"All safe" sounded, but will anyone hear it?
Scientists found no increase in childhood cancers near nuclear power stations, but did find higher than average rates close to certain atomic research facilities, weapons assembly plants and waste reprocessing centres.
But they say the clusters are unlikely to have been caused by radiation from the plants.
Anti-nuclear campaigners, such as the environmental consultancy Green Audit, claim the study's methodology was flawed and that its findings are a "whitewash" .
The Times' fuller report is below.
Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online
For the four sites where links were found it concludes that risks were modestly increased.
At Sellafield, for example, the risks of leukaemia and NHL were 14 per cent higher than average and the risks of solid tumours 11 per cent higher. The biggest risk was found at Dounreay, where the odds of contracting leukaemia or NHL were more than doubled, but this was based on small numbers — 9 cancers when 3.9 would have been expected.
Professor Bridges said that this “blip” could have been due to population mixing, which exposes children moving to an area of infectious agents that they are unused to, which has been shown to increase leukaemia risks. In this case, the population mixing was the result of people moving to Thurso, near Dounreay, to work in the oil industry.
As for Aldermaston, Burghfield and Harwell, he said, Berkshire and Oxfordshire had been shown to have higher cancer rates than other areas for reasons that are unexplained but which cannot be due to radiation because the cancers are found far from nuclear plants.
Rosyth is the only new site identified by the study. The evidence shows a small excess of leukaemias and NHL: 218 where 211 would have been expected and 392 solid tumours where 343 would have been expected. B