Nuclear weapons test participants: epidemiological study

An epidemiological study comparing the health of those exposed to nuclear weapons tests, to a group of personnel not exposed to radiation.



Thousands of UK personnel were involved in the UK’s atmospheric nuclear weapons test programme in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s and 1960s.

In the 1980s, a major epidemiological study was established to investigate whether the radiation that UK personnel were exposed to during those tests had detrimentally affected their health. The health of those at the test sites are compared with a similar sized group of people (with similar characteristics) who were not exposed to nuclear tests. Three statistical analyses have been conducted and reported since the 1980s, the most recent in 2003.

Published 1 July 2013
Last updated 22 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Plan for the fourth analysis of the Nuclear Weapons Test Participants Study' document.
  2. Added 'Privacy notice for Nuclear Weapons Test Participants Study'.
  3. First published.