Community Concern, Cardiff

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Key Issues EA


The Cardiff site of Nycomed Amersham emits radioactive isotopes to the air and sewer every day

·        In storm conditions the sewers overflow and discharge radioactivity into the Taff at Whitchurch Brook about 60 times a year

·        Taff fish are high in radioactive tritium

·        Sediment and eels in the Taff are high in radioactivity

·        Recent MAFF monitoring of Estuary birds found world record levels of radioactive tritium.


There is radioactive tritium and other radiionuclides in Cardiff’s air, water and inside everyone living here. Vegetables are found with 50-100 units compared to ‘natural’ levels of 3-5 units. (Bq/Kg). Grass measurements have shown 1100 units; a sample of blackberries had 9000 units. Fish caught locally have up to 50,000 units, sediment and eels in the Taff 5,000 units and eels at Blackweir 17,000 units. A shelduck measured showed 60875 total tritium Bq/kg. These are government monitoring figures on the Public Register.


Nycomed Amersham plc Cardiff Site discharge under licence. People are assured that the radioactivity in our environment is safe. But low level radiation over time is thought by some scientists to be linked with many diseases, including cancers, thyroid, asthma and birth defects. Effects on the DNA have been demonstrated.


Community Concern is a citizen group formed more than three years ago. Representation has been made to the European Parliament to seek reductions in the discharges to the environment and a full scale epidemiological health survey to establish that there is no harm to public health from the daily radioactive discharges over Cardiff.

The current application by Nycomed Amersham will result in no actual reduction in radioactive discharge in spite of a public announcement early in 1999 that they would reduce discharges by at least 50% .

Community Concern feel that the ecological and health impact of the radioactive discharges should be taken seriously. The creation of nuclear waste should be minimised. The Precautionary Principle should be applied for the health of present and future generations.


The Environment Agency consultation to consider the Nycomed Amersham plc Cardiff Site application has started.. You can send your comments for consideration in the Consultation process to: Mr. Doug Withey at the Environment Agency , Abacus House, St Mellons, Cardiff.