The 10th report by the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) published today identifies Sellafield once again as a site with more cases of childhood cancer than any other nuclear installation. In the Report, COMARE’s chairman Bryn Bridges points to the increased leukaemias and non-Hodgkin lymphomas around Sellafield as having already been identified in the Committee’s previous reports which have all concluded that Sellafield’s activities cannot, with certainty, be ruled out as a possible cause.
CORE’s Health Campaigner Janine Allis-Smith said:-
“There is nothing new about Sellafield in this report which concentrates largely on nuclear power stations rather than reprocessing and other plant. COMARE has even trotted out the population mixing theory for the Sellafield cancers which the Report refers to as a ‘blip’. As an affected parent I take exception to our children being referred to as blips – and their cancers being attributed to a mere theory for which no virus has ever been identified, which has never been supported anywhere else in the world, and of which there is no sign in Japan’s remote Rokkasho village, where thousands of non-local workers have been imported over almost 2 decades to build a reprocessing plant similar to Sellafield.
The COMARE Report which studies over 32000 cases of childhood cancer diagnosed in Britain between 1969 and 1993, reports that during its peak discharge years Sellafield’s discharges were over 200,000 times higher than those around nuclear power stations. It concludes that it can find no evidence of a greater cancer risk to children around nuclear power stations.
Janine Allis-Smith added “ We find it curious that at the very time our Government is making noises about building new power stations in the UK, its Committee should come up with a clean bill of health for existing power stations.
It is also fortunate for Sellafield, that although its own scientists agree that increasing radiation levels in the environment will result in extra cancers and genetic defects, radiation does not leave a visiting card and the actual victims cannot be identified. Given that BNFL compensates its own workers, on as little as a 20% probability that their cancers were caused by work-related radiation, we reject the suggestion that the unacceptably high authorised and accidental discharges outside the fence, have not affected our children’s health”.