August 3, 2008
British Defence chiefs have admitted servicemen were exposed to dangerous radiation levels during nuclear tests in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s.
The dramatic admission, made after years of denials, features in papers filed with the High Court in London by Ministry of Defence lawyers.
The Sunday Mirror newspaper said the court papers reveal that the Ministry of Defence now believes that nuclear tests were responsible for the deaths of some British servicemen.
However, the MoD insists that only 159 men were affected out of the 20,000 who were present.
About 800 former servicemen from Britain, New Zealand and Fiji earlier this year launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the MoD, claiming they had been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation during tests at sites including Maralinga in South Australia and Christmas Island.
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