Electricité de France needs to remove 300,000 tonnes of sediment from the Severn Estuary before they can build the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station. They hold a Welsh Assembly government licence to dredge the sediment and dump it back into the water close to Cardiff. LLRC advises that tests commissioned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) are inadequate. It is known that radioactivity is present in the mud. This has come from nuclear power stations in Gloucestershire and Somerset, from Amersham International in Cardiff, from Sellafield, and from nuclear weapons tests. The gamma spectrometry used for the tests cannot detect particles of Plutonium and Uranium.
The centre of this image shows radiation tracks from a particle found near Sellafield. It's probably Plutonium, and about 1 micron diameter. Official reports since 1989 state that the Bristol Channel contains radioactivity from Sellafield. Since 1965 Hinkley Point also has discharged particles. Evidence that particles like this are present in the sediment has been covered up. When inhaled they are likely to be scavenged to lymph nodes. They deliver high doses of radiation to whatever body tissue they lodge in. .
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