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Findings of the Nord-Cotentin Radioecology Group

Press release

July 09, 1999

In January 1997, extremely serious allegations suggesting a connection between the development of leukemias in the area of Beaumont-Hague and COGEMA operations at La Hague were made in a study, now named the Viel report. Consequently an expert working group, led by Mrs Sugier of IPSN (the Nord-Cotentin Radioecology Group), was set up in order to thoroughly review the case.
The conclusions of this group have just been made public. They are clear:

  • "No link could be established between the La Hague plant and the excess of leukemias";
  • Related to all youth aged 0 to 24 inhabiting the canton of Beaumont-Hague from 1978 to 1996, the number of cases of leukemia theoretically attributable to all of the local nuclear installations is 0.0014, only;
  • Considering only those persons with behavior presumed to maximize their exposure (controls selected by D. Pobel and J. F. Viel in 1997: beach attendance, consumption of local fish and seafood), the risk is not significantly higher.

COGEMA decided to participate fully in this project in the last two years by supplying all the information in its possession concerning the models, measurement results and releases. All data provided were validated by the members of the commission.

Consequently, COGEMA considers that this work was useful, served to replace a sensitive issue, in a satisfactory methodological and scientific setting, and clearly that we do no harm, neither to health nor to the environment. The Sugier group also developed and used its own method to calculate the impacts of the releases of the La Hague plant.

This method was incorporated by COGEMA in the preparation of the impact study associated with the file submitted to the safety authorities in December 1998, for the revision of the authorization decrees of the La Hague plant.