Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

False statements on nuclear power by  Federal Liberal National Party MP Keith Pitt

Advertisements

August 13, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Taskforce’s heavy-handed repressive approach to community consultation

August 12, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Jervis Bay and previous governments’ secret plans for nuclear weapons

August 12, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, Opposition to nuclear, opposition to nuclear, politics, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sydney Morning Herald article provokes Australian pro nuclear troll’s vicious attack on Dr Helen Caldicott.

It was remarkable that the Sydney Morning Herald finally had the courage to run an article by globally recognised writer on matters nuclear – Dr Helen Caldicott.  The Australian mainstream media generally runs pro nuclear articles, or, at best, steers clear of the nuclear topic altogether.

 

 

This was too much for Australia’s pro nuclear propagandist, Ben Heard. He prides himself on writing information – the facts – and claims to never use ‘ad hominem’ arguments against nuclear critics. But here’s what Ben tweeted yesterday:

Outrageous that ⁦@smh⁩ published the conspiratorial, unscientific train-of-thought that is Helen Caldicott.  Next week, climatechange by Lord Christopher Moncton?

Any rational person need only spend 5 mins listening to her before feeling the need to back away slowly without making eye contact.”

 

 

July 13, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | 2 Comments

The raid on journalist’s home by armed federal police

AFP emails shed new light on media investigations, show officers were armed during raids, SMH, By Kylar Loussikian and Bevan Shields, July 5, 2019 The Australian Federal Police initially classified its investigation into a high-profile national security leak as “routine” and of “low value”, according to a cache of documents that also reveals police were armed when they launched two recent raids on the media.

Emails obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age under freedom of information laws also offer fresh evidence that Annika Smethurst, a senior member of the Canberra press gallery, could be prosecuted for publishing secret government information.

The AFP is expected to be called before a parliamentary inquiry to explain the chain of events leading to raids in early June on Smethurst’s Canberra home and the Sydney headquarters of the ABC over separate stories based on sensitive and secret government information.

The search warrants sparked a major debate over press freedom, with media chiefs lobbying the Morrison government over recent days for swift legal changes to better protect whistleblowers and journalists………

Other documents reveal officers were armed when they entered Smethurst’s home as well as the ABC’s headquarters in inner Sydney. ……

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks, ABC managing director David Anderson and News Corp corporate affairs director Campbell Reid met with the Attorney-General at Parliament this week but were not given a guarantee that the journalists would be spared prosecution……https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/afp-emails-shed-new-light-on-media-investigations-show-officers-were-armed-during-raids-20190705-p524kc.html

July 8, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia’s escalatede defence spending, Christopher Pyne and his convenient advice to Ey defence consulting

Pay Day: Christopher Pyne’s Defence bonanza a fee fillip for EY  https://www.michaelwest.com.au/pay-day-christopher-pynes-defence-bonanza-a-fee-fillip-for-ey/, Jun 27, 2019  It dwarfs all other government spending. It is secretive. A huge chunk of it does not even go out to tender. The lion’s share goes to foreign multinationals who pay no tax in Australia. It is defence spending. Michael West reports on the explosion in defence spending which has tripled to more than $60 billion in one year since the Coalition took office, and since Christopher Pyne became Minister for Defence Industry on July 19, 2016.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Christopher Pyne – Defence Minister in May – Defence Industry Lobbyist in July

The Fixer in a fix over EY move https://www.afr.com/business/accounting/the-fixer-in-a-fix-over-ey-move-20190626-p521cj Edmund Tadros and Tom McIlroy  26 June 19 Former defence minister Christopher Pyne is under fire for taking a role at big four advisory firm EY that will see him consult to companies in the defence sector.

Despite the lion’s share of the defence sector stemming from federal procurement, EY said the former minister, who retired from politics at the election, would not be lobbying or meeting with MPs or the Defence Department.

The ministerial code of conduct requires cabinet members to wait for 18 months after leaving office before advocating or having business meetings with members of the government, Parliament, public service or defence force on any matters on which they have had official dealings.

