Australian Sasr Radioactive Dating: anchorrestaurantsupply.com

Australian Sasr Radioactive Dating

australian sasr radioactive dating

Puckeridge QC with Mr R. Wilkins Instructed By: Maurice May and Co Counsel for the Respondent: Mccarthy QC with Mr P. Jones Instructed By: The application be dismissed. Costs be reserved. Settlement and entry of orders is dealt with in Order 36 of the Federal Court Rules. Cubillo was a Private in the Australian Army. He was a sapper in the Royal Australian Engineers and performed various duties in relation to the construction and dismantling of test sites and equipment used in the series of atomic explosion tests conducted in "the Antler series".

He claims that as a result of the negligence of the Commonwealth, as his employer, he was wrongfully exposed to ionising radiation, which exposure caused him to suffer from renal cell carcinoma some 20 years later. The Commonwealth has denied liability in every respect.

It has denied the acts and omissions relied upon as constituting negligence. It has also denied that the specific cancer suffered by Cubillo was caused or contributed to by any activity engaged in by the applicant during his employment at Maralinga.

The evidence given in the case has covered many fields of scientific expertise. Expert witnesses, some of international renown, have provided scientific opinion from the fields of health physics, radiobiology, epidemiology, and oncology. The evidence has been complex and detailed with some significant differences of opinion. The evidence of lay witnesses has suffered from the difficulty of recalling events occurring nearly 40 years ago. Before entering upon a consideration of the evidence, it is convenient, by way of background, to set out certain matters as to which there appears to be no contest and to make findings in certain contested areas.

The Antler series of tests was part of the overall program of testing of atomic weapons by the British Government on the Australian mainland and adjacent islands. The Australian Government had agreed to cooperate with the British Government in the conduct of these tests which involved the detonation of nuclear weapons and devices associated with them. Pursuant to that agreement personnel of the Australian armed forces took part, at various sites and various levels, in the preparation for and conduct of the tests and the cleaning up operations which followed.

It appears that in the Maralinga area had been identified as an appropriate site for the conducting of a number of these tests. The Maralinga proving ground consisted of a large area of desert country in South Australia.

It had been selected to minimise any difficulties or danger which might be occasioned by the tests to centres of population. A very considerable infrastructure was established. A village, known as the Maralinga Village, was built in proximity to a railway stop on the trans-Australia railway, known as Watson. The village housed a large number of personnel involved in the tests and the logistics associated with them.

There is no need to describe it. It was carefully planned to deal with the scientific necessities for the experiments and to provide for the comfort and convenience of personnel, scientific and non-scientific, military and non-military, involved in the project.

Some 8 miles to the north of Maralinga Village a forward base, known as "Roadside" was established. This was in the nature of a "tent city" which housed and provided amenities for personnel working on the construction of the test sites and in the assembly of the scientific apparatus required for the tests, including the assembling and positioning of the weapons themselves. The applicant and other personnel of the Royal Australian Engineers lived in this area during the test operations. The desert area to the north of Roadside was referred to as "the forward area".

It was in designated parts of this area that the nuclear tests were carried out at specially prepared sites. Access to this area was controlled by security officers stationed at Roadside. There was an established sealed road from Maralinga Village to Roadside and through Roadside to the various parts of the forward area where work was being done. Permission was required to proceed beyond Roadside. Vehicular access was controlled by a boom gate operated by a "peace officer", a member of the Australian Federal Police.

In the forward area there were elaborate security arrangements. These were put in place not only to ensure the secrecy of the tests, but also as a means of ensuring compliance with regulations imposed for the safety of personnel. To this end, observation towers were erected in the forward area to enable security officers to observe all working parties in the forward area and to determine whether they were keeping outside areas where there could be dangerous levels of radioactivity.

In association with these observation towers there were roving patrols in Land Rover vehicles which could proceed quickly to any location should a problem arise. There was radio contact between these patrol vehicles and the observation towers. It was understood that after each nuclear explosion there would be areas of danger associated with radioactive fallout.

It was also understood that it would be necessary for personnel to perform work of various kinds in areas affected by radioactivity in varying degrees. Accordingly, it was necessary to take steps to prevent harm to such personnel. Procedures were put in place which were implemented by scientific personnel known as the "health physics group".

