NuGen and Population Mixing


An Open Letter to the Mayor of Copeland : Mike Starkie

from Radiation Free Lakeland.
Dear Mayor Mike,

Thank you for organising the meetings regarding the rather intimidating
letters from NuGen. People are understandably upset about the possible
compulsary purchase of their homes in order to clear a space for the
building of temporary accommodation for thousands of nuclear workers.

We are a voluntary group and have many members based in Copeland who feel
that they are are on an unstoppable ride to untried untested new reactors.
They feel that any consultation which does not allow for an unequivocal
NO but merely looks for ideas on “mitigation” is a token gesture to

What has not been made public by NuGen or the government is the
“population mixing” aspect of bringing in thousands of temporary workers
to what is an essentially rural area. The benefit of temporary workers to
the industry, is of course, that they are not included on the unemployment
figures for Cumbria at a later date.

The industry run a Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Disease for
the workforce while pooh poohing any health effects outside the military
fences of nuclear installations. Those outside the gates are not
compensated for health impacts. Rather the government and industry have
grabbed onto the “population mixing” hypothesis. “Population mixing” is
the government and industry’s preferred explanation for the excess of
leukemias (and other radiation linked diseases) in the vicinity of nuclear
installations. This begs the question of why the industry and government
are not flagging up a warning: “population mixing around nuclear
installations can seriously damage your child’s health.”

The Leo Kinlen theory, put forward in 1988, suggests that exposure to a
common unidentified infection through population mixing results in
Childhood Leukaemia. “This exposure is greater”, Prof. Kinlen says, “when
people from urban areas mix with rural communities e.g. when construction
workers and nuclear staff move into the Sellafield area”.

I attach correspondence with Dr Dickinson whose subsequent work has also
been seized on by government and industry. In explaining significantly
increased childhood cancers around nuclear plants the government has been
persuaded by the “population mixing” model rather than emissions from
nuclear power plants.

A paper Dr Dickinson wrote in 1999 describes population mixing as “a
significant risk factor for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and non-Hodgkin’s
lymphoma, especially in young children, accounting for over 50% of cases in
Cumbria and most cases in Seascale”.

Doctors Heather Dickinson and Louise Parker of Newcastle University
claimed in 1999 that their work backs up Professor Leo Kinlen’s population
mixing theory as the likely cause of the cluster of childhood leukaemia
cases at Seascale near Sellafield.
In correspondence with Dr Dickinson she referred me back
to the Department of Health who then referred me back to The North of
England Children’s Cancer Research Unit – a perfect circle of avoidance.

When I asked NuGen at a public meeting whether they would be issuing a
health warning regarding “population mixing” they looked at me blankly.
They looked equally blank when I asked if the Compensation Scheme for
Radiation Linked Diseases would be extended to the wider population.

Please can you find out if NuGen subscribe to the “population mixing”
theory and if so will they be issuing a health warning.

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
Radiation Free Lakeland


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