#AWW 2018 Atomic Thunder (NF)
- Author: E. Tynan
- Title: Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story
- Published: 2016
- Winner CHASS Award 2017 Australia Book Prize
- Winner Prime Minister’s Literary Award 2017 in the Australian History
- List of Challenges 2018
- Monthly plan
- #AWW2018 @AusWomenWriters
Who is Elizabeth Tynan?
- Elizabeth Tynan is a science writer and academic
- at the James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.
- She completed a PhD on aspects of British nuclear testing in Australia.
What is Atomic Thunder about?
- Britain wanted to join the nuclear club.
- Britain needed Australia’s geographic assets (testing ground)
- …and its distance from the British electorate.
- Britain conducted three atomic explosions at
- the Monte Bello Islands off the coast of Western Australia
- …and nine at Maralinga and Emu.
- This book chronicles the scandals that ensued:
- 1950 Australian prime minister Robert Menzies
- agreed to atomic tests without informing his government
- the overall levels and distribution of radioactivity
- …that wreaked havoc on Indigenous communities
- …and turned the land into a radioactive wasteland
- the uncovering of the extensive secrecy around British testing
- This book is the most comprehensive account of the whole saga.
- After the British departed they left an unholy mess behind.
- Mw Tynan shows in the last chapters
- the transformation Australia society has endured.
- What a difference a generation makes
- …layers of secrecy and inertia are lifted!
- Investigative journalists and media are not
- ….interested in comforting the powerful
- No more stonewalling….
- The people of Australia demand accountability!
Quote: pg 290
- “Britain knew in the 1960’s that radioactivity at its former nucelar
- test site in Australia was worse than first thought.
- But it did not tell the Australians.“
Quote: pg 300
- “Australia in the 1950s and early 1960s was essentially
- ….an atomic banana republic…
- useful only for its resources…especially uranium and land.”
- Chilling and selfish attitude of Britain
- treating Australia as a lackey. Disgraceful
- The whole story is shocking but while I was reading
- chapter 9 Clean-ups and Cover-ups I put my hands
- over my lips in absolute horror.
- Clean up crews were working 12-hr shifts scooping
- up topsoil that was liberally
- …dotted with plutonium-contaminated fragments.
- No-one says any thing about this to George Owen (British Army recruit).
- After 5 months working at Maralinga he is discharged.
- Soon after he notices strange growths on his hands.
- This is plutonium-239….
- 1 millionth of a gram may be sufficient to
- cause lung cancer if inhaled.
- How much dust did Owen inhale?
- PS…I read it in one day…could NOT put it own!
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