Radioactive Times: LLRC Journal

Editorial

from Radioactive Times Volume 3, Number 2, October 1999 (content not updated)

First, on behalf of the Campaign and the Editorial team let me apologise for the missing Winter Issue of Radioactive Times. Instead of producing the journal we were involved in developing the website (www.llrc.org), and a great deal of work associated with both the Euratom Campaign and various research projects, some results of which we report in this issue.

In the six months since the last issue a great deal has happened. The campaign has had considerable success both in the general project of calling attention to the dangers of low-level radiation, forcing a reassessment of the risks from internal radioisotopes and also the specific attempts to head off the transposition of the greatest immediate danger, the Euratom waste disposal charter Directive 96/29.

We are far too immodest not to point out that this sneaky attempt to introduce a new route for nuclear waste disposal was rumbled at the first instance by us alone and that at first we received considerable opposition even from greens and anti-nuclear activists over our initial warnings regarding the plans of the nuclear industry and their friends in the European Commission. Happily we succeeded in persuading the European Parliament Green Group and later also the Media that without some action we would all end up with radioactive artefacts in our living rooms. Much of the argument arose from a quaint belief that the nukes would not stoop so low and even if they did, the Commission and/or the risk agencies would not allow such a scam. Both beliefs turned out wrong. Happily, also we clearly managed to persuade the Minister that there was a problem and Mr Meacher has now apparently decided to retain the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 with its 400Bq/kg nuclear waste limit.

Hurrah for Mr Meacher, the Clean Man of Europe!

The other big story is the increase of cancer along the Welsh Coast, believed to be caused by Sellafield pollutants. This is now being examined at the highest level and arguments about leukemia in children have now moved into examination of all cancers at all ages. The investigation has also begun to look at the very strange goings on in the Cancer Registries. Cassandra predicts that there will be tears before the end of this investigation: readers of RaT will be kept informed.

LLRC has finally entered the Depleted Uranium arena, sucked in by a strange fax which we were copied, discussing a report that Dr Douglas Holdstock, radiation consultant to MEDACT, has advised the Peace movement that DU is not a radiation risk and that radioactive exposure to DU could not be a cause of the Gulf War effects. Levels of radiation from Uranium and its decay daughters is thousands of times above pre-war background in the Gulf, as are levels of cancer and congenital malformation in children. We have spared our readers some of the more gruesome pictures we have seen and address the radiation risks of Uranium (as DU should be called) in this issue. Cruise missiles also have DU nose cones and core rods and DU ammunition is being used in the Kosovan war, as it was in the Bosnian conflict. We predict increases in cancer and congenital illness in the area and further afield as the particles drift on the wind. Southern Europe Look Out!


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