Natural Resources Wales is in a very difficult position. They are responsible for issuing the Marine Licence that Electricité de France needs before they can dredge 300,000 tonnes of sediment from the Severn Estuary and dump it on Cardiff. But NRW knows almost nothing about how much radioactivity is in the mud.
CEFAS, a laboratory sponsored by Westminster Government, tested the mud but destroyed the data. Later they took samples only from the top layer although EdF proposes to scrape down to bed rock. They examined the samples only with a technique that cannot detect Uranium and Plutonium.
NRW says the mud is safe but they have no expertise on radiation and health. They rely on the English Environment Agency. But the Environment Agency told us and other NGOs they aren't competent to talk about new evidence of the dangers of Uranium. They say we must discuss it with COMARE and Public Health England.
NRW claims to be open to fresh approaches and new information. In fact they have rejected information and now appear to be breaking the law. June we gave them a full report on the evasion and dishonesty of COMARE and PHE when addressing new evidence. We have emphasised the sociological angle, telling them that a classic Scientific Revolution is happening in front of their eyes. We have pointed out that, rather than engaging with the science, COMARE has recruited a sociologist to help them deal with challenging dialogues.
On 13th July NRW rejected all the evidence and claimed that they are required to abide by procedures of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We have pointed out that, on the contrary, IAEA sets minimum standards and the law in Wales requires NRW to take account of all relevant evidence, to gather evidence in respect of uncertainties and to change their decisions where appropriate. These are the top-level principles of sustainable management of natural resources in the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 - an Act of the National Assembly for Wales.
Recently we paid Harwell a lot of money to analyse sediment from Newbiggin near Sellafield. It turns out to be ten times as hot as CEFAS says in Radioactivity in Food and the Environment for the same location. If CEFAS is lying about Newbiggin we must infer that all the millions the Government has spent on RIFE reports over the last 23 years have been wasted. It also casts further doubt on what they have told Natural Resources Wales about the Cardiff Mud Dump.
Prostate cancer used to be an old man's disease but George Monbiot has been diagnosed with it at the age of only 55. He wrote about it in The Guardian but did not refer to the role of radioactive fallout in causing the relentless rise of cancer. We discuss it here.
George has not been a friend to LLRC but we hope he makes a good recovery.
The doubtful case for nuclear power and weapons is further damaged by new evidence on the effects of Uranium. A recent study in the Journal of Environmental Protection shows that babies born in fracking areas of Pennsylvania are up to 66% more likely to die before they are 28 days old, compared with the Pennsylvania state average. Uranium in ground water is thought to be the cause. More ..
In June last year the Low Level Radiation Campaign supported British ex-Servicemen who attended Atomic Weapons tests in the 1950s and '60s. We asked our public for financial help and met our target. We spent £22,000 on expenses for the legal team and bringing expert witnesses from UK, Ireland, Germany and Japan. Everyone on the veterans' team acted without pay.
Just before Christmas 2016 the Tribunal rejected the appeals. We have lodged a further appeal against the very unfair way the hearings were conducted.
Read on for more reporting and links to the most important court documents.
How we got here (archive)
Under European law any "practice" that exposes people to ionising radiation must be "Justified". "Justification" means, for example, that a company planning to build a nuclear power station has to do a cost/benefit analysis. The benefits of each practice, including economic and social gains, must outweigh the radiation detriment. National governments must accept the Justification analysis before the proposal can go ahead.
European law also provides a way for the Justification to be reviewed if new and important evidence comes to light. Anyone can submit evidence and apply for a review. LLRC has already challenged the plan for a European Pressurised Reactor at Hinkley Point C - see this Ecologist article.
Read how you can make your own review application.
That was the question posed by the Los Angeles Daily News. Some NRC officials noted that, while several recent European reports show raised rates of cancer in children close to nuclear plant, there has been no health study of nuclear power in the US for almost 30 years. They wanted to revisit American data. They have been overruled. In this 12 minute radio interview Dr. Chris Busby explains that the new study was blocked because it would have revealed so much illness and death that the public would have demanded plant closures.
As part of our programme of updating the old website we have reviewed our responses to a gratuitous attack by George Monbiot in 2011.
LLRC's chief scientific advisor is Professor Chris Busby. His curriculum vitae