Do nuclear sites cause increases in cancer in those living nearby? This is the question which has always been the key to stopping the development of nuclear energy.
For if the answer is Yes, the laws would cut in; human rights would cut in. Check Mate. The nuclear industry and its supporters have always known this, just as the cigarette companies and the asbestos makers recognised their own specific nemesis.
You can argue about the economics of nuclear till you are blue in the face, but they can always move the goalposts, global warming, future security of supply, special new safe thorium reactors and so forth. But killing people with your radioactive discharges: that’s it. The End.
This week saw the publication in a peer-reviewed journal – Jacobs Journal of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine – of a study which I carried out in 2003 of breast cancer mortality 1995-2002 near Bradwell nuclear power station in Essex.
This is the first of a series of nuclear site cancer studies my colleagues and I have carried out in the last 15 years and which I have now decided to publish in proper scientific journals. In the same journal I wrote an editorial article about the problems of analysing cancer risk near nuclear sites.
Nuclear epidemiology – better choose common cancers, not rare ones