This group was responsible for establishing the boundaries of zones affected by radioactive fallout immediately after each nuclear explosion, marking those boundaries, and thereafter monitoring them by taking readings with appropriate scientific instruments. It appears that the areas of radioactivity receded with the passing of time so that the boundaries would contract in the direction of the point of the explosion, which was known as "ground zero".

It was the responsibility of the health physics group to ensure that all personnel, including their own, who entered into radioactive areas were appropriately clad in protective clothing. The extent of this clothing depended upon the classification of the area as either "yellow", "red" or "blue". Yellow, red and blue areas were defined in the "Radiological Safety Regulations Maralinga" "the Regulations" which were agreed upon by the United Kingdom and Australian authorities concerned and promulgated in They made detailed provision for maximum permissible levels of radiation exposure for different types of radiation and for the use of protective procedures and equipment.

The colour-designated areas referred to above were defined in the Regulations as follows: No special radiological precautions will be necessary. There will be three categories: No special clothing. Protective clothing will be worn in accordance with Health Physics recommendations for the particular area. Fully protective clothing must be worn. Health Physics representatives will review the classification periodically.

The above is general for all RED areas but in certain special cases additional clothing will be specified by Health Physics representatives.

The full protective clothing to be worn in yellow areas consisted of a garment which covered the entire body including the head. Additionally, boots and gloves were worn to protect the hands and lower limbs and a respirator was provided to prevent the inhalation of any airborne radioactive contaminants. It is not suggested that this clothing, if worn, was inadequate to protect against radioactive contaminants relevant to this case.

After a nuclear explosion, only a portion of the forward area would be contaminated. It was possible to go north from Roadside for some miles in the direction of the relevant ground zero before any danger of radioactive contamination could occur.

Before anyone proceeding into those areas actually reached them it was necessary to be processed through a health physics "caravan". This was a highly designed installation which could be moved from place to place in the forward area. It is unnecessary to describe it in detail.

It is not contested that it was adequately designed for the purpose of monitoring and providing for the radiation safety of personnel going through it and beyond into contaminated areas. Personnel going into those areas would leave the vehicles which they had used to come to the caravan in an adjacent uncontaminated area.

They would then pass through the stages of the caravan where they would be issued with protective clothing appropriate to the task they were to perform and also with the film badge and, if necessary, the dosimeter referred to in the Regulations cited above. The film badge was a device which recorded the level of radiation to which its wearer was exposed. This level was ascertained subsequently by the development of the film contained within it.

This was done in a laboratory in the Maralinga Village. Records were kept of the radiation doses received by the individual wearer. The dosimeter device enabled an instantaneous reading of the level of radiation to which its wearer was exposed. Although some evidence has been given in the case as to occasional defects in the operation of these devices, I am satisfied that, in general, they worked satisfactorily. There is no suggestion in the case that, in themselves, they were other than appropriate measuring devices for the purposes for which they were designed.

Upon return from radioactive areas, the personnel re-entered the health physics caravan. Their clothing was monitored for any adhering contaminants using a measuring instrument called a "geiger counter".

Their clothing was then removed and their bodies similarly monitored. If any contamination was present, the person affected was required to wash until cleared of any contamination. He then resumed his own clothing, returned to the vehicle which had been left in the carpark and proceeded back to Roadside. Again, it is not suggested in this case that the procedures in relation to monitoring and decontamination in the health physics caravans were inadequate.

There was evidence tendered on behalf of the applicant that there were defects in relation to the processing of film in the film badges with the result that readings were not obtained or were defective. Countervailing evidence has been given, which I accept. I am satisfied that the health physics procedures were appropriate for the task of monitoring the radiological safety of personnel and that they were generally applied in a diligent manner.

There is a question, however, as to whether, prior to the Antler trials, the ordinary health physics procedures could not be implemented because of circumstances to which I shall refer later. In addition to the sealed roads referred to above, there were also unsealed roads leading into portions of the forward area. These roads were not for general use but were restricted to vehicles used by the health physics group. These vehicles could, from time to time, be contaminated by radioactive materials.

They were painted yellow for the purpose of distinguishing them from other vehicles used by personnel in the area. They were used only on these roads which were given the name "yellow" roads. It is not suggested that the segregation of these vehicles and these roads was, in any way, ineffective in preventing personnel such as Cubillo from coming into contact with contaminated vehicles or road surfaces.

