A new report from the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (Comare) has found that there is no link between the incidence of childhood cancer and nuclear energy.

Using a database of over 32,000 cases of childhood cancer that occurred in the UK between 1969 and 1993, the most extensive study of its kind ever carried out, Comare analysed the incidence of childhood cancer in the vicinity of all the major licensed nuclear sites including power stations. Using the most appropriate statistical test for each site, no evidence of excess numbers of cases in any local 25 km area around any of the stations was found. This distance would include either primary exposure to radioactive discharges or secondary exposure from re-suspended material.

However, an excess of leukaemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) cases was found near some other sites, notably Dounreay and Sellafield.

The full report is available from www.comare.org.uk