Dear Ministry of Defence,
For several years prior to the Grapple nuclear tests being conducted at Christmas Island in 1958, extensive training was being given to Officers and SNCOs, at Catterick Garrison, into the correct procedures to adopt when entering areas contaminated with radiation. This training included practical exercises in the wearing of protective clothing and respirators. They were also instructed on the information that should be meticulously recorded which included radiation levels.
After detonation of the bombs Pennant and Burgee the 'Technical Services Forward Group' (TSFG)were ordered into the radioactive contaminated areas but were denied the use of protective clothing or respirators (routinely issued to Civilians), and it appears no action was taken to record any information regarding these events.
As most orders given in the Armed Forces are the result of written instructions (by those in authority) on the procedures to be adopted could you please supply me with copies of the following instructions given to those in Command:
1. A copy of the instructions (orders) authorising Servicemen to be sent into radioactive areas without the requisite protective equipment. (perhaps this will be contained with the documents relating to the 'Human Medical Research Programme'
2. The numbers of Servicemen involved?
3. Is there any documentation showing there were other groups, (treated in a similar manner to the TSFG) at all British nuclear tests?
I look forward to reading your reply.
Dear Mr Whyte,
Please find attached the substantive response to your request for
information under the Freedom of Information Act.
Policy Secretariat Submarines