Outgoing ministers cannot take personal advantage of information to which they have had access or which is not generally available to the public.

Mr Pyne’s two most recent ministerial roles were as minister for defence and minister for defence industry. He issued a short statement about the job on Wednesday after it was revealed by The Australian Financial Review: “I’m looking forward to providing strategic advice to EY, as the firm looks to expand its footprint in the defence industry.”

A spokeswoman for the Office of the Prime Minister, which administers the code of conduct, did not comment when asked if the role breached the code of conduct

“The rules for former ministers are clear and we refer you to the statements made by Mr Pyne and EY on his new position,” the spokeswoman said.

EY at first described Mr Pyne’s role in the context of “ramping up its defence capability”, but later clarified that Mr Pyne would only deal with the “private sector side of the business”.

“He will not be lobbying or meeting with public sector MPs, public service or defence force in his EY role. He is supporting the private sector side of the business,” the EY spokeswoman said.

Pyne to ‘lead conversations’

EY’s defence leader Mark Stewart said: “Christopher Pyne is also here to help lead conversations about what states need to do to meet the challenges and opportunities this huge defence investment will bring.”

He said EY was “ramping up its defence capability ahead of a surge in consolidation activity and the largest expansion of our military capability in our peacetime history … Large domestic defence players are actively looking for mergers to bulk up to deliver on the government’s $200 billion integrated investment program”.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Victorian Liberal Democrat David Limbrick gets it wrong about nuclear power

” We are the only country in the OECD that does not produce nuclear energy,” Mr Limbrick said.”
All of these are current members of OECD.:

Denmark:  1985 law passed by the Danish parliament, prohibiting power production from nuclear energy in Denmark.

Austria has no nuclear power plants. As a result of a public referendum in 1978,Austria follows a strictly non-nuclear energy policy.

Greece
 has no nuclear power plants
Iceland has no nuclear power plants

Ireland  has no nuclear power plants

Victorian crossbenchers go nuclear, SBS  17 June 19, A couple of Victorian crossbenchers want to explore lifting the state’s bans around uranium and nuclear power in an effort to tackle climate change.

Two of Victoria’s crossbench want the parliament to explore lifting the state’s bans on nuclear activities in an effort to tackle climate change.

The Liberal Democrats this week in the upper house will table a motion to establish a parliamentary inquiry expand the nuclear industry including uranium mining, exploration and exports, power generation, waste management, industrial and medical applications.

“If we have these issues with climate change we need to look at all the options available to us and at the moment we’ve got laws prohibiting certain options and we think that those options should be on the table,” Liberal Democrats MP David Limbrick told AAP….The minor party is still working to garner support for their inquiry, but would hope if it gets up it would be completed in about 12 months.  https://www.sbs.com.au/news/victorian-crossbenchers-go-nuclear

June 17, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Home affairs minister Peter Dutton “knew nothing” about police raids on Australian media offices, and a home!!

Peter Dutton denies prior knowledge of AFP raids on ABC and News Corp, Guardian, Sarah Martin and Kate Lyons 5 Jun 2019  

Following two consecutive days of raids on journalists who had reported on defence matters, Dutton sought to distance himself from the police investigations, saying they were independent from government./////https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/05/peter-dutton-denies-prior-knowledge-of-afp-raids-on-abc-and-news-corp?CMP=soc_567&fbclid=IwA

June 8, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia heads for authoritarian rule, as Federal Police under government control, threatens press freedom

The AFP media raids aim to suppress the truth. Without it we head into the darkness of oppression   https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/05/the-afp-media-raids-aim-to-suppress-the-truth-without-it-we-head-into-the-darkness-of-oppression

According to the Australian Federal Police Association’s president, Angela Smith, there was a widely shared feeling across the AFP that the body had “lost autonomy”. “It’s an embarrassing situation,” Smith was quoted as saying. “We look the least independent police force in Australia.”

In the wake of the AFP’s raids on a leading News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst on Tuesday and the ABC on Wednesday, the position of the AFP has gone from embarrassing to deeply disturbing.

