ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler: Liz Tynan on the secret history of Maralinga

ABC Local Radio

Liz Tynan on the secret history of Maralinga‘, Conversations with Richard Fidler, 9 August 2016

The ABC (actually Sarah Kanowski) talked to science journalist Elizabeth Tynan (49 minutes) about her book on the British nuclear tests at Maralinga in South Australia during the 1950s. The show was to mark the anniversary of Hiroshima-Nagasaki but it happens that we are posting this link just after Australia voted at the United Nations ‘to register our opposition to a recommendation to start negotiations on a [nuclear weapons] ban treaty‘. The vote was carried overwhelmingly anyway.

9781742234281The book is Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story and it will be published shortly by NewSouth.

In September 2016 it will be 60 years since the first British mushroom cloud rose above the plain at Maralinga in South Australia. The atomic weapons test series wreaked havoc on Indigenous communities and turned the land into a radioactive wasteland.

In 1950 Australian prime minister Robert Menzies blithely agreed to atomic tests that offered no benefit to Australia and relinquished control over them – and left the public completely in the dark. This book reveals the devastating consequences of that decision. After earlier tests at Monte Bello and Emu Field, in 1956 Australia dutifully provided 3200 square kilometres of South Australian desert to the British Government, along with logistics and personnel. (blurb for the book)

Judith Crispin is working on compiling a list of deaths due to the Maralinga testing.

Richard Broinowski reviews the book for Honest History. Related material.

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