EKN: Cancer in the Asse environment is no coincidence

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Increased cancer rate in the Asse region

EKN: Cancer in the area of ​​the dilapidated Asse nuclear waste storage facility is no coincidence

In contrast to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Lower Saxony Epidemiological Cancer Registry (EKN) comes to the conclusion that the increased number of cancers in the entire municipality of Asse cannot be a coincidence. How the numerous leukemia and thyroid cancer diseases were actually triggered is now to be clarified in a comprehensive investigation.

Cancer patients in the Asse environment will be examined in detail After the second meeting of the Asse working group, Wolfenbüttel district administrator Jörg Röhmann (SPD) announced that all cancer patients in the entire municipality of Asse will receive a questionnaire in the coming days to discuss which ones Factors for the increased number of cancer cases in the vicinity of the Asse nuclear waste facility come into question. Every resident of the community who has cancer or has registered with the authorities should, for example, use the questionnaire to provide information about his or her job, previous place of residence, age, tobacco and alcohol consumption and cancer cases in the family. In addition, those affected should then be interviewed again in detail about their illnesses, said District Administrator Jörg Röhmann (SPD). The EKN recently announced that between 2002 and 2009 the number of cases of leukemia in the entire municipality of Asse was twice as high and the number of thyroid cancer cases was three times higher than the statistical average. In addition to the radiation exposure, the EKN believes that intensive agriculture, the garbage dump of a chemical company or the lignite-fired power plant in Buschhaus could also trigger significantly increased numbers of leukemia and thyroid cancer. In order to determine the causes of the cancer, every single cancer patient in the entire municipality of Asse should be examined closely, explained Jörg Röhmann.

Obligation to report cancer is planned. A total of 80 cancer patients have registered with the Wolfenbüttel District Health Office, which are now to be examined as part of the evaluation, according to the Wolfenbüttel district administrator. In the other counties around the dilapidated Asse nuclear waste storage facility, however, no noticeable increase in cancer cases was observed when evaluating the numbers in the cancer registry from 2002 to 2009, which "made it somewhat easier", explained Röhmann. Although, for example, the number of leukemia diseases in the Samtgemeinde Oderwald, south of the Asse region, has also increased, this is not statistically significant, according to the State Health Office. In order to improve the data situation and to be able to identify such clusters of cancer in a region at an early stage, the Lower Saxony Ministry of Health is considering a general obligation to report cancer, explained the EKN. Because so far only around 50 percent of cancer diagnoses have actually been recorded. In the future, the EKN wants to carry out the evaluation of cancer cases nationwide in all communities in Lower Saxony.

Federal Office for Radiation Protection: Return concept remains unchanged While the various authorities and the Federal Environment Ministry are still dealing with the increased number of cancer cases, whereby Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen (CDU) seems extremely keen to reject any connection with the dilapidated nuclear waste storage facility, the next one is already reaching Bad news to the public. The amount of radioactive liquid in the Asse nuclear waste storage facility has risen sharply and doubled underground in front of chamber 8. A spokesman for the Federal Office for Radiation Protection spoke of a "new quality" for the incident, since for the first time access water coming from outside is in contact with a storage chamber for radioactive waste. Critics such as Udo Dettmann from the Asse II coordination group fear that the stored nuclear waste casks could be dissolved by the moisture and therefore emphasizes the urgency of the planned retrieval of the nuclear waste from the former salt mine. However, the return concept should be reconsidered because "there is a mixture of barrels, nuclear waste and contaminated salt in the chambers (...)", explained Dettmann. Therefore "it is important to consider whether you should not work with backhoe excavators instead of with grabs alone", said the member of the Asse II coordination group. However, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), which has been responsible for the operation and decommissioning of the facility since January 1, 2009, assumes that the plans to remove the barrels do not have to be adjusted despite the increase in radioactive liquid. "The security concept does not have to be tightened, we already started with the worst case," said the spokesman for the Federal Office for Radiation Protection on Wednesday in Salzgitter. (fp)

Also read:
No connection between leukemia and aces?
Leukemia Danger from ailing aces facility?
Nuclear power plants do not favor malformations?
Aces: Increased number of leukemia disorders

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