Driving the cooperation of nuclear community groups from the United Kingdom. OBSIVEN UK is working to empower communities in other nations to join the international movement, sharing knowledge, experience and resources to the benefit of our ‘Global contaminated Community’.
OBSIVEN originated in France as a predominantly medical and scientific initiative related to the French Nuclear Veterans and their families. Under the Presidency of Jean-Luc Sans the organisation increased to link with other organisations creating the Global Community.
In July 2016 in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, Paris. Representatives of the French and British nuclear communities signed an accord creating the first true international organisation directly supported by their respective nations nuclear veteran and nuclear community organisations.
Around the world there are groups of people with lives that have been affected by radioactive and chemical contamination, either as a result of serving in armed forces, working as civilian contractors or as indigenous people who’s lands these weapons have been used upon. The contaminants in their bodies have not only blighted their health but have created a genetic heritage that is being passed to their future generations.
Contaminant exposure knows no boundaries; Race, Nationality, Religion, Gender. There is no discrimination in our contaminated communities. The only discrimination comes from the masters of those weapons that caused the contamination and their refusal to address responsibilities for the effects of those actions.
Because we all have ‘common bond’ we can unite together to share our experience and knowledge to the benefit of all.
The OBSIVEN concept was developed over a number of years from a relationship between the French Association des Vétérans des Essais Nucléaires (AVEN) and the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA).
Jean-Luc Sans President of AVEN and Nigel Kevin Heaps MBE, the then Chairman of the BNTVA, realised that not only was the experience of their veterans identical, the issues with their offspring was the same, the way in which their governments treated them was the same and the problems of building and maintaining their Associations were also the same.
As they began to share experiences and ways that had been tried to move their causes forward Jean-Luc and Nigel began to learn from each other and were inspired to try each others tactics. Realising cooperation and sharing was the key to progress the concept of OBSIVEN was born.
As people who have been the victims of contamination band together they begin to find a voice, they explore the implications of their contamination and try to look for support, compensation, help, recognition.
OBSIVEN is now the conduit to give those voices an international stage. Within many nation’s there are a number of organisations representing contaminated communities from Nuclear Testing, Maintenance and operation of Nuclear Deterrents, Chemical use like Agent Orange and DDT, Battlefield contaminants such as experienced in the Gulf war.
By creating an OBSIVEN organisation in each of these countries we can provide a forum for them to meet, share experience and even possibly resources. By replicating this on the international stage all our contaminated communities will be on a level playing-field. At this moment in the UK genetic and cytogenetic research is being conducted on nuclear test veteran families to explore the potential for communicative damage.
Research into the social aspects of being a member of that community has also been conducted and is now at the writing up stage. The methodologies and results of research can be shared through OBSIVEN so any other groups around the world may be able to draw parity and incorporate or adapt findings into their activities.
One aspect we have come to understand is that Governments often portray remedial actions they are taking in respect of our communities in a far better light than their actual delivery provides. By being connected through OBSIVEN groups can learn the realities direct from the front line. Infomation like this can be critical in mounting more powerful campaigns and achieving better provision through negotiations. Internationally a private forum system has been developed enabling communication between each constituent nations of OBSIVEN, translations of any discussion are available where the language barrier may be a problem.
We hope that in the future it may be possible to hold an international OBSIVEN Conference.
President of AVEN, the Association for French Nuclear Test Veterans, Jean-Luc was the founding member and inspiration for OBSIVEN.
Nigel is a former Chairman of the BNTVA and a champion of international cooperation. Nigel manages Health, Welfare, Communications, Remembrance and Research projects being delivered directly to the British Nuclear Community by the NCCF. BH Associates maintains the OBSIVEN International IT communications conduit.
Nigel Heaps MBE
Jeff Liddiatt, Former Chairman of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association now Chairman of the Nuclear Community Charity Fund. UnderJeff’s leadership the NCCF cemented its place in the Global Community by becoming the first international member of OBSIVEN.
Jeff now serves as Patron of OBSIVEN-UK in recognition to his founding role within the organisation.
Nuclear Families (UK)
The Nuclear Families project funded by the NCCF is examining the social aspects of the British Nuclear Community to provide an insight into measures that will ‘even the playing field’ for this unique group of people. The project is being delivered by Southampton University by Dr Becky Alexis-Martin who is a Senior Research Fellow: Nuclear Geographies. using monies from the Aged Veterans Fund which was funded by the Chancellor from LIBOR fines.
Health Centre (France)
A project by OBSIVEN in France to increase awareness amongst the medical profession to issues and treatments peculiar to members of the nuclear community.
Centre for Health Effects of Radiological and Chemical Agents (UK)
The Centre for Health Effects of Radiological and Chemical Agents (CHRC) founded in 2018 at Brunel University London is a joint funded enterprise between the NCCF and Brunel University.
The CHRC is the centre of excellence for all research and information, exploring the health impact of radiological and chemical agents on military personnel and their families.
Home to a growing number of innovative research projects helping explore and understand our contaminated communities.
Care Wellbeing and Inclusion Fund (UK)
The Nuclear Community Charity fund began making grants to members of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Community in 2016.
These grants directly fund the provision of domestic living adaptations, respite care, physical health therapies, mental health therapies, mobility aids and social integration measures.
Grants are made using monies from the Aged Veterans Fund which was funded by the Chancellor from LIBOR fines.
The aim of this fund is to reduce suffering and increase health and wellbeing
Exposure Magazine (UK)
Exposure Magazine is the premier publication and news website within the British Nuclear Community. Comprising of editorial sections from the Nuclear Community Charity Fund, CHRC and OBSIVEN.
Established as part of the NCCF Communications project the magazine continues to grow in circulation and content.
Under the OBSIVEN editorial section any constituent organisation may submit material to be published.
Health Survey (France)
This survey conducted in 2008 across 1800 persons by Dr Jean-Louis Valatx exposed considerable differences in the health experiences of the nuclear community to the remaining French population.
Creating the foundation to inform and drive future research into our contaminated communities this was one of the pioneering community lead initiatives that the present day OBSIVEN draws insoiration from
This project will restore and upgrade memorials to Nuclear Test Veterans across the UK and lead to the creation of an on-line immersive living museum connected through each memorial. The work on this project is being managed by BH Associates using monies from the Aged Veterans Fund which was funded by the Chancellor from LIBOR fines.
Virtual Museum (UK)
Arising from the Remembrance Project the virtual museum ‘nucleartest.online’ is a growing resource starting with each memorial in the UK linking to related resources and connecting to wider exhibits like artwork, audio pieces and photographic collections. The project is very much an evolving exhibition with BH Associates who manage its development keen to explore all avenues
Cytogenetic Research (UK)
The Nuclear Community Charity Fund have commissioned Brunel University London to conduct research into potential genetic damage within both veterans and offspring. The project has been made possible using monies from the Aged Veterans Fund which was funded by the Chancellor from LIBOR fines.
The results of this research will help shine a light into the world of darkness for those living under the shadow of the bomb
Organisations representing the radiological and chemical contaminated survivor communities across the globe, Service, Civilian and Indigenous Peoples.
We are all human, we all suffer the same from these contaminants. Radiation and Chemicals know no discrimination, they attack regardless of race, creed, gender or colour