The evidence establishes to my satisfaction that a system of warning signs was put in place. These signs were placed in appropriate positions on roads in the forward area which were used by personnel working in the area.

After leaving Roadside and heading north, vehicles came to a sign at the side of the road shortly to the south of a site known as "Iwara".

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The work being performed fell into three groups. First, it was alleged that exposure occurred whilst he was working as a sapper in areas described as "laneways". These areas were in the vicinity of the ground zero sites for the Antler series. They were being constructed for the siting of instruments and associated cabling to be used in the recording of data to be obtained from the test firings. The work consisted of the digging of trenches which, in general, radiated out from the ground zeros.

This was physically hard and dirty work, carrying risk of inhalation or ingestion. In conjunction with this work, fencing was erected consisting of the forcible placing of "star-pickets" into previously drilled holes. Secondly, exposure was alleged in relation to work done by Cubillo in relation to either the dismantling of an observation tower or the retrieval of the dismantled parts from a contaminated area.

Thirdly, it was claimed that inhalation or ingestion occurred whilst Cubillo was engaged in a sweeping operation conducted at the Taranaki site after it had been contaminated by fallout from the Biak explosion. It was asserted that ingestion of plutonium would have occurred when, in the hot and dusty conditions that prevailed, Cubillo removed his respirator in order to wipe perspiration from his brow and face, the wiping operation being performed by his hand when clothed in a glove, the surface of which had become contaminated by radioactive material.

It is also alleged that inhalation of radionuclides would have occurred in those circumstances. Fourthly, reliance was placed upon the assertion that Cubillo, along with other sappers, had cooked and eaten meals whilst working in contaminated areas.

The food consisted of meat cooked on shovels over open fires lit by the men. The shovels were used in contaminated areas and were likely to have been contaminated by sand containing plutonium These claimed exposures were alleged to be in breach of the Commonwealth's duty of care as an employer. The ultimate statement of the acts and omissions relied upon in this regard were as follows: Failure to ensure that all personnel on the range were aware of areas where there could be a risk to them from alpha emitters when eating.

Failure to warn the Applicant of 'red areas' and of the risk to him from alpha-emitters when eating. The vicarious liability of the Respondent, Hutton, in failing to supervise the activities of personnel under his direction and control to see that work was not done in areas where there was a risk from ingestion or inhalation. Failure to supervise the Applicant and to ensure that all personnel involved in the Taranaki sweep-up wore respirators during such operation.

Failure to warn personnel involved in the Taranaki sweep-up, including the Applicant, of the danger of removing respirators in the course of such operation. Failure to ensure that proper control procedures wearing respirators; and advice as to danger areas were maintained when personnel including the Applicant were carrying out activities which involved a risk by way of inhalation or ingestion of radio-active materials, specifically plutonium.

The reference to "the Respondent, Hutton" he was not in fact a respondent to the application , was a reference to the Lance Corporal, referred to for the most part in the evidence as "Lance Corporal Woodleigh". He was in charge of one of the sapper work parties engaged in work in the laneways. He gave evidence to which I shall refer later. I shall refer to these submissions later.

It is plain that, however the applicant's case is put, he must establish on the balance of probabilities, that he was, during his work at Maralinga, exposed to the risk of inhaling or ingesting plutonium in an amount sufficient to constitute a danger to his health. This in turn necessarily leads to the inquiry whether the applicant has established to the same standard that he was required to work in areas where that risk existed.

As this is a fundamental question in the case, it is convenient to deal with it at the outset. It will be remembered that the Regulations spoke of active areas being designated as "yellow" where there was a serious risk of inhalation or ingestion requiring full protective clothing, and "red" where there was slight risk of inhalation or ingestion requiring protective clothing to be worn only on the recommendation of health physics personnel.

The question must, therefore, be asked whether the evidence establishes that Cubillo was required to work in areas that could properly have been designated as either yellow or red. The sweeping-up operations at the Taranaki site merit separate consideration. I shall refer to them later. The applicant's evidence relating to work in other allegedly active areas consists of certain statements in the health physics reports of the inter-trial period and associated correspondence, the testimony of Cubillo and lay witnesses called on his behalf, being fellow sappers, and the evidence of Mr Robotham, a health physicist.

Also, some evidence was given by Dr Kefford to which I shall refer later. Mr Davy, a health physicist gave evidence on behalf of the respondent. Further evidence was given for the respondent by Mr Flannery, the security officer at the range, and Major McDougall, who had been in charge of health physics during the Antler series.

