The Scottish Green Party’s top Highlands & Islands candidate Eleanor Scott has welcomed news that Dounreay operators are conducting checks following reports that body parts from deceased Sellafield ex-workers were taken without the consent of their families. (1)
Commenting on the news that Trade Secretary Alistair Darling had launched an inquiry into the removal of body tissue samples from former Sellafield workers after their death, Dr Scott said:
“That this could have happened only confirms the two things we have long known about the nuclear industry; it is both secretive and inherently dangerous. Why else would they be wanting to check tissue samples from their workforce after their death?
“Greens have spent three years trying to get health statistics for childhood leukaemia in the areas affected by Sellafield and Chapelcross, and the authorities are fighting us and the Freedom of Information Commissioner all the way up to the House of Lords. The nuclear industry still shrouds itself in secrecy.
“The inquiry announced by Alistair Darling does not go nearly far enough. We need to know if this has been happening at other nuclear sites including Chapelcross, Dounreay, Torness and Hunterston. Has the practice stopped and if so when? What information was gleaned? Have workers died from radiation exposure?
“Nothing less than a full public inquiry will suffice, and if Alistair Darling will not order one, we will be calling for a thorough investigation of whether this entirely unacceptable practice was, or even still is, policy at nuclear sites across Scotland.”
An FOI request from the Greens for data on the incidence of leukaemia in Dumfries and Galloway recently made history when the Common Services Agency (CSA) challenged the ruling of Kevin Dunion, the FOI commissioner, that the data be made public. It was the first legal challenge to Dunion. The CSA lost and is now appealing the Court of Session’s ruling to the House of Lords.
1. For more see: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/6566903.stm