For immediate release: 6 June 2002
Radiation experts have been alarmed at a new report that claims that nuclear regulators have miscalculated the health risks from one of the world’s most widespread nuclear pollutants, Tritium1
Dr Barrie Lambert a radiation expert from St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London said the findings of the report could have significant implications for people who eat a lot of fish from around the various UK nuclear plants discharging Tritium into the marine environment.
Local Plymouth campaigners have been concerned about increased discharges of Tritium into the River Tamar resultant of the refit of HMS Vanguard in Devonport dockyard.
The Tritium is discharged directly from the submarine’s reactor into the river once the sub is in friendly waters, Discharging the tritium at sea would leave a radioactive footprint for unfriendly satellites to observe.
Discharges from a factory in Wales making isotopes for the drugs industry alerted scientists to the increased levels. Tritium levels in fish near the Amersham plant in Cardiff were hundreds of times higher than expected.
Carol Naughton CND Chair said “This is yet another example of the danger to the health of the environment and the community of Plymouth as a direct result of the refit of this nuclear submarine. The UK government should be carrying out its commitments to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and decommissioning this relic of the cold war, not re-commissioning it”.
1 “Uncertainties in dose co-efficients for intakes of tritiated water and organically-bound forms of tritium by members of the public” J.D. Harrison, A. Khursheed, B. E. Lambert
Contact CND Press Officer on 020 7700 2393