We start with the news that three of our CHRC PhD doctoral researchers have successfully defended their research through formal viva voce examinations. Our congratulations go to George Collett, Amy Prescott and Isabella Bastiani for their respective achievements, both in commitment to their work and in their contributions, which are adding knowledge and understanding to their particular areas of research. We look forward to their graduations in the summer and to continued collaboration with them as they embark on their careers.

George Collett
George Collett: Exposure worry: an in-depth study of British nuclear test veterans.
Amy Prescott
Amy Prescott: British nuclear test veterans: The Complexities of Identity, Health and Wellbeing, and the Ageing Process.
Isabella Bastiani
Isabella Bastiani: Radiation risks from high-let alpha particle emitters using radium-223 as a model.

As many of you will know, the 4th epidemiological update on cancer and mortality in British nuclear test veterans, authored by Gillies and Haylock, was recently published in the Journal of Radiological Protection. This work was undertaken to understand if the excess of cancers in self-identified individuals reported by Knox and colleagues in 1983, was representative of the incidence of cancer for all test veterans. 

The Nuclear Weapons Test Participant Study, commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, is seeking to examine the health of ~22,000 test veterans by collecting and comparing the numbers of cancer and death registrations reported in test veterans with those of control veterans and, the general population. This epidemiological study first published findings up to the end of 1983, then to 1990 and then to 1998. The conclusions of the study up to 1998 included the possibility that test participation could have caused a small increased risk of leukaemia. 

The paper just published, describes the 4th epidemiological update of this study and spans the period from 1952 up to 2017. The key message reported by the authors in this latest update is that a small, but measurable, increase both in terms of numbers of deaths and in cancers in nuclear test veterans is seen, when compared to control veterans, which had not been detectable in earlier studies. 

The researchers explored this in detail looking at different categories of disease and also, where veterans may have been located and/or their particular job role, to ask if differences were seen and possible causes, including exposure to radiation. 

In this edition, we continue our series of lay summaries with an outline of the 4th epidemiological update, authored by Gillies and Haylock, with a focus on their key findings. 

I would like to finish by highlighting the original article published by Collett et al., Exposure worry paper https://exposure.press/exposure-worry-study-reveals-nature-of-psychological-impact-on-british-nuclear-test-veterans/ accessed through our ‘Articles’ page and, our ‘Basic Information’ series which is available as either flip-books or interactive versions, through our Knowledge Hub https://chrc4veterans.uk/knowledge-hub/ page on our website www.chrc4veterans.uk

Thank you again to all our volunteers who have contributed to all of our projects. CHRC staff are contactable via email at:

Dr Rhona Anderson, Director, CHRC