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Volume 171: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to publish the results of the survey into the effects of low-level radiation on the long-term health of those service men who served on Christmas Island in 1957 and 1958.

The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) published its report on mortality and cancer incidence in United Kingdom participants in "UK Atmospheric Nuclear Weapon Tests and Experimental Programmes" (NRPB-R214) in 1988. The study included service men who served on Christmas Island.The NRPB concluded in its report that a long-term health study along the lines suggested by the hon. Member was impracticable and unnecessary and its advice has not changed. The Government must rely, of course, on the expert and wholly independent advice of the NRPB on this matter.A follow-up mortality study is due to be completed by the end of 1991. The Government are confident that safety procedures during the tests were such that no one should have suffered harm as a result of exposure to ionising radiation. This was confirmed by the 1988 report which established no causal relationship between exposure to ionising radiation and increased incidence of any disease.