EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF RADIATION RISK
COMITE EUROPEEN SUR LE RISQUE DE L'IRRADIATION
PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT: EMBARGO 23:50 WED 29th Jan 2003
· NEW SOURCE OF ADVICE ON RADIATION RISK
· MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR NUCLEAR POLICY
· DRAWS ATTENTION TO DANGERS FROM USE OF DEPLETED URANIUM OR OTHER MILITARY DISPERSION OF RADIOACTIVITY
The report ECRR2003 Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at low doses for Radiation Protection Purposes, Regulators' Edition will be launched at the Press Centre of the European Parliament in Brussels at 10.30 on 30th January. Presenting the new rational risk model developed over the last 5-years by a group of over 30 independent scientists and other experts will be the group's Scientific Secretary Dr Chris Busby together with Professor Alexey Yablokov, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow and radiation physics expert Professor Inge Schmitze Feuerhake of the University of Bremen, who both assisted in the preparation of the report.
The ECRR was formed in 1998 in Brussels following concerns that the risk models for ionising radiation employed as a basis for policy had entirely failed to predict or explain massive evidence of ill health in populations exposed to internal radioactivity from weapons fallout, licensed discharges and accidents, and military use of Depleted Uranium. Dr Busby, who is a member of the UK government radiation risk committee CERRIE and also the Ministry of Defence Depleted Uranium Oversight Board said ' The ECRR committee has provided a completely new appraisal of the historic and future risk from nuclear pollution and also the ethical basis on which the nuclear project has been based.' Professor Yablokov, who was an advisor on the environment to Presidents Yeltsin and Gorbachev said, 'At last a rational system of radiation risk modelling has been developed which predicts and explains all the observations, from leukemia clusters near nuclear sites to the terrible effects of the Chernobyl disaster in the contaminated regions of Belarus and the Ukraine.'
As an example, the risk model presented in the new report is employed to calculate the overall human death toll of all nuclear pollution exposures showing that over 50 million people will die or have died as a result of the radioactive releases up to 1989. Dr Busby commented, ' The model shows clearly that the human race cannot afford to allow contamination of the environment with these radioactive materials. The politicians must realise that if the military are allowed to use Depleted Uranium or tactical nuclear weapons in any future war, there will be terrible consequences for soldiers and civilians both in the area of use and, as Chernobyl has taught, much further away.
Further information (a PDF file, 313Kb available from 23.50 Weds. 29 January)
European Parliament Brussels: Dr Caroline Lucas MEP +32 (0) 2284 7153
ECRR: Scientific Secretary, Dr Chris Busby +44 (0)1970 639315
ECRR 2003 ISBN 1-897761-24-4; 186 pp, 44 Tables, 6 illus, 550 refs is published in the UK on behalf of the ECRR by Green Audit Press and available on order from all booksellers or by email from email@example.com; 4-page Summary available on request or from www.euradcom.org from 23.50 Weds. 29 January