Catalogue description Ministry of Defence: Australian Royal Commission into United Kingdom Nuclear Weapons Testing in Australia, Photocopies of Proceedings and Documents Presented in Evidence

Search within or browse this series to find specific records of interest.

Date range

Details of DEFE 16
Reference: DEFE 16
Title: Ministry of Defence: Australian Royal Commission into United Kingdom Nuclear Weapons Testing in Australia, Photocopies of Proceedings and Documents Presented in Evidence
Description:

This series consists of photocopies of evidence given by the Ministry of Defence, the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston and Rowley, and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, to the Australian Royal Commission into United Kingdom Nuclear Weapons Testing in Australia which sat in London between January and March 1985. Photocopies of the proceedings also appear here. The commission was set up by Australian Royal Warrant in July 1984 after fears had been expressed about the safety of both military personnel and local inhabitants present at these tests.

Date: c1947-1986
Related material:

Photocopies of papers presented by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Commission are in FCO 1

See also: ES 18

Other records of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment are in ES

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 1005 file(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

Ministry of Defence , from 1985

Unpublished finding aids:

Index of bodies presenting evidence with series list

Administrative / biographical background:

The first British atomic test in Australia was on the Monte Bello Islands off the coast of Western Australia in 1952, which was given the code name Operation Hurricane. Another test of an atomic weapon followed at Emu Field near Woomera, South Australia (Operation Totem) a year later. In 1955 the British Government announced a plan for the construction of a new atomic weapons testing range at Maralinga, South Australia in agreement with the Australian Government. The code name for this plan was Operation Buffalo. The first device was exploded on 11 October 1956 and was the first drop of a nuclear weapon successfully carried out by Britain. Preliminary tests including the explosion of a nuclear device on the ground (Operation Mosaic), had already taken place on the Monte Bello Islands in May 1956. Following the tests in Australia further devices were exploded on Christmas Island in the Pacific (Operation Grapple) during 1957 and 1958.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research

How to look for...