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Nuclear Weapons: Testing

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what categories of records of human exposure to radiation during (a) British nuclear warhead tests and (b) plutonium dispersal tests at Maralinga are held by the Health Protection Agency. (160506)

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) hold an epidemiological database which is used for the ongoing follow-up study of the UK participants in the UK Atmospheric nuclear weapons tests and experimental programmes at Maralinga, conducted between 1952 and 1964.

The HPA epidemiological database includes details of individuals recorded as having been issued with film badges as well as recorded details of any external doses that had been incurred above the threshold of detection.

In addition to the information on the database, HPA has carried out post mortem radiochemical analyses on tissues from four nuclear weapons tests participants, at the request of either a coroner or relatives of the individual. The results of these analyses have been passed to the relevant individuals and are not in the public domain and are not part of the epidemiological database.