HC Deb 11 November 1999 vol 337 cc707-8W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of work carried out at his Department's establishment at Nancekuke in Cornwall on the health of the local population. [97645]

Mr. Kilfoyle

The establishment at Nancekuke, now RAF Portreath, was known as the Process and Research Division of the Chemical Experimental Establishment, Porton Down, from 1951 until it was closed in 1980 and the site returned to the RAF.

The Chemical and Biological Defence Sector of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency is now aware of any assessment of the health of the local population. However, a report in 1970 by the Registrar General showed that, up to 1969, the mortality of persons who had been employed at Nancekuke was rather less than the average for England and Wales as a whole, possibly due to regional differences in climate and social conditions.

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