Some film badge and dosimeter records were relied upon. Also the evidence of Mr Moroney, a physicist, given in other proceedings, together with maps prepared by him, was admitted in these proceedings, Mr Moroney having recently died.

It is impossible to establish from the evidence in the case exactly where Cubillo performed his work in the forward area.

The records indicate that he was one of the sappers involved in the general engineering work required in relation to the sites for the explosions.

However, there are no records in evidence indicating what the daily duties of the sappers were and the areas in which those duties were performed. Film badge and dosimeter records provide some assistance and are referred to in the health physics testimony. There was a suggestion in the evidence that labouring and fencing work in the laneways was conducted not only in the inter-trial period but also between the explosions in the Antler series, however, I am satisfied that this suggestion is not made out on the evidence.

Apart from the sweeping-up operation at Taranaki, I find it impossible to determine on the evidence what work, if any, was done by Cubillo in the forward area let alone any active areas after the commencement of the Antler tests. There is, however, a serious question as to whether he was required to work in yellow or red areas in the inter-trial period after his arrival at Maralinga and before the first explosion at the Tadje site. On behalf of the applicant, heavy reliance is placed upon certain statements in the health physics reports issued by Mr Turner in this period.

It is, therefore, necessary to set out relevant parts of those reports. He speaks of the establishment of a "Yellow Boundary" and the issuing of a "Health Control Map" in the following terms: The tape is staked to empty cable drums at intervals of about 25 yards. It is intended in the near future to extend the yellow tape for 2. This map shows the principal roads and work sites in relation to the yellow area.

I am satisfied that this "Map" is the basic map to which I referred earlier, which should have found its way into the hands of all personnel entering the forward area and have been placed upon the noticeboard at Roadside. It is basically the same map which has been reproduced as Schedule 1 to these reasons.

It is the same as map 2 of Exhibit 4. It is clear that, at least in January , Mr Turner had established a demarcation line indicated by yellow tape and was intending to extend it for a considerable distance. The area to the north of this tape was designated the "yellow control area". The report refers to a fairly elaborate procedure for the issuing of permits to enter this area and for the supervision of the area from a tower manned by peace officers whose duty was to watch vehicles and personnel proceeding towards that area through the forward area.

They were provided, by telephone, with relevant information enabling them to check on the legitimacy of people or vehicles moving in the area. The report also refers to the system of contact with the roving patrol vehicle, to which I have already referred, and the procedures for dealing with unauthorised intruders.

In this regard, I am satisfied by the evidence of Mr Flannery that, although these procedures were in place, it was never necessary to use them. The report also refers to the taking of measurements of radioactive decay of fallout from the Buffalo tests. It was also noted that air sampling had produced an indication "of a slight amount of activity at Gona" in the dust cloud arising from the work of heavy machinery. However, cascade impactor readings indicated that there was "insufficient activity to represent a health hazard".

In the February report Mr Turner indicated that the yellow tape had now been extended 2. It also spoke of the erection at this stage of the warning signs to which I have already referred. The report also speaks of radiation surveys being carried out. No submissions have been made to me based upon this material. It is indicative, however, of the level of supervision being maintained in relation to the presence and extent of radioactivity following the Buffalo series. It may be noted that air sampling by means of cascade impactors had been conducted in the crater areas at the ground zeros of Breakaway and Marcoo.

Calculations were made on the basis of breathing air for 56 hours per week in these areas. It was found that there was no inhalation hazard for normal winds.

The further comment was made that: For the Breakaway region, it would appear that by the end of , most of the loose activity had been blown away". In the March report the following statements appear which are relied upon on behalf of the applicant: Unless concentrated this level cannot be detected by a geiger counter as the counting rate is an extremely small fraction of the natural background. The barriers were replaced in their earlier positions.

This meant that an active area existed below the yellow boundary. Section 3. However, with the hundreds of men required in this area under difficult labour conditions, it would be quite beyond the capabilities of the present Health Control facilities to cope with such an area.

The future sites having already been selected within this potential Red area, there was little that could be done about the matter. The control methods chosen were: Gona A survey on 3 Jan 57, of the Gona area showed that the gamma intensity varied from 8 c. The beta component was about equal to these values.

