HC Deb 14 May 1990 vol 172 cc319-20W
Mr. McFall

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what consultations he has carried out on the Gardner report on the cause and effect of leukaemia at and around Sellafield and its implications for the electricity generation industry.

Mr. Baldry

I have discussed the results of the case control study by Professor Gardner with a number of representatives from the nuclear industry including British Nuclear Fuels plc and associated trade unions.

In view of the importance of this complex matter the Government referred Professor Gardner's study to the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE). Its preliminary advice was given on 2 April and I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health on that day to the question from the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham), at columns 430–34.

Further studies following on from the Black report and from recommendations made by COMARE and accepted by Government are, I understand, currently under way or are being planned. The Health and Safety Executive and the nuclear industries, British Nuclear Fuels in particular, have also commissioned a series of other complementary studies.

Mr. Frank Cook

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he intends to introduce measures to amend the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 to extend the 30-year statute of limitation on claims for compensation for injury and for death caused by breach of duty by any site licensee under that Act, in the light of the Gardner report's indication that there may be a causal relationship between radiation doses received by workers at Sellafield and the excess of leukaemias among their children.

Mr. Baldry

The Government have no plans to do so.