THE TRUE FACTS ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER
Why it is: Unaffordable - Dangerous - Unnecessary - Bad For The Environment
WHO ARE WE?
STAND was born out of an organisation called SCAR (Severnside Campaign Against Radiation) which was formed in 1984 after a report on raised incidents of childhood leukaemias around Sellafield Nuclear reprocessing plant was highlighted in a television programme. This set alarm bells ringing for a group of us who had heard that there were as many as 5 children with leukaemia living in and around Lydney, Gloucestershire, a town directly opposite Berkeley and Oldbury Nuclear Power Stations just a mile or so across the river Severn.
A group formed to find out the facts about the leukaemias and the processes at Berkeley and Oldbury nuclear power stations. We got statistical information on childhood leukaemias from Gloucester Health Authority. We got epidemiological advice from an expert in his field and he confirmed there was a highly significant raised incidence of childhood leukaemia in and around Lydney. We held a public meeting at Lydney town hall. The invited guests from the nuclear industry denied the existence of the cluster of leukaemias. They averaged them out over a huge area and refused to accept the significance of the concentration in Lydney.
We researched the history of Berkeley and Oldbury nuclear power stations and discovered a catalogue of accidents, and that the radiation readings at the perimeter of Berkely were the highest in the country. We got information from other groups, who had equally worrying health statistics near to other nuclear power plants, and we educated ourselves in the physics, engineering and economics of nuclear reactor construction.
In 1989 we organised the first Low Level Radiation and Health Conference at Gloucester Cathedral, with invited speakers expert in epidemiology, children’s cancers, and links between radiation and health. This conference is still ongoing and now international.
We raised money and hired a barrister to fight the expansion of Hinkley Nuclear Power station in Somerset. We lost the battle there, but thought we had won the war as revelations about safety, health and cost, effectively put a stop to the building of nuclear power stations in the UK and the USA.
The same group, comprised of the same members as in the 80s, plus new blood, is active again because we are concerned at the present alarming plans to expand the nuclear industry in this country, the lack of public dialogue and the apparently uncritical acceptance by the media of the government's nuclear plans.
We are concerned at the lack of public debate. The more we have learnt about nuclear power over the decades and more recently, the more worried we are about all its aspects. We believe that committing to new nuclear power in the UK would be a costly and dangerous mistake.