§ Mr. Butler
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment to report on its review of the incidence of childhood cancer in the vicinity of Sellafield.
§ Mr. Dorrell
As my hon. Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Freeman) announced on 10 January 1990 at column662, and 3 May 1991 at column 369, since 1989 the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment—COMARE—has been reviewing epidemiological and dosimetric data which have become available since the publication of the Black advisory 255W group's report to Government in 19841, and of COMARE's first report in 19862. Copies of both reports are in the Library. Much of this information has become available as a result of studies commissioned by the Government. In addition, some documents relating to radioactive discharges from Sellafield in the early 1950s have been drawn to the attention of COMARE. A preliminary review of all this information has caused COMARE to ask the National Radiological Protection Board to produce a comprehensive reassessment of dose and risk estimates in respect of the local population. I am advised that this reassessment will substantially delay COMARE's review and the completion of a final report to Government.
1 Investigation of the Possible Increased Incidence of Cancer in West Cumbria. Report of the Independent Advisory Group. Chairman: Sir Douglas Black. HMSO (1984).
2Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) First Report. The implications of the new data on the releases from Sellafield in the 1950s for the conclusions of the Report on the Investigation of the possible Increased Incidence of Cancer in West Cumbria. Chairman: Professor M. Bobrow. HMSO (1986).