New Forest East

DEFENCE – NUCLEAR TEST VETERANS (1) [148519] - 17 February 2023

DEFENCE – NUCLEAR TEST VETERANS (1) [148519] - 17 February 2023

Sir Julian Lewis:  To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when his Department expects to announce dates for nuclear test veterans to receive the medals and clasps in recognition of their service; and what steps his Department is taking to make available to interested parties the findings of medical tests carried out on participants in the nuclear testing programme.  [148519]

[Due for Answer on 23 February]


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Statefor Defence People, Veterans and Service Families (Dr Andrew Murrison): The Government continues to recognise and be grateful to all Service personnel who participated in the British Nuclear testing programme. They contributed to keeping our nation secure during the Cold War and since, by ensuring that the UK was equipped with an appropriate nuclear capability.

I am pleased that a forthcoming commemorative Nuclear Test Medal was announced by the Prime Minister in November 2022, which is intended to recognise Service veterans and civilians who participated in the UK’s nuclear tests between 1952 and 1967. The first Nuclear Test Medals are expected to be available in summer 2023. Details on the eligibility criteria for the Medal, together with information on the application process, will be announced by the end of March 2023. There is a long-established process to design, procure and produce a new Medal and collectively this process takes some months.

In relation to medical test results, an individual can make a Subject Access Request (SAR) to the relevant military service, Veterans UK or the Atomic Weapons Establishment to have sight of what records are held on them. Information is provided on request to individuals, or representatives acting on their behalf, under ‘General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Chapter 3, Article 15 – Right of access’.