As the activity was confined to glass beads of about 1mm diameter, and it had been shown that these beads were insoluble in either water or HCL, then it was decided to forego the removal of top soil. By 31st March, Gona was more than half completed and only a few workmen remained on the site. Tadje A survey on 22nd Feb. Despite the insoluble nature of the fall out beads, it was decided that this activity warranted the removal of the top soil over a radius of 55 yards and also from a 60 foot wide access strip.

The area was cleared on March 8th, after which there was no evidence of any remaining surface contamination. A cascade impactor was maintained at Tadje for the rest of the month. By March 31st, the preliminary work was completed and the foundations were laid.

Biak Work at Biak will commence early in April. A survey of the Biak area on March 20th showed that there is no beta activity on the ground and the background is about 2 c. The reference to "D4" is intended to indicate the nuclear test at the Breakaway site. The "glass beads", although being part of the fallout from the previous tests, are not of direct significance in this case. They contained no plutonium and were not a relevant inhalation or ingestion hazard. It clearly appears, however, that as at March , Mr Turner was of the view that the moving of the yellow boundary to the J7 Kite-Nawa line had exposed an active area to its south, which could properly have been described as a red area.

It was not possible to employ the normal health control facilities for the reasons that he sets out. Presumably this would have involved the issue of some form of protective clothing regarded as suitable by health physics personnel.

It may be noted that there is nothing in the case indicating what that would have been. As inhalation and ingestion risk in a red area was said to be slight, it does not seem likely that workers in the area would have been issued with respirators as a matter of course.

It is also to be noted that steps were taken, as set out, to check on inhalation hazards. There is nothing in the report to indicate that any such hazards were detected. There is also a question whether, in later reports commented upon by Mr Davy, Mr Turner in fact changed his earlier view as to this area. I shall consider this when discussing Mr Davy's report. The applicant relies upon this part of Mr Turner's March report as an indication that Cubillo, having arrived on 8 March, was required to work in a red area in circumstances which constituted a risk of inhalation or ingestion of alpha-emitting radionuclides, specifically, in light of the elimination of polonium from the case, the isotope plutonium In the June report Mr Turner speaks of the "rocket lanes" having been completed and the dismantling of Apu and Katu towers being about to commence.

From other evidence it appears that the rocket lanes would have been constructed in the yellow area. They contained cables designed to conduct electric current to ignite rockets which were positioned so that, after firing, they would leave atmospheric trails which would provide a backdrop to the nuclear explosions. It appears that their firing points were north of the Antler ground zeros and consequently in the yellow control area.

It is apparent from this report that personnel working in the rocket lane areas would have done so under health physics supervision with health physics protective clothing. It may be noted that the official records kept of the readings of Cubillo's film badges indicate that he was working in the yellow area for some days in May, June and August. Gamma doses of 0. Reference is also made in this report to the lookout tower having been moved to Tadje with instructions being given to the relevant peace officer "to keep a close watch on movement in the vicinity of the yellow boundary which can be seen clearly from beyond J9 to beyond Biak".

The yellow boundary had itself been adjusted, presumably to take account of the contraction of radioactivity. The July report indicated that the dismantling of the Apu and Katu towers was continuing after which they were to be decontaminated.

There was also reference to the fact that "owing to persistent westerly winds the yellow boundary had to be withdrawn yards from Breakaway towards Tanka". The level of activity at the new boundary was "between and counts per second on a monitor" a form of geiger counter. It may be noted that this report contains a detailed analysis of the fallout from the Breakaway explosion. It may also be noted that the report of the Range Commander, Colonel Durance, to the Chairman of the Atomic Weapons Test Board of Management on the completion of Operation Antler stated inter alia that "all work required to be ready for the beginning of the operation was completed and during the operation the Field Engineer Troop performed 44, man hours in assisting the Scientific Group".

This group included the contingent of Australian Engineers. It lends weight to the finding that I have already made that the construction work in which Cubillo was engaged was completed before the commencement of the test series and that the brushing operation of the Taranaki site was, so far as this case is concerned, the only significant event thereafter.

In addition to the material from the March report set out above, the applicant also relies upon the contents of a letter from J. The letter is dated 1 May The letter reads as follows: Attached to this memorandum was a copy of one to you from the Range Commander, Maralinga. Further, the Range Commander asked: Comments on the interpretation of the regulations referred to are made in the attached memorandum. After discussion between Mr. Cook and Mr. O'Connor of your Department and Mr. Richardson of this laboratory it was decided that Mr.

