LOCAL MP Mike Weir has joined a Parliamentary group seeking justice for British Nuclear Test Veterans.
The group represents many veterans who worked with or alongside atomic material during the original atomic tests beginning in the 1950s.
Between 1952 and 1967 over 20,000 servicemen participated in the British testing programme. Many of them were not told the details of what was happening or given adequate protective clothing, leading many to believe that they have developed cancer and other health problems in later life asa result.
Commenting, Mr Weir said: “The 2011 Nuclear Test Veterans’ Health Audit shows that 75 per cent of surviving veterans were either certain or thought it possible that the tests had damaged their health. Ultimately 84 per cent believe that their main health condition was caused by radiation.
“The British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association seeks to establish a Benevolent Fund to support atomic veterans and their descendents who have also suffered medical setbacks which can be attributed to their fathers’ exposure to radiation during these tests.
“Many other nations have generous schemes to compensate those of their servicemen who suffered because of these tests but the UK government has long resisted such a move, leaving it to each veteran to try and prove conclusively that their health condition was caused by the tests.
“It is time that the UK government accepted that they need to recognise the risks and dangers that these men faced and the consequences of the tests. The Benevolent Fund is a sensible way forward to right this long running wrong.”