Watch: Nuclear test veterans to be recognised with medal.

Nuclear Test Veterans Medal: All the gen and how to apply

Watch: Nuclear test veterans to be recognised with medal.

Nuclear test veterans and eligible civilians can now apply for a medal to recognise their service after a 70-year wait. 

The Government is now calling on veterans and civilian staff from across the Commonwealth to claim commemorative Nuclear Test Medals.  

The Nuclear Test Medal is free of charge, will be issued from late summer and is to recognise participants of the UK's Nuclear Test Programme during the period from 1952 and 1967.

This announcement comes after veterans and campaigners have spent decades seeking recognition for their service during Britain's nuclear test programme. 

Watch: Veteran calls for medals for all nuclear weapons test personnel.

Around 22,000 military personnel and civilian staff from the UK and Commonwealth nations are thought to be eligible.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Johnny Mercer said: "This important step moves us closer to recognising the work of those civilians and veterans who played a critical role in establishing the UK's nuclear deterrent and contributing to our enduring international security.

"I strongly encourage all eligible veterans and civilian staff to apply for the award, which demonstrates the important role they played in making the UK the third nuclear power, and wear their new medals with pride."

Nuclear test veteran wearing missing medal DATE 17112022 CREDIT Alamy .jpg
Nuclear test veteran wearing a 'missing medal' (Picture: Alamy).

Around 20,000 personnel witnessed hundreds of atomic tests, with the most notorious being the Operation Grapple Y in 1958, which was more than 100 times more powerful than the bombs which levelled Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The service personnel who experienced such testing developed numerous health problems, as have some of their descendants.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "Nuclear Test Veterans have made an invaluable contribution to the safety and security of the UK and it's right that we recognise and value their enduring service to our nation."

The medal also recognises the contribution made by veterans and civilian staff from across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Kiribati.

All service personnel and civilians under UK command, including close partners from the Commonwealth and Pacific region, who participated in, or were present at, the British or American nuclear tests at the Montebello Islands, Christmas Island, Malden Island and Maralinga & Emu Field, South Australia between 1952 and 1967 will be eligible for the medal. Scientists and local employees will also be eligible.

For those wishing to apply, full eligibility to receive a Nuclear Test Medal can be found here.

Applications for the medal can be submitted by completing the Ministry of Defence medal form


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