Turner on the points raised by the Range Commander and on any other matters relevant to Health Physics and Health Control on the Range. Richardson was at Maralinga from the 24th to 26th April.

During this period he had fruitful discussions with the Range Commander and Mr. Turner arranged a tour of the forward area and he and Mr. Richardson inspected the various bomb sites together. There was radio contact between these patrol vehicles and the observation towers. It was understood that after each nuclear explosion there would be areas of danger associated with radioactive fallout.

It was also understood that it would be necessary for personnel to perform work of various kinds in areas affected by radioactivity in varying degrees. Accordingly, it was necessary to take steps to prevent harm to such personnel. Procedures were put in place which were implemented by scientific personnel known as the "health physics group".

This group was responsible for establishing the boundaries of zones affected by radioactive fallout immediately after each nuclear explosion, marking those boundaries, and thereafter monitoring them by taking readings with appropriate scientific instruments.

It appears that the areas of radioactivity receded with the passing of time so that the boundaries would contract in the direction of the point of the explosion, which was known as "ground zero". It was the responsibility of the health physics group to ensure that all personnel, including their own, who entered into radioactive areas were appropriately clad in protective clothing. The extent of this clothing depended upon the classification of the area as either "yellow", "red" or "blue".

Yellow, red and blue areas were defined in the "Radiological Safety Regulations Maralinga" "the Regulations" which were agreed upon by the United Kingdom and Australian authorities concerned and promulgated in They made detailed provision for maximum permissible levels of radiation exposure for different types of radiation and for the use of protective procedures and equipment.

The colour-designated areas referred to above were defined in the Regulations as follows: No special radiological precautions will be necessary. There will be three categories: No special clothing.

Protective clothing will be worn in accordance with Health Physics recommendations for the particular area. Fully protective clothing must be worn. Health Physics representatives will review the classification periodically. The above is general for all RED areas but in certain special cases additional clothing will be specified by Health Physics representatives.

The full protective clothing to be worn in yellow areas consisted of a garment which covered the entire body including the head. Additionally, boots and gloves were worn to protect the hands and lower limbs and a respirator was provided to prevent the inhalation of any airborne radioactive contaminants. It is not suggested that this clothing, if worn, was inadequate to protect against radioactive contaminants relevant to this case. After a nuclear explosion, only a portion of the forward area would be contaminated.

It was possible to go north from Roadside for some miles in the direction of the relevant ground zero before any danger of radioactive contamination could occur.

Before anyone proceeding into those areas actually reached them it was necessary to be processed through a health physics "caravan". This was a highly designed installation which could be moved from place to place in the forward area. It is unnecessary to describe it in detail. It is not contested that it was adequately designed for the purpose of monitoring and providing for the radiation safety of personnel going through it and beyond into contaminated areas.

Personnel going into those areas would leave the vehicles which they had used to come to the caravan in an adjacent uncontaminated area. They would then pass through the stages of the caravan where they would be issued with protective clothing appropriate to the task they were to perform and also with the film badge and, if necessary, the dosimeter referred to in the Regulations cited above. The film badge was a device which recorded the level of radiation to which its wearer was exposed.

This level was ascertained subsequently by the development of the film contained within it. This was done in a laboratory in the Maralinga Village. Records were kept of the radiation doses received by the individual wearer. The dosimeter device enabled an instantaneous reading of the level of radiation to which its wearer was exposed.

Although some evidence has been given in the case as to occasional defects in the operation of these devices, I am satisfied that, in general, they worked satisfactorily. There is no suggestion in the case that, in themselves, they were other than appropriate measuring devices for the purposes for which they were designed. Upon return from radioactive areas, the personnel re-entered the health physics caravan. Their clothing was monitored for any adhering contaminants using a measuring instrument called a "geiger counter".

Their clothing was then removed and their bodies similarly monitored. If any contamination was present, the person affected was required to wash until cleared of any contamination. He then resumed his own clothing, returned to the vehicle which had been left in the carpark and proceeded back to Roadside. Again, it is not suggested in this case that the procedures in relation to monitoring and decontamination in the health physics caravans were inadequate.

