How safe is it to live near a nuclear power station?
Letter printed in the Bristol Evening Post, Friday, November 21, 2008
Dear Sir, Studies we commissioned in 2001 showed 50 per cent more breast cancers in the population downstream of Oldbury over a six-year period, a third more prostate cancers downwind of Oldbury, and 11 times more leukaemia cases in Chepstow directly across the Severn from Oldbury.
This week's court ruling that pesticide spraying can harm peoples' health should be listened to by the nuclear industry. The pesticide doses were also deemed safe, but the High Court disagreed, convinced by evidence collected by Georgina Downs's campaign that peoples' health is not being protected by the Government and its agencies.
The Food Standards Agency, which monitors the radiation levels, subscribes to a theoretical model of health effects based on 60-year-old data from the Hiroshima explosion.
A single blast of radiation would have a very different effect than the long-term ingestion of radioactive particles by local people, particularly if they are already vulnerable.
A new giant nuclear reactor, on the cards for Oldbury, would pour out still more radioactive waste into the Severn which will, no doubt, add to the local cancer toll.
Extending the life of the existing dilapidated reactors will do the same, not to mention greatly adding to the risk of a serious accident. All this, of course, applies to Hinkley Point where more studies have consistently shown extra cancers.
Yours, Jim Duffy, Shut Oldbury/Stop Hinkley, Bridgwater.