British Nuclear Test Veterans Association

Point of Contact:

  • Alan Owen; Chairman
  • Contact Information: chairman@bntva.com; +44 208 144 3080

Location: Spalding, England

Website: bntva.com

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The British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA) was formed to campaign for recognition and restitution of our Servicemen who participated in the British Nuclear Tests. The organisation has evolved over the years to share knowledge and heritage with people from all walks of life. The descendants of these unique servicemen continue the fight for recognition. We now link across the world with other Atomic organisations, including America, France, Australia, Fiji, Christmas Island and New Zealand.

The British Nuclear Testing Programme ran between 1952 and 1991, it was the largest Tri-Service operation since the D-Day landings. Over 22,000 servicemen participated in the Weapons Tests. The tests were carried out at Montebello, Emu Field, Maralinga, Christmas Island and Nevada. British forces also participated in the American ‘Operation Dominic’ series of tests. We believe that there are approximately 1500 service personnel alive today who witnessed the tests.

Successes

  • Advisory Military Sub Committee re-established to look at Medal award. This committee had been dissolved in 2013 and from pressure by the BNTVA and meetings with the Secretary of State, the committee was re-established. Pressure from an online and physical petition as well as pressure on Members of Parliament from the members ensured our case is being heard. 
  • New Standard dedicated to allow for ceremonial duties to be carried out by our Standard Bearers. In 2016, the BNTVA became a Foundation Charity which enabled us to create a new Standard for the Association, this standard is used at official ceremonies and funerals. It contains the BNTVA Logo and was dedicated in a ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum. 
  • Secured Labour party commitment to £50,000 compensation to surviving veterans who participated in nuclear tests. Unfortunately, the Labour Party did not win the general Election, the Conservative Party did, so we have to start again, lobbying the Conservative government.

Current Projects

For a full list of BNTVA’s current projects and ongoing work, see their website at https://www.bntva.com/support

Their current priority projects are: 

  • Medal Recognition Campaign: to recognize the veterans who participated in British Nuclear Tests.  
  • All Tests Reunion: Each September, BNTVA holds a reunion in Weston Super Mare for over 100 Veterans and their families. This reunion gives Veterans and their families a chance to meet up with old colleagues and enjoy time together.

Opportunities for Collaboration

  • Collaborating via Nuclear Veterans Worldwide: https://www.nuclearvets.com/
    • This website aims to raise awareness of nuclear veterans, and serves as a platform for veterans from around the world to share their stories, connect with others, share resources, and learn about each others’ campaigns and projects. 
  • BNTVA regularly attends overseas conferences with other nuclear veterans groups, and is also open to attending other events and conferences that address these issues. 
  • Operation Dominic assessments and RECA guidance for the UK servicemen that participated in Operation Dominic who are entitled to the compensation paid by the US government. We are raising awareness among the families of the servicemen as the deadline for applications is 2022.
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