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Christmas Island Tests: Atmospheric Effects

Volume 572: debated on Tuesday 21 May 1996

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will publish all evidence relating to the effects of radiation resulting from nuclear tests on Christmas Island and whether they are satisfied that all proper procedures to identify those effects have been carried out.

Since UK atmospheric tests at the Christmas Island range were completed in 1958, there have been a number of studies by distinguished scientific bodies, including the University of Washington Radiation Laboratory and the New Zealand National Radiation Laboratory, none of which has established any evidence of radioactive contamination or hazards to the test participants or the local population.Similar studies were also carried out by the National Radiological Protection Board in 1988 and 1993. These also showed conclusively that the tests had had no detectable effect on the participants' life expectancy: nor on their chances of developing cancer or other fatal diseases. The results of these studies are contained in reports published by HMSO. We do not believe there are grounds for any further studies.