Even Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the cheerleaders of the re-election of the Morrison government, seemed in no doubt as to the political purpose of the raid on Smethurst two weeks after a federal election. It was, News Corp said in an official statement, a “dangerous act of intimidation”.

Implicit in News Corp’s statement is that this is not an act of policing, but an act of politics.

What are we to make of two raids in two days as anything other than a symptom of deeply disturbing developments at the heart of our democracy?Smethurst’s story was over a year old. It was about a plan to allow the National Signals Directorate, for the first time, to directly spy on Australians by “hacking into critical infrastructure”.

In a statement the AFP attempted to justify its raid on Smethurst by arguing the disclosure of “these specific documents undermines Australia’s national security”. But how can our knowing about a possible major change to our freedoms as citizens in any way threaten our national security? The AFP doesn’t tell us because there is no argument they can make, only an unfounded assertion that they can repeat, mantra-like.

If mass surveillance is brought in, how will we know about it? Is national security best served by the inevitable abuses of such a scheme about which we are never told and which would go unpunished? Would national security be enhanced or weakened were Mr Dutton to use such powers for political advantage or to enable political persecution without our knowledge?

And if we cannot know the truth of such fundamental matters, what security as a democracy do we have?

If one raid was “a dangerous act of intimidation” what are we to make of two raids in two days – the second of our national broadcaster – as anything other than a symptom of deeply disturbing developments at the heart of our democracy?

The story in this case was not one but two years old, a major exposé of how Australian special forces soldiers had killed unarmed men and children in Afghanistan. On what possible grounds is it a good thing to not know atrocities have been committed by our nation?

How is our national security threatened by revealing crimes done in our name? Surely we are best served as a nation by a military that we can be confident acts within certain boundaries that are deemed acceptable in war and does not go beyond them?

In all this we cannot pretend to be surprised. The repression and culture of lying, deceit and evasion of public accountability that cloaked previous Liberal governments’ refugees policy is now coming home to haunt us all.

It was after all under Scott Morrison’s stewardship of the immigration portfolio that the notorious section 42 of the Border Force Act was enacted, allowing for the jailing for two years of any doctors or social workers who bore public witness to children beaten or sexually abused, to acts of rape or cruelty. The new crime was not crime, but the reporting of state-sanctioned violence on the innocent.

National security was invoked then to justify the enforcement of a national silence over what were no more or less than crimes.

And so it is again.

The consecutive timing of these acts represents not just a moment when a government crackdown on journalism began. The method may be to intimidate any whistleblower or journalist who would wish to reveal crimes committed by our government or in the name of our government.

But the aim is to suppress the truth.

And without the light of truth shining on what happens in public life we head into the darkness of oppression.

The Morrison government will soon seek to assume the high moral ground by diverting public discussion to the need for religious freedoms. But until I see Hillsong being raided by Dutton’s stooges, with the feds occupying their offices, accessing all their phone and computer records, I am not buying any of it.

This is a new government uninhibited, and it would now seem, unhinged. It does seem extraordinary that two cases, each of long standing, would immediately after an election, suddenly be activated to this level of public attention without ministerial knowledge. And yet, we have Dutton’s word it is not so. And were a news organisation subsequently to report, based on government documents, that the truth is otherwise, who knows who might come knocking on their door in the interest of national security?

Under his home affairs super ministry, Peter Dutton has more overt and covert power than any minister in our history. And this week officers of his ministry have been willing to use their powers recklessly against those practices that make us a democracy.

After the raids of the last two days, Australians would be justified in feeling fearful about their future. The politicians who might speak for us have long ceased to do so. And the journalists who still can, now risk everything if they publish political secrets that may be in our interests to know but are in our political masters’ to keep hidden.

Tweeting live from the ABC boardroom in which he was sitting with the AFP officers as they were going through the ABC’s files, John Lyons, the ABC’s executive news editor, wrote: “I have to say, sitting here watching police using a media organisation’s computers to track everything to do with a legitimate story I can’t help but think: this is a bad, sad and dangerous day for a country where we have for so long valued – and taken for granted – a free press.”

