13 May 2009

Submission on new nuke at Oldbury and health risks

Oldbury4websiteI just sent out yesterday a news release re our Green party submission on plans for a new nuke at Oldbury (see photo) - see details here - the closing date is tomorrow. I also enclose a bit more re our news release re cancer clusters at Oldbury.

Here is basically what I said to the press: "The case against new nuclear is overwhelming. A new generation of nuclear reactors will be too late to help tackle climate change and their contribution will be too little when it eventually arrives. Climate change will also cause sea levels to rise and more storm surges which will impact hugely on the proposed new Oldbury site. Nukes will also be too expensive, there is still great uncertainty over how to manage their highly radioactive spent fuel, they pose health, accident and terrorist risks, exacerbate problems of nuclear proliferation and will sap funding and political energy for implementing a green economic stimulus.

"It is shocking but there will be no public inquiry for experts to cross-examine the industry or Government. The Government has altered the planning system so that their nuclear plans can be pushed through easily at the expense of democracy. Why are the Government choosing this route rather than a sane, clean, safe, sustainable answer?"

Nuke health risks in the press

Some local press have claimed that a recent report about Oldbury nuclear power station cleared them of health risks. In fact that is not the case - see Green party press release that I sent out here - the meeting completely failed to look at figures in Chepstow, the nearest large population to Oldbury other than Thornbury.

The Public Health Observatory (SWPHO) said it examined cancers within ten kilometres of the nuclear site but missed out Chepstow, which is eight kilometres away and was the subject of a leukaemia report by Dr Chris Busby in 2001. He found childhood leukaemia eleven times the average and 50 percent extra breast cancer mortality downstream of the plant on the Gloucestershire and Avon side. SWPHO looked at both downstream and upstream which potentially dilutes the figures. Prostate cancer mortality was found to be 37 percent higher downwind of the plant and its arial discharges.

The SWPHO report recognises that the recent German study shows childhood leukaemia near every single nuclear power station but says this cannot prove it is linked to their radioactive discharges. True but common sense suggests so. The problem is that the epidemiology does not match the predictions of The International Commission on Radiological Protection, which is under mounting pressure to radically revise its advised safe doses to the industry. More can be found at www.llrc.org.

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