Alongside my right hon. Friend the Defence Secretary, I am pleased to provide details on the eligibility criteria for the commemorative Nuclear Test Medal to the House today. This follows the announcement by the Prime Minister on 21 November 2022 regarding the introduction of the medal.
This important step moves us closer to recognising the work of those civilians and veterans who played a critical role in establishing the UK’s nuclear deterrent and contributing to our enduring international security.
The medal will be awarded to eligible UK service and civilian personnel, and individuals from Commonwealth nations, who served at the locations where the UK atmospheric nuclear tests were conducted, including the preparatory and clear-up phases, between 1952 and 1967 inclusive. The qualifying period for the medal is defined as “service of any length”.
The full eligibility criteria will be published today on gov.uk together with information on how veterans, civilians and their next of kin can apply.
With regard to the design of the medal, the Royal Mint Advisory Committee has commissioned designs and will present its recommendations in April 2023. Following approval of the design by His Majesty The King, we expect the first medals to be available for award by late summer 2023. Priority will be given to those veterans and civilians applying for their own medal.
I have requested that a copy of the eligibility criteria for the medal be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.