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Nuclear Test Veterans

Volume 621: debated on Tuesday 30 January 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will make available to British nuclear test veterans the same screening facilities that are being provided for other ex-servicemen. [HL374]

Work co-ordinated by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), together with other published studies, indicates that even the most powerful radiobiological techniques for estimating historic radiation exposure in individuals are of doubtful use in the case of nuclear test veterans.

It must also be remembered that two independent epidemiological studies into the health of British nuclear test veterans, funded by the Ministry of Defence, concluded that participation in the UK's atmospheric nuclear test programme has had no detectable effect on participants' expectation of life or on their risk of developing cancer or other fatal diseases. We are also funding research into the incidence of Multiple Myeloma and other cancers among nuclear test veterans, the results of which should be available later this year. I therefore do not believe that there is a case in making screening facilities available to them.