The Morrison government could not have signalled its turn to the new authoritarianism that is poisoning so many other democracies with any clearer message. Get ready for the future, because it may already be here.

June 5, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Extraordinary Federal Police action! Raiding ABC offices and home of a News Corps editor

Mr Dutton’s office yesterday referred all queries to the AFP and did not responded to a list of questions from news.com.au from early this morning.

“Minister Dutton must explain what he knew about these two raids … freedom of the press is an essential component of our democracy.”

June 5, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Corruption in the Australian uranium industry

Radioactive Corruption Video 1

Gal Vanise, March 18, 2018 ·    PREPARE TO BE ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED ………………….Pilot Plant near Roxby 1996 . This was an elaborate Government and corporate cover up under the Lib Government of the day. If you think the mining companies are doing ALL THE RIGHT THINGS…They are not. You only need to ask anyone who works in a mine how things don’t get reported..Out of sight out of mind.

This site was later ‘repatriated’ but no one can say where the contaminated waste was taken to other than ALLEGEDLY by the truckloads carried on trucks from Roxby Downs to Port Adelaide ….through townships and urban residential areas.. I fully expect I will get in trouble for this even though I haven’t committed any free speech crimes. SHARE TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE.. NOW I ASK YOU THIS!.. WILL THIS NEW LIB GOV DO THE RIGHT THING IN REGARD TO THE PROPOSED RADIOACTIVE WASTE DUMP IRREGARDLESS OF WHERE IN SA THEY PLACE IT?.. NOT IF THESE VIDEOS ARE ANY INDICATION. THIS IS DYNAMITE… AND I WILL NEED A BLOODY GOOD LAWYER ONCE ITS OUT.

Radioactive Corruption Vid 2

Gal Vanise type in Radioactive Corruption on youtube bruz. It comes in 2 parts. otherwise here ya go… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpoNZQqXvb8https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV101C2aDoQ&t=36s .
  • Peter Jack I worked at Roxby Downs in 1986. I got to go underground. Back then there was about 60 kilometres of roads down there. As we drove around we were shown these massive caverns some were filled with water possibly direct access to the great artesian basin and others with floor to ceiling blue plastic barrels full of yellow cake. 

    I assume they were all transported through residential areas.

     

  • Brett Burnard Stokes These unsealed radioactive sources are highly dangerous and illegal. The dust is the big issue, along with radon gas which is heavy and collects in cellars etc,   What are the longer term health impacts, you might ask.  Radon and uranium dust can cause lung cancer and other issues.
    These and other radioactive poisons cause genetic damage and more. 
  • Trevor Vivian Outta sight, outta mind is the MO of all mining the world over and in Australia the state & Federal govt’s refuse to support whistleblowers. At Mt Todd (NT) photo evidence of unbunded drill pads with waste polluting local creeks caused A Senate review(early 90’s) which shut down this disasterous destruction of Jaywon Sacred sites. The hostility from Mine managers toward bird survey whistleblowers meant never working in Australian mining ever. To me it is a badge of honour to reveal these lying thieving Global Corporate miners outta sight, outta mind operations. 
  • Gal Vanise HERE IS A QUOTE FOR THE DISBELIEVERS.. I WONT REVEAL THE WHO’s OR IDENTIFY THE PARKERS IN THE SIN BIN. I GAVE MY WORD…………………………”I was XXXXXXXXXXXX I know where it is. 198X. I was told to never tell anyone. It’s worried me ever since We dumped the unprocessed concentrate into the main tailings dam. It’s was blowing all over the place as the nylon bags had broken. Took two nights. Myself xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxboss who oversaw the job.
    A couple of days later one of those 7:30 type shows questioned the ……….. mining on tv. He denied any waste dumped.
    xxxxxxxxxx only had about xxxxxxx working for xxxxxxxxx. But after we did that job he got all the contracts.
    Really shonky. Ive never heard what happened toxxxxxxxxxxxxx but one of the older xxxxxxxxx mining blokes had to take samples from the bags.
    Mr.xxxxxxxx went off at him because his radiation tag came back high.
    He accused him of putting it in the concentrate. I never wore mine. xxxx was also a lazy buggar.
    At the same time they had a ball mill break down.
    It was going to take forever to screen the steel balls from the mill. xxxxxxxx got us to dump this as well.
    We pushed the whole lot into the water and by day light it was covered.
    We then went back and covered the pilot plant with fresh crusher dust.

