10 June 2009
Man involved in nuclear tests welcomes compensation ruling
A man who was involved in the nuclear tests conducted by the UK military in the 1950s has welcomed a ruling which means that people in his position can seek compensation from the government.
Denis Shaw was posted to Christmas Island in 1958 with the Royal Engineers to help with a clean-up operation following the tests, Whitby Today reports.
He is among a group of ex-servicemen affected by the nuclear explosions who were granted the right to seek payouts in the recent high court ruling.
The men suffer from a range of medical complaints, including fertility problems, skin disorders and cancer.
Mr Shaw stated: "Everybody enjoyed being on the island and we didn't know what radiation was.
"We didn't know we were being slowly poisoned."
He has suffered from bad health since his participation in the clean-up operation and claims that his family have also been affected.
For example, his wife suffered three miscarriages after he returned and gave birth to a stillborn child. In addition, one of his grandchildren was born with two sets of teeth.
Nick Collins, partner at Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "It's particularly pleasing to see that the court has dismissed the MoD's argument that the actions were 'out of time' and should not be allowed to continue.
"The claimants will now have the right to have their substantive cases heard by the court and that must be in the interests of justice."