Surfers Against Sewage are today condemning two South West Health Authorities
for their apparent lack of concern for the health of the residents of Plymouth.
SAS can reveal that the Authorities have given the green light to plans to increase
nuclear waste discharges into the River Tamar, despite admitting that they cannot
be 100% sure of the facts.
The Health Authorities’ go-ahead was given in their response to an Environment
Agency consultation document concerning an application by Devonport Management
Ltd (DML) to increase nuclear waste discharges from their submarine refitting
site at Devonport Dockyard.
The Authorities admit that they are unable to correctly assess the hazard of
low level radioactive waste because models used to calculate risks are not robust.
"Estimates of risk for low-level exposures are based on uncertain extrapolations
and require assumptions about the shape of the dose-effect relationship and
about the mechanism of radiation carcinogenesis".
Vicky Garner of SAS said today;
"The debate is much wider than the current situation in Plymouth. Nuclear
bases all around the UK are discharging so called low level radioactive waste,
rated as insignificant by officials, but highly dangerous by independent scientists.
It’s time for the true picture to be revealed".
"At Plymouth we are talking about a 500% increase in the amount of radioactive
tritium being discharged into the River Tamar. This is of great concern to SAS
when according to emerging evidence, the hazard presented by tritium is far
greater than is acknowledged by Government or radiation officials. We therefore
not only condemn the Health Authorities for giving the go-ahead to DML’s proposal,
we also condemn the Government for their apparent lack of drive to uncover the
"When you consider that tritium is discharged at many nuclear facilities
around the UK, in vast amounts, you have to ask whether it is simply convenient
for Government and officials to ignore growing scientific evidence".
The E.A. consultation period ends on July 4th, but SAS are hoping that the
final decision of whether DML get the green light or not, will not be down to
" SAS want a Public Inquiry. There is too much uncertainty surrounding
tritium. When we are talking about cancer and leukaemia we can’t afford to be
uncertain. It’s time to bring the whole low-level radiation debate to the fore,
we want to know what the real risks are and there is no way a real risk can
be determined if the assessment of risk is based on assumptions. We cannot afford
to gamble with life".
SAS, clad in wetsuits and gasmasks, with the three eyed toxic fish in tow,
will be crossing the Tamar Bridge from Saltash to Devonport Dockyard as part
of a protest against DML’s plans. SAS will join local Plymouth residents group
CANSAR in presenting a petition to the Environment Agency calling for a Public
Inquiry. The protest takes place on Wednesday 4th July, starting at 2pm in Saltash.
For further details contact Vicky Garner @ SAS on 01872 553001 or out of hours
on 07711 767 548