    and finished just before the inspector arrived.” MY ONLY HINT TO THIS IS… WHO WAS A PROMINENT COMPANY THEN AND ISNT ANYMORE? THANK YOU ELEMENTARY FOR YOUR STORY… I HOPE YOU CAN BREATHE NOW YOU GOT IT    https://www.facebook.com/danlee67/posts/587530574936680

May 23, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference, safety, secrets and lies, uranium | Leave a comment

Why is UK govt covering up the records on nuclear bomb tests in Australia in the 1950s?

May 18, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies, wastes, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Resources Minister Matt Canavan has failed to comply with an order to process information about the nuclear waste dump plan

Susan Craig
Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

• Sally Whyte Federal Politics
Resources Minister Matt Canavan has failed to comply with an order to process a freedom of information request by the Information Commissioner, with concerns the chance for scrutiny will be lost after Saturday’s election.
Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick first requested access to parts of the minister’s diary at the end of 2017, seeking information about who the minister met with regarding the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Kimba and Hawker in South Australia.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan may avoid scrutiny if he loses his job on Saturday. The two towns are proposed locations for a nuclear waste storage site, and Senator Patrick said he wanted to know who was being consulted over the plans.
The request has been bogged down in bureaucracy for 18 months, culminating in an order on March 25 by Information Commissioner Angelene Falk to process the request within 30 days.
Senator Patrick has heard nothing from the minister’s office, despite repeated attempts by the Information Commission to contact the office. He is concerned the minister could dodge scrutiny if the Coalition loses the election and Senator Canavan is no longer minister.
Under a precedent set by the former information commissioner in 2013, if documents are requested from one minister, and then the minister changes, the documents are considered no longer subject to Freedom of Information laws because they are not held by a current minister.
“If Minister Canavan holds out until Saturday and the current polling correct, it is likely that he will have successfully avoided
disclosure, but in a manner contrary to law and in contravention of the Prime Minister’s Statement of Ministerial Standards,” Senator Patrick said.
Senator Patrick also believes the failure to obey the information commissioner’s order shows disregard for the law.
“The minister disobeying the lawful direction of the Information Commissioner shows a complete lack of respect for the Information Commissioner and my constituents,” Senator Patrick said.
“This sort of conduct shows the Coalition’s complete disregard for openness and transparency and to the FOI regime.”
A spokesman for the minister said Minister Canavan’s office received a large volume of requests under the FOI scheme.
“All applications are processed with adherence to the law, and
mindful of the other workload that must also be completed at the same time as processing FOI requests,” he said.
“This FOI request is being completed and all transparency
requirements will be met.”
Gaining access to ministerial diaries has been a fraught legal frontier for transparency advocates, with former attorney general George Brandis fighting a three-year legal battle to keep his diaries under wraps. The 34 pages of printouts from his Outlook calendar were released after he was threatened with contempt of court proceedings

May 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

A Maralinga nuclear veteran’s grim story

Maralinga nuclear bomb test survivor reveals truth of what happened in the SA desert  https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/maralinga-nuclear-bomb-test-survivor-reveals-truth-of-what-happened-in-the-sa-desert/news-story/697b17f6d3427a78aa0262b09727c169, 24 Apr 19

The nuclear bomb tests, under British Government control, at Maralinga in far west South Australia in the 1950s were conducted at the highest level of secrecy. But they had thousands of witnesses. Most were Australian servicemen, innocently used as guinea pigs and exposed to deadly radiation. Craig Cook talks to a survivor, one of the last of a group of men who built the Maralinga camp as part of 23 Construction Squadron and watched in awe as the bombs were exploded, little knowing they were risking their lives and the futures of their children.

