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Sunday, 14 July, 2002, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Cancer rates report defended
Hinkley plant
Dr Busby said his critics have a "vested interest"
The author of a report saying cancer rates in a town close to a nuclear power station are up to five times higher than the national average has defended his claims against criticism.

Dr Chris Busby compiled the report with the help of residents at Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset, which is close to the Hinkley Point power plant.

Dr Busby admits he cannot prove the alleged high cancer rates were caused by the discharge of radioactive materials from the plant, but he cannot think of another explanation.

However, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL), which operates one of two plants at Hinkley Point, said it was waiting for local health authority advice on the issue.


His (Dr Busby) reports have...been heavily criticised by health professionals

David Cartwright, BNFL

Dr Busby's research, based on the results of a doorstep survey of 1,500 local people, claims cervical and kidney cancer rates in the town are five times the national average.

It also says leukaemia rates are four times higher and rates of breast cancer double.

David Cartwright, a spokesman for BNFL, said: "He (Dr Busby) runs his own anti-nuclear company and makes a living out of producing these anti-nuclear reports.

'Look at figures'

"He is somebody who has a record of bringing out reports that have been heavily criticised by health professionals in the past.

"We will wait to take the advice of the local health authority."

Dr Busby, who runs an environmental consultancy firm and sits on two government advisory committees, said his critics should "look at the figures".

"All the work that I have produced over the last five years has shown that there is a problem," he said.

'No health effects'

"Now we see a picture confirming my fears that Hinkley discharges are responsible for severe health problems here."

The results of the study will be presented to the residents of Burnham on Thursday.

In a statement, the Department of Health said: "No known health effects have ever been associated with radioactive discharges from current nuclear sites."

See also:

24 Feb 00 | Talking Point
27 Mar 00 | Europe
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