Anti-Nuclear Campaigners Call Report Propaganda

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 10, 2005 | Go to article overview

Anti-Nuclear Campaigners Call Report Propaganda


Byline: By Darren Devine Western Mail

Anti-nuclear campaigners last night criticised a report suggesting children living near nuclear power stations are at no greater risk of cancer.

In its 10th report on the issue, the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) concluded that it did not find excess numbers of childhood cancers within 25km of any nuclear power station.

But Friends of the Earth Cymru, Greenpeace and Welsh anti-nuclear group PAWB all questioned the findings, with the latter dismissing it as little more than establishment propaganda.

The news comes with a major conference on the future of the nuclear industry set to take place at the University of Wales, Caerleon, near Newport, next month.

The report did find an increased number of some types of childhood cancer near other nuclear installations such as those manufacturing nuclear weapons, reprocessing waste or research units. But it concluded these were similar to results found in past studies showing slight increases in cancers near some sites and there is no clear evidence of a causal link.

The large study included over 32,000 cases of childhood cancer diagnosed in Britain between 1969 and 1993.

PAWB spokesman Dylan Morgan said research by Dr Chris Busby, a scientific consultant to the Low Level Radiation Campaign (LLRC), indicated there is a cancer cluster in north west Wales.

PAWB has long called for the closure of the Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey, claiming the plant is ageing and unsafe.

He said, 'Dr Busby's research on the Menai Strait and in Caernarfon shows that the number of cancers in children are substantially higher than they should be.

'It strikes me that this committee is just pumping out the establishment line and the findings of Dr Busby's research makes disturbing reading for it.'

The COMARE team found a larger number of cases of leukaemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) near Burghfield in Berkshire, Dounreay in Caithness and Sellafield in Cumbria. …

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