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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 07:47 GMT
Nuclear plant 'not a cancer risk'
Hinkley
The plant is at the centre of a nuclear row
There is no evidence of excess risk of cancer for people living near Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station in Somerset according to a new report.

The analysis, by The Committe on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (Comare), contradicts a survey carried out in 2002 which argued that cancer rates in a ward near the station are up to five times higher than the national average.

Comare says this report, carried out in Burnham-on-Sea for the environmental group Green Audit, was "seriously flawed" as it only covered a small sample of cases.

In a statement, the pressure group Stop Hinkley said the survey sampled 1,500 people, which "was more than adequate".

It was because of the very secrecy of the authorities that we ended up undertaking this project
Jim Duffy
Stop Hinkley
It added that a second report carried out by South West Cancer Intelligence Service confirmed the substance of their doorstep-survey findings.

Confusingly, Comare says this report shows that the Green Audit study only covered a small sample of cases.

Comare added: "Using the complete cancer registration data set for the ward the data showed no cancer excess other than for leukaemia.

'Pioneering'

"When this excess of leukaemia cases was studied, the majority of the extra cases proved to be chronic lymphocytic leukaemia - a cancer not considered by any previous investigators... to be associated with exposure to radiation."

Comare also calls for Green Audit to withdraw its report "so as not to cause further unjustified local concern."

Jim Duffy, spokesman for Stop Hinkley, said: "Comare have a cheek. It was because of the very secrecy of the authorities that we ended up undertaking this project.

"We found excess breast, cervix and kidney cancers, plus leukaemia.

"Comare are supposed to be doing this research and should have applauded the local residents for this pioneering work."




SEE ALSO:
Fault closes part of power station
08 Jul 03  |  Somerset
Nuclear reactor decommissioned
24 May 00  |  UK News
Nuclear power station to close
01 Dec 99  |  UK News
Sellafield 'must raise its game'
27 Mar 00  |  Europe
Cancer rates report defended
14 Jul 02  |  England


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