Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News and Other Busyness

Greenham Cancer

Squall 14, Autumn 1996, pg. 6.

AN INQUIRY into abnormally high incidence of leukaemia around Greenham Common air base is to be reopened following revelations of covered-up nuclear accidents.

There have been at least eight cases of leukaemia along a one-mile stretch of road near the former US nuclear air base in Newbury over the last five years.

Closed in 1989, the inquiry is to be re-opened following the release of confidential Ministry of Defence documents detailing a nuclear accident at the base in 1958. At the time of the original inquiry, it was assumed that any radiation must have come from the nearby atomic research plant at Aldermaston.

The report, uncovered by CND, suggests radioactivity was released after an American B-47 bomber jettisoned its fuel tanks because of engine trouble.

Uranium and plutonium were released when the tanks landed behind a stationary B-47, armed with a nuclear weapon, which burst into flames.

The report, not made available to the original inquiry, is one of several uncovered by CND which suggest a spate of nuclear accidents in the ’50s.

The Ministry of Defence has always denied that any nuclear accidents have ever occurred in Britain.

Newbury District Council, which is about to buy the base from the MoD, has launched its own investigation.