Stop Hinkley Press Release 13 July 2005

Nuclear workers at greater risk of cancer

A study of thousands of nuclear workers exposed to low level radiation has shown they run a two per cent extra risk of developing cancer. The report studied over 400,000 nuclear workers in fifteen countries and flatly contradicts previous claims by the industry that their staff were not at risk from low doses of radiation.

Jim Duffy spokesman for Stop Hinkley said: "Just as we suspected, staff exposed to radiation suffer more cancer. It bears out local research (1) we commissioned in 2000 when Quantock ward in Bridgwater, a popular estate for Hinkley workers, showed prostate cancer mortality was two and a half times the national average. Other studies have shown links to prostate cancer in nuclear workers but the industry always denied it."

"The regulators say they are protecting their staff but it's like saying black is white. There is still much uncertainty around low levels of radiation and people's health. A Government committee (2) last year agreed that the concept of radioactive dose, as measured by workers' dose badges, is effectively meaningless. Workers inhaling fractions of supposedly safe doses are at higher risk if particles lodge in lung or other tissue."

"The higher wages won't buy back their health or make up for the grief and anger of getting an awful illness."

Notes:

  1. 'Cancer mortality and proximity to Hinkley Point nuclear power station, 1995 -1998', Dr Chris Busby. Quantock electoral ward: 12 prostate deaths observed, 4.6 expected = relative risk 2.58.
  2. Committee Examining Risks from Internal Emiitters (CERRIE) report Oct 2004. Recommendations, para 3: 'The Committee accepts that the use of...dose quantities as a measure of harm has fundamental scientific limitations.' 

 

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