Tony Spruzen knew the drill at the top secret Maralinga facility in the South Australian desert in the spring of 1956.

Just like hundreds of others at the nuclear site at 11-mile camp during Operation Buffalo, he was told to turn his back and cover his eyes to protect himself from the gigantic glare of the exploding atomic bomb.

What they didn’t tell the Australian Army sapper was, at the moment of the flash of detonation, he would see the bones of his hand through his tightly shut eyelids.

“It was like a massive x-ray,” Tony, 83, from Glengowrie says. ‘Unlike anything I’d ever known before.”

A week after One Tree, on October 6, 1956, Spruzen witnessed the detonation of Buffalo 2, named Marcoo.

The bomb was only a tenth the size of One Tree but this time was detonated directly above and just under the ground.

“The bomb was in an amphitheatre of hills and we were far closer to that one, maybe only 200 yards away,” he remembers.

“We were close enough to see the trenches with dummy soldiers in them holding rifles and fake aeroplanes and tanks used to test the blast effect.

“And we could see the scientists walking around in their white suits checking out the site before and afterwards but we were just in khaki shorts and short sleeved shorts. Even the dignitaries had no protection.”

Every hour, from five hours out, an elaborate PA system across the complex announced the timing of the bomb detonation.

In the final 30 seconds, and with a rising and excited inclination, the voice on the PA dramatically counted….ten, nine, eight…down to zero.

When Marcoo exploded at 7am it only took a few seconds for a heavy shower of dust to descend on the witnesses.

“We had this large piece of litmus paper attached to our shirts,” Spruzen recalls

Spruzen, originally from Victoria and a carpenter by trade, enlisted in the Army at just 16.

Four year later he was at Maralinga as part of a detachment of 23 Construction Squadron, an acclaimed unit of the Royal Australian Engineers and exclusively raised in South Australia.

Around 40 young men were selected from the unit to build a desert tent camp with cook houses and latrines for the Commonwealth military ‘high-ups’ who were having their first look at the impact of the devastating nuclear weapon.

Around 200km from the ocean, the tent city gained the facetious name of the ‘Sea View Holiday Camp’.

“It was an adventure…we were all excited,” he recalls.

“A lot of young single guys together and we had some fun.”

The lads knew it was serious too as this was a hush-hush operation. They weren’t even allowed to take a camera along for snapshots so Spruzen has no personal photos from Maralinga.

“Then we all turned around to see this mushroom cloud climbing into the sky. The next thing was the blast. The boom was deafening…and then the wind came about thirty seconds after that blowing dust and soil and debris all over us.”

But he does have a terrible reminder of his three months spent in far western South Australia.

“Of the 40 men who went up with me I only know of three of us still around,” he says. “The rest have all died – many from cancers.”

The first Maralinga bomb, Buffalo 1, with the nickname One Tree, was detonated after being dropped from a 31m high tower.

At 15 kiloton it was the same size as Little Boy, the bomb dropped by the US air force that demolished the Japanese city of Hiroshima in August 1945, killing more than 100,000 instantly and tens of thousands slowly in the aftermath from burns and radiation poisoning.

“They said, keep an eye on that and if it changes to pink come and see us. Well it turned pink for every one of us.

“Had I have known what I know now I wouldn’t have been so close.”

Transferred to Sydney on a training course, Spruzen missed the final two detonations at Maralinga that year: on October 11, 1956, Buffalo 3 (Kite) was released by a Royal Air Force Vickers Valiant bomber, the first drop of a British nuclear weapon from an aircraft; and then on October 22, and again dropped from the 31m tower, (Buffalo 4) Breakaway exploded.

There were a total of seven nuclear desert tests at Maralinga performed during Operations Buffalo and Antler.

The 1985 McClelland Royal Commission heavily criticised the detonations, declaring the weather conditions were inappropriate and led to the widespread scattering of radioactive material.

