PEOPLE who worked at Australian atomic bomb test sites claim they have produced generations of children with severe deformities and suffered a high number of stillbirths.
Documents obtained exclusively by news.com.au show hundreds of children and grandchildren of veterans exposed to radiation were born with shocking illnesses including tumours, Down syndrome, cleft palates, cerebral palsy, autism, missing bones and heart disease.
One veteran, who was posted to the Maralinga nuclear test site in South Australia in the 1950s as part of the British Nuclear Test (BNT) program, says the radiation contaminated his sperm and is to blame for the death of a child he never got to know.
But he is not alone, with the documents detailing a litany of miscarriages and stillbirths that has allegedly passed the devastation from generation to generation.
Australian ex-servicemen and their families originally made submissions to a Federal Government review in 2003 over deaths and disabilities they believe were caused by exposure to radiation from nuclear testing in South Australia and Western Australia in the 1950s and 60s.
The submissions were later compiled to use in a class action against the British Ministry of Defence, but the case was not allowed to proceed because it was deemed impossible to prove radiation caused their illnesses.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs told news.com.au it had not received any reports about Australian descendants of BNT veterans who suffered deformities, abnormalities, illness or death as a result of suspected genetic transfers.
The documents provided to news.com.au reveal that about 100 of the soldiers’ descendants, born as recently as the 1990s, suffered health complications suspected by the families to have been caused by genetic transfers.
“Daughter Stephanie SEVERELY disabled — born with MISSING vertebrae and confined to wheelchair for her entire life,” one entry read.
“Daryl — deformities, back, extra bone, lower back missing bones, deformed jaw, undescended testicles,” another read.
“Birth deformities (neck fusion) … no anus,” others said.
In many cases, siblings each suffered unique medical problems.
“Gregory — visual abnormalities; Graeme — reduplication of large bowel; Stephen — dental deformities,” one submission read.
Another submission revealed that “all three daughters (of one veteran suffered) numerous cases — ovarian tumours, lymphoma, breast cancer secondaries in bones, 14 inches (35cm) of bowel removed”.
Some of the veterans’ grandchildren were also affected, with reports of one young boy who lost his leg to cancer and another who was born with a cleft palate, according to the submissions.
Many of the descendants died early deaths.
“Son died aged 36 from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma,” one entry read.
“Wife delivered stillborn 1958, daughter Kay delivered stillborn September 2007,” another wrote.
“Son — terminal stomach cancer, dead at 47 years old, both daughters severe Endometriosis, hysterectomy, miscarriage,” another entry revealed.
“… daughter Maree died 24 hours after birth, cause unknown,” another said.