There was evidence tendered on behalf of the applicant that there were defects in relation to the processing of film in the film badges with the result that readings were not obtained or were defective. Countervailing evidence has been given, which I accept. I am satisfied that the health physics procedures were appropriate for the task of monitoring the radiological safety of personnel and that they were generally applied in a diligent manner.

There is a question, however, as to whether, prior to the Antler trials, the ordinary health physics procedures could not be implemented because of circumstances to which I shall refer later.

In addition to the sealed roads referred to above, there were also unsealed roads leading into portions of the forward area. These roads were not for general use but were restricted to vehicles used by the health physics group. These vehicles could, from time to time, be contaminated by radioactive materials. They were painted yellow for the purpose of distinguishing them from other vehicles used by personnel in the area.

They were used only on these roads which were given the name "yellow" roads. It is not suggested that the segregation of these vehicles and these roads was, in any way, ineffective in preventing personnel such as Cubillo from coming into contact with contaminated vehicles or road surfaces. The evidence establishes to my satisfaction that a system of warning signs was put in place. These signs were placed in appropriate positions on roads in the forward area which were used by personnel working in the area.

After leaving Roadside and heading north, vehicles came to a sign at the side of the road shortly to the south of a site known as "Iwara". This sign was in red on a white background. This sign was erected well to the south of any areas which could be contaminated by radioactive fallout from the tests.

As vehicles proceeded north from Iwara, other sealed roads became available to them leading towards the explosion sites. Each of these roads was controlled by further warning signs erected in reasonable proximity to, but well short of, contaminated areas. These signs were in black on a yellow background. When the roads reached the actual boundary of an area designated as subject to radioactivity, further signs were erected.

These signs were red on a yellow background. This sign reflected the fact that entry into radioactive areas was to occur only in health physics vehicles driven and occupied by personnel who had passed through the health physics caravan and been issued with appropriate protective clothing.

Although it might be said to have been faintly disputed in the evidence, I am quite satisfied that these signs were in position at all relevant times. Their existence and position is clearly attested to by the evidence of an Australian scientist, Mr Moroney, whose evidence in relation to this and other matters I fully accept.

In addition to these warning signs, the existence of contaminated areas was depicted upon maps. The regulations provided for the creation and distribution of such maps which were to show the boundaries of active areas. These were to be updated from time to time. I am satisfied, on the evidence of Mr Flannery, who was the Range Security Officer at relevant times, that such maps were in fact brought into existence and that they contained information supplied by Mr Turner, who was the Australian scientist in charge of health physics between the Buffalo series referred to later and the Antler series.

I am satisfied that a basic map came into existence at the termination of the Buffalo series and that the radioactive area at that time was depicted by hatching on the map. Mr Flannery was of the view that copies of this map, produced on a Gestetner copying machine, were in fact distributed to all personnel working on the range. His evidence satisfies me that they were at least distributed to relevant officers in sufficient numbers to enable their further distribution to men under their command.

Cubillo and other witnesses, to whom I shall refer later, and who were sappers performing similar work to him, deny ever having received such a map. It is possible that they did not. In any event, having regard to their rank and their ages, it is not likely, in my view, that they would have paid much attention to it.

As army privates they would not have expected to be permitted to exercise any independent discretion as to where they travelled in the forward area to do their work. I am satisfied, however, that, in general terms, provision was made for the supply of these maps to all personnel and that a copy would have been quite readily available to anyone who was interested. I am also satisfied that the map was displayed on a noticeboard in the Roadside area.

The map became the basis of other maps which have been tendered in evidence and which I shall refer to later. It may be noted that the map in question merely delineated one "yellow control area".

It did not attempt to delineate red or blue areas. Indeed, so far as I can determine on the evidence, no blue area was ever the subject of delineation. After the conclusion of the Antler trials a red area was established for the first time. I shall refer to the yellow and red areas later in these reasons.

Prior to the Antler series, the Maralinga range had been used for a series of experimental nuclear explosions, known as the "Buffalo" series. In that series four nuclear weapons were detonated at separate sites within the range.

The first bomb was detonated on 27 September at a site referred to as "One Tree". The second was detonated on 4 October at a site referred to as "Marcoo".

The third explosion occurred on 11 October at a site referred to as "Kite". The fourth occurred on 22 October at a site referred to as "Breakaway". All these sites were, of course, within the forward area.