The radioactive cloud from Buffalo 1 reached more than 11,000m into the air and with a northerly wind blowing radioactivity was detected across Adelaide.

Radioactive dust clouds from other bombs were detected in Northern Territory, Queensland and across New South Wales, as far away as Sydney, 2500km from Maralinga.

Around 12,000 Australian servicemen served at British nuclear test sites in the southern hemisphere between 1952 and 1963.

In recent years, the British Government’s claim that they never used humans “for guinea pig-type experiments” in nuclear weapons trials in Australia has been revealed to be a lie.

Tony Spruzen has struggled to come to terms with being placed in danger by his own government who had full knowledge of the consequences of exposure to radiation.

“Once we all found out later what we’d been exposed to at Maralinga it makes you very angry,” he says.

“We believed them when we were told we would be safe — but we haven’t been.”

Spruzen met his wife Shirley, the daughter of an army veteran, in Adelaide where they settled after marriage in June 1960. He left the army seven months later to work in civil construction. He thought his Maralinga days were well behind him but soon after they came to haunt him.

In the first four years of marriage, the couple agonisingly suffered six miscarriages, including twins.

Alarm bells started ringing when he was sent a survey from Veterans Affairs asking about his general health and, specifically his history of cancers.

“It turned out those involved in the atomic tests had a 30 per cent higher chance than getting cancers than the general public,” he says.

“Most of those got them within the first five years and a majority of those were dead before a decade had passed.”

Spruzen, who eventually had three children with Shirley, didn’t get cancer at that time, although he has since had several melanomas removed.

But when his son was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at the age of 41, he wondered about the possibility of faulty genes, damaged by exposure to radiation, as has been documented in Japanese survivors of the atomic bombs, jumping a generation.

“My son was told by the QEH (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) there was nothing could be done for him but we went up to Queensland and after a bone marrow transfer from his sister he survived,” he adds.

“A decade on he’s working as strong as he has but I don’t think his condition was a coincidence given my history.

“There’s been nothing (compensation) for those of us who were there although they gave us a white card for our cancers and now we have a (full health) gold card.”

Ken Daly, President Royal Australian Engineers Association says it is the least the men, who literally put their bodies on the line, deserve.

“You get these young men, aged around 25-30, with a history of exposure to radiation, coming down with cancers in those numbers and you just know what has caused it,” he says.

“Many died within a few years of being exposed to the fallout and many passed on generational health problems and birth defects to their children.”

Mr Daly, who was based at Warradale Barracks for 15 years, where 23 Construction was based until being disbanded in the early 1960s, hadn’t heard of the Squadron until around five years ago.

Since then he has been central to the group gaining due recognition.

In its earliest days the Squadron, with a strength of eight officers and 160 in other ranks, built the El Alamein Army Reserve camp, part of which later became the Baxter Detention Centre, outside of Port Augusta.

It also assisted the South Australian community by providing aid during bush fires, the grasshopper plague of 1955, and significant infrastructure construction.

During the record flood of 1956, while those squad members were at Maralinga, the rest of 23 Construction were out sandbagging River Murray towns and then cleaning up after the water receded.

In 2011, the Royal Australian Engineers constructed a memorial at Warradale to all who have served in its ranks.

This year a bronzed engineer’s slouch hat, of actual size, by Western Australian sculptor and former army engineer Ron Gomboc will be incorporated into the memorial.

“The hat will be mounted on the memorial in such a way it will look like it’s suspended in mid-air,” Daly adds.

“It acknowledges the ultimate sacrifice of the more than 1250 engineers who died in World War I and the remarkable service and sacrifice of 23 Construction Squadron that has never been recognised before.”

The slouch hat, costing $6,000 and one of only six to have been cast, will be unveiled during a service at Warradale Barracks at midday on Sunday April 28.

Contact Ken Daly at dailydouble@bigpond.com for further details.

Subscriber only https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/maralinga-nuclear-bomb-test-survivor-reveals-truth-of-what-happened-in-the-sa-desert/news-story/697b17f6d3427a78aa0262b09727c169

April 25, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, personal stories, reference, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment