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Dr Chris Busby Castle Cottage, Sea View Place, Aberystwyth SY23 1DZ UK Tel +44 1970 630215 email:;

Report to the Pensions Tribunal For Dawn Pritchard 7 St Davids Avenue Llandudno Junction Conwy 2 Dec 08 The radiation exposure at the A-Bomb test sites and health of Mr Gwilym Pritchard I have been asked by Mrs Dawn Pritchard to examine documents relating to her application and refusal for a War Pension in relation to the radioactive exposures suffered by her ex-husband Mr Gwilym Pritchard when in service in the Royal Air Force he attended the UK A-Bomb Tests at Christmas Island. 1. From the documents I have examined, Mr Pritchard died from Kidney failure and a range of cardiac problems. Nevertheless it is clear that Mr Pritchard suffered from a range of debilitating neurological and other conditions from shortly after the time he attended the nuclear tests at Christmas Island. 2. It is a pity I have not been allowed to attend the tribunal in person since much of what I have to advise is complex and may require some elucidation. I will do my best to lay out the argument in a short space and in the time I have available. However, in my opinion it is unjust to not permit Mrs Pritchard to bring her expert witness to the tribunal. 3. First I will say something about why my evidence should be considered. I have studied the health effects of radiation for almost 20 years. My affiliations and expertise are outlined in the cv which I attach, Appendix 1. I recently was invited to a visiting Professorship at the University of Ulster and also Guest Researcher at the German Federal Julius Kuehn Institute in Brunswick. I have been a member of two government committees on radiation and health CERRIE ( and the MoD Depleted Uranium Oversight Board ( As a result of my research I have concluded that the current radiation risk model is in error for internal exposures, that is radioactivity that is inhaled or ingested and chronically irradiates tissue from within. My research on Uranium and health was the top news story in New Scientist for 6th September 2008. I am also main expert witness in the current Royal Courts of Justice case where the A-Bomb veterans are suing the government. I have therefore studied this issue of the veterans at some depth and wrote about the epidemiology in my recent 2006 book Wolves of Water. 4. The MoD case which is the basis of the Pensions Agency refusal in the case of Mrs Pritchard is twofold: (1) that Mr Pritchard received no radiation dose on any film badge and therefore was not exposed to any more radiation than he would

have if he had remained in the UK and that this was the case for all veterans (2) That his diseases and conditions are not associated with radiation exposure i.e. they are not leukaemia or certain cancers known from the A-Bomb studies of the Japanese Hiroshima studies to be radiation related. 5. Both of these arguments are wrong. I will take them in turn. First Mr Pritchard may not have been exposed to external radiation that would register on a film badge but was exposed to internal fallout and uranium. The MoD argue (in other cases I have assisted in) that there was no fallout, or if there was, it would have been associated with high levels of gamma radiation which would have registered on a badge. In the case of Christmas Island I can prove that this is not so since I have analysed a report of AE Oldbury who visited Christmas Island in 1964 several years after the last bomb and indeed after it had been decontaminated by the US Radsafe teams. Oldbury’s measurements show massive radioactive contamination mainly due to uranium U-238 , U-235 and U-234. These uranium isotopes are not fallout but components of the bombs. Only 5% of the uranium in a bomb fissions: the rest disperses in the explosion. I attach my analysis of Oldbury’s paper as Appendix 2. 6. The second argument, that his diseases and conditions are not radiation related is also false. I attach a copy of ECRR2003 and refer the tribunal to pages 126 and 127 of that report where it clearly shows a range of non cancer conditions which developed in A-Bomb Japanese groups and also after Chernobyl. It is in any case intuitively obvious that radiation damage to DNA will have a whole range of outcomes as well as and before the expression of cancer. 7. The effects of internal irradiation on the test veterans is shown objectively by the recent Rowlands et al studies of chromosome effects in New Zealand veterans. The 12-fold excess of dicentric chromosomes in these veterans compared with controls, and in particular the overdispersion (two or more dicentrics in the same cell) are interpreted as due to chronic exposure by internal alpha emitters, uranium and plutonium. Such effects were found in Chernobyl cleanup groups. 8. Uranium causes all of the symptoms and conditions shown by Mr Pritchard. The neurological spectrum of conditions exhibited by Mr Pritchard after he returned from Christmas Island was found in the Gulf War veterans and termed Gulf War syndrome. Both Mr Pritchard and the Gulf veterans have in common exposure to Uranium. 9. The recent French ENVIRHOM studies of uranium effects have shown that uranium targets the lower brain and brainstem, thus destroying or perturbing vegetative (brain housekeeping, parasympathetic and pituitary hormonal) function in mice. Studies of the Gulf War veterans in the USA using Magnetic Resonance phosphorus imaging by Robert Chaney showed significant loss of lower brain viability. 10. I conclude that Mr Pritchard’s problems up to his death, were initiated by and contributed to by exposure resulting from chronic inhalation of uranium while at Christmas Island. The peculiar damage to his kidneys is easily explained by such exposure and indeed might be expected given that the primary targets for uranium are the kidney and the brain.

11. Uranium , though not highly radioactive, has a number of properties that make it a serious hazard. Foremost is its very strong affinity for DNA, the target for radiation effects. Second it has the highest atomic number of any natural element. Since absorption of natural background is proportional to the fourth power of the atomic number, uranium on the DNA causes a very large enhancement of dose to the DNA thus destroying cells and causing fixed mutation. This was the subject of the New Scientist article on my work. Third, it has a very long biological half life, more than 20 years I attach a number of documents in support of this brief report 1. My CV 2. My analysis of the fallout and uranium at Christmas Island 3. ECRR2003 and would be happy to attend any tribunal session where I was able to. I have not been paid for this work and do it pro bono for veterans and their widows who I feel have been badly betrayed by the system that should have looked after them. Signed:

Chris Busby