Moulton nuclear test veteran’s fears for Japan

Worried: Moulton man Douglas Hern
Worried: Moulton man Douglas Hern
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A NUCLEAR test veteran fears the fallout from the Japanese earthquake is going to bring people “into his world” if the troubled power plant at Fukushima exposes nearby residents to radiation poisoning.

The eyes of the world have been on the plant since Japan was rocked by a massive natural disaster on Friday, with a frantic attempt to prevent meltdown after a number of explosions.

Douglas Hern, of Bell Lane in Moulton, fears that the footage he is watching could leave innocent residents with the ill effects that he feels he has suffered as a result of exposure to atomic weapons tests while he served in the Royal Navy in the 1950s.

The people living near the nuclear power plant have been issued iodine - the same treatment Mr Hern received for ‘coral poisoning’, but the Government does not accept that servicemen and their families have suffered genetic problems as a link to their exposure to the weapons tests.

Mr Hern said: “What’s happening is that people are now coming into my world unfortunately.

“I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”

Mr Hern himself suffers from health problems with bone spurs, dry skins, warts and diabetes, while he tragically lost his daughter Jill to a rare form of cancer.

He and wife Sandie have dedicated their time to raising awareness of the plight of veterans and campaigning to get justice, compensation and research into the impact on several generations of offspring.

In his work with the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association he has been through the records of scores of fellow servicemen who died from rare forms of cancer.

The association is currently working with Dr Ian Gibson, a former Labour MP and oncologist, to further research into their cause.

Mr Hern slammed the nuclear industry for being “not transparent”, and hopes that this tragedy at least makes people think again about the dangers of expanding the number of nuclear power stations and the impact on people’s health when things go wrong.

He added: “Every Prime Minister since 1984 has made a promise to look into our situation and resolve it but as soon as they get into office they renege and that goes for a lot of the MPs as well.”