REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive
and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 330

Revolt news 19/06/2011 Print (pdf) Version

1. The full IARC report on RF EMF is to appear in Lancet Oncology, not in The Lancet itself as stated in news329, though the correct link was given. Lancet Oncology is a separate Lancet publication.

2. The IARC 2B classification for RF-EMF was reached almost unanimously, according to Microwave News. There were two dissenters and plenty of external spin-against not least from national cancer charities. A minority dissenting report is expected to be filed. Diversity of views and minority reports are generally to be welcomed – I would be more suspicious of the complete absence of dissent. The emotions attached (from both sides, with concepts of winners and losers, and personal attacks) are not always so welcome. That seems to be the way of humans, and also of scientists, who can at times seem almost human!

3. The import of the IARC 2B classification should apply in due proportion to all forms of RF-EMF including wi-fi in schools and ‘smart meter’ proposals. The British Colombia (Canada) government “is going to put a powerful wireless transmitter on your house” according to ICTV Victoria. The UK government smart meter strategy is expected to save just £23 per home per year, which might not be worth the capital and installation cost. But with a rollout of 53 million smart meters between 2014 and 2019 it’s loadsamoney for some! £23 per home per year is very close to the figure SAGE produced representing the potential impact of power-frequency EMF exposure based only on the rare disease of childhood leukaemia. Exposure levels from smart-meter transmission are not the same as from a hand-held mobile phone, but there should be matters for careful consideration here.

4. The public concern HESE-UK web site now appears as an archive to a newer body, Bio-electromagnetics Research Initiative. The newer site reports claims that “smart meters expose residents to about 100x the microwave radiation of a cell phone- precisely opposite what the industry is claiming”. The site also has a section on Visible Light Communication (VLC) Systems, which use modulated visible light, as a potential safer alternative to microwave and RF-EMF.

5. A whimsical note from Alasdair Philips of Powerwatch:

Chris Hune:

Walking pylons:

National Grid:

 Yes well......->


6. A John Sergeant piece for BBC reveals the passion of closet pylon spotters at" Why not! Chacun a son gout. But not over someone else’s house please, nor destroying rare and increasingly precious countryside tranquility. Not so much NIMBY as NIOBY – not in other people’s back yards, thankyou.

7. The SAGE group on precaution for power-frequency EMF closed in December 2010, though two of its funders Children with Cancer (formerly Children with Leukaemia) and National Grid have suggested some sort of dialogue may continue. This has not happened so far, at least not with inclusive stakeholder engagement. SAGE was also sponsored by the UK Department of Health which hosted the project. SAGE produced two reports: the First Interim Assessment (FIA) in April 2007, which addressed EMF from high-voltage transmission lines among other things, and a Second Interim Assessment (2IA) in June 2010 addressing distribution lines and substations and reporting some discussions on science.

8. The much heralded IET/KEMA review of undergrounding has stalled! National Grid reports 6 Jun2011: the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has recently announced that insufficient data has been provided to KEMA to enable them to complete this report. Arrangements are being put in place for further stages of the costs work to be taken forward. Another announcement will be made by the IET once the process and timescales for this next stage of work have been established. It is expected that