The detonations and health physics operations in relation to them were under the control and supervision of the British authorities. After the detonation at Breakaway the range was handed over to the Australian authorities for supervision until the British resumed control on 6 August In the meantime work was done in relation to the preparation of sites for the Antler series of tests.

The period between October and August is described as the "inter-trial" period. During this period the health physics requirements of the range were provided by an Australian health physics group under the command of Mr Turner, to whom I have already referred. The Court was informed that Mr Turner was too frail and old to be a witness in these proceedings.

However, during the inter-trial period Mr Turner provided monthly health physics reports which have been admitted into evidence. I shall refer to relevant parts of these reports later in these reasons. There were three explosions in this series.

The first was detonated at a site referred to as "Tadje". This occurred on 14 September , the weapon being exploded on a tower 30 metres high and having an explosive force of one kiloton. The second was detonated at a site referred to as "Biak". The explosion occurred on 25 September. It was of the same force and was also detonated on a tower 30 metres high. The final explosion in this series was at a site referred to as "Taranaki". It took place on 9 October.

The weapon was attached to a balloon at an elevation of metres. The explosive force was 25 kilotons. Other sites had been prepared for this series but they were not in fact used.

These sites were called "Gona" and "Tufi". I attach to these reasons, as Schedule 1, a map, obtained from the evidence, which shows the forward area from Roadside, the relevant roads and the positions of the ground zeros for the explosions in the Buffalo and Antler series, together with other features referred to in the evidence. A further series of tests, known as the "minor trials series", were also conducted on the Maralinga range. These were conducted in areas away from the ground zero sites of the Buffalo and Antler series.

They were performed at sites referred to as "Kittens", Tims", and "Naya". The evidence of Mr Flannery and others clearly indicated that these tests were "top secret", conducted by and open to only British scientific personnel.

The preparatory work was different in kind from the work associated with the Buffalo and Antler trials. It was of a highly sophisticated scientific nature and could only be performed by highly trained scientific personnel. Cubillo's case was initially presented on the basis that he worked in these areas in relation to these trials. However, that case was abandoned during the hearing.

The decision to do so was clearly correct as Mr Cubillo's extremely vague recollections in this regard could not prevail against the weight of testimony to the effect that he could not possibly have been involved in any work relating to these tests. The abandonment of this part of his claim was also of significance in another respect. The minor trials tests provided the only opportunity for possible exposure to the radionuclide polonium Such exposure had also formed part of Cubillo's case.

It was also abandoned and, in my opinion, on the evidence, properly so. Considerable evidence was given as to the sources, measurement, distribution and potential physical dangers of ionising radiation from these trials. It is unnecessary to consider this evidence in great detail as the claims made by Cubillo fall within a narrow area.

It is clearly established that the tests, both as a result of the explosions themselves and the fallout from them, were productive of ionising radiation in the form of gamma rays, beta rays, and alpha rays. Gamma rays achieve a high degree of penetration through objects animate and inanimate in their path.

It is the ionising radiation involved in these rays which is measured by the dosimeters, film badges and geiger counters already referred to. Beta rays have considerably less penetrating power. Cubillo's case does not involve any consideration of them or their effect. I shall not refer to them further. Alpha rays have little penetrative capacity, with the result that the external exposure of the human body to them is of no significant consequence. However, the evidence establishes that if a radionuclide having the capacity to emit alpha rays actually enters the human body by being inhaled or ingested, then it has the potential to cause harm, particularly as a carcinogenic agent.

It is Cubillo's case that he was wrongfully exposed to "alpha-emitters" during the course of his work at Maralinga, and that during the course of his work he either inhaled or ingested the alpha emitters with the result that he subsequently developed a renal cell carcinoma. There is no reason for civilians to have them unless rabbits start running around in Kevlar jackets.

He has since written a string of hit military fiction novels. Sergeant Chris Ryan Image: It is not an experience he is keen to repeat. Whenever his publisher sends him to a high-flying school to speak to its pupils, he also insists on visiting a struggling school nearby.

He says he feels humbled when kids there are interested in what he has to say. Children usually ask him the same three questions: But in Portsmouth a girl of 14 asked him if there were any women in the SAS. He told her there were four attached to the regiment, who went on missions with men so they could pose as married couples. He chuckles: The whole school erupted. Follow him on Twitter: Chris will be on tour around the country from September 8. For more details go to facebook.

Monday 15th September,

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