British nuclear testing in Australia

Between 1952 and 1963 the British government, with the cooperation of Australia, conducted nuclear testing at three locations in Australia – the Monte Bello Islands off the coast of Western Australia, and the South Australian towns of Emu Field and Maralinga.

In 1984, some years after completion of the nuclear testing, concerns arose over safety of the testing, disposal of toxic waste, and exposure of employees and local residents to dangerous substances and radiation. In response, the Australian government formed a Royal Commission to investigate which gave considerable attention to the tests conducted in the Maralinga area.

Fact sheet

British nuclear tests at Maralinga

    Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019