Letter in the Western Morning News, 20 May 2008

I quote two recent WMN headlines: "Storage of nuclear waste at Hinkley 'no risk to public health'" and a few days later (May 5) "EDF admits buying land around Hinkley Point".

May I now refer you to an article in the current issue of Radioactive Times, a specialised periodical devoted entirely to the issues around radioactivity (and one that, in view of the radioactivity with which we have to live in Plymouth , one would imagine should be on every councillor's desk).

Headed "Infant mortality and cancer near Hinkley Point", and written by Richard Bramhall, one of the country's leading independent (i.e. not in the pay of the nuclear industry) experts on low level radiation, this article summarises facts and figures collated over a decade and a half on casualties among the population of Burnham-on-Sea, the village closest to the Hinkley nuclear power station. It concludes "the evidence that the Hinkley Point plant has caused cancer and infant deaths in local populations is now overwhelming".

But the article is more than that: it points to the "endless obfuscation and denial" by representatives of the very authorities supposed to be searching for the truth and making it plain to the public what the real situation is. It seems that, for the modern scientist, jobs on the line is a more important concept than the search for truth.

Should we be surprised? After 60 years of denial, lies, cover-ups, and "obfuscations", probably not. But we may too late wake up to the genetic damage being done to animals and plants by certain forms of radiation (specifically, certain inhaled or ingested radioactive particles), which not only affect those exposed, but cause as yet unborn generations to suffer the same or worse reductions in the health of their immune systems, with increasing risks of ill-health, leukaemias and cancers.

In the light of the Government's new proposals to sanction more nuclear power stations and a newer, more deadly generation of "Trident" submarines, one can see that admitting the truth about radioactivity would cause such public outrage that both these (expensive) proposals would be voted out of court, as they have been in Germany and some other more enlightened countries. The public's docile acceptance of these actions is based on widespread ignorance of the truth.

For more information, put into Google and be appalled at the true situation.

Peter Russell, Plymouth


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