Nuclear Families - Important Worldwide Research

Dr Becky Martin

Dr Becky Martin has published her NCCF funded research into Nuclear Families. This report is the most significant report that has been produced for the Nuclear Veterans since the Massey Study in 2007.

Due to copyright restrictions, I cannot show extracts of the report. This blog examines the report and gives my opinion.

This report highlights the issues facing a Nuclear family, their physical and mental health and the problems facing the family unit.

Dr Martin completed with research whilst at Southampton university, but is now at Manchester university.

The report is available in two formats, HTML from the NCCF:

(this is however difficult to read on many devices)

or via Dr Martin's own website:

where a PDF version is available.

The report concentrates on the families and their lives. Quoting from

"Nuclear Families: A Social Study of British Nuclear Test Veteran Community Families was a large-scale, multidisciplinary study of the British Nuclear Test Veteran community, conducted from 2016-2019. The report of our findings is freely available to the public.

The Nuclear Families study has explored the lives of the UK atomic veterans and their descendants through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, oral histories, workshops, participant-led events, participant observation, demographic analysis and archival research from 2016-2018. These approaches provided a snapshot into the current lives of this community with specific insights into their past experiences, present situation and future needs. The Nuclear Families study has encompassed cross-generational experiences of disability, contested diagnoses, unmedicalised and somatic conditions; mental health and wellbeing, gendered challenges, cross-generational perceptions of hereditary risk, descendant reproductive decision-making and genetic altruism, memorialisation and death, ageing and hidden intergenerational care needs, and the influences of a historically minimal health and safety culture upon veterans today. This study identifies that there is still a diverse range of issues within this community which create a need for further support. The descendant community experiences trauma from perceived risks, and there are issues arising from mental and somatic health challenges. It also demonstrates the considerable support which is currently provided by non-governmental sources, with credit to the committees of the New BNTVA and the NCCF for facilitating remembrance, social events and community support. This study recommends that the families of UK atomic veterans are provided with a specialist counselling service to support their understanding of their experiences and the likelihood any risks. This study also recommends greater specialist signposting for NHS professionals on the challenges arising for the descendants of UK atomic veterans; including autoimmune conditions, mental health challenges and addiction issues. A suggested NHS information template is provided for this purpose."

The report comes at the end of two brilliant weeks for Dr Martin, who also released her book, Disarming Doomsday:

The book is available from Amazon via this link.

The research and the work that Dr Martin is completing is invaluable to the Nuclear Community, download her report and read her insight into Nuclear families and their daily struggles to come to terms with the effects of the Nuclear testing program.

Nuclear Veterans across the world share the same issues as the families in this report, geographical location is no barrier to the problems the families face on a daily basis.

Having read the report thoroughly, this research needs to be expanded and further funding needs to be obtained to ensure that Dr Martin can complete further studies into the families. This needs to be a worldwide study involving every family that has been affected by the testing program.

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