulation, is afforded some degree of protection from radiation.

This evolved casing of bone deep inside the body of course is said to give some protection from normal background radiation radiation present on this wonderful planet on which we all live. However no factor of the human body's evolvement over millennia could of course be expected to deal with the inhalation or ingestion of man-made radioisotopes, alpha, beta in fall out and gamma radiation released on detonation. It is known some of this radioactive isotopic fall out seeks and binds to bone, organs and tissue once inside the body to act as internal emitters. (see references to the CERRIE committee).

If any epidemiologists, in denial of low dose radiation hazard, doubts the truth it can be quickly resolved. Just ask him or her to drink afternoon tea from a pot known to contain an invisible to the eye quantity of low level, low dose alpha radiation polonium 210!

The NRPB, after being discredited and under its new name the Health Protection Agency (HPA), in 2009, following the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, assured the public in London, this type of radiation is not harmful unless it is 'inhaled or ingested into the body'.

The NRPB however peddled the lie that men who worked in an environment of low dose nuclear weapon test isotopic fall out, without any protective clothing or respirators for months, did not inhale or ingest anything at all harmful.

The NCCF study will undoubtedly bring additional scientific facts to the mass of nuclear veteran legacy ill health already known by government. This is even more to be locked archives, additional to nuclear veterans experiments including the removal of body parts in post mortems to analyse blood, organs bone and tissue as revealed by the Redfern Report of 2010.

However. on page 4 of the NCCF Information Sheet (regarding the expected benefits) it states:

"We cannot promise that taking part in this study will help you, but your participation will give valuable information."

This single sentence explains all !

It is the perfect epitaph for the graves stones of veterans who loyally served the nation during the cold war at the nuclear weapon test experiments . An epitaph confirming the men were and remain experimental subjects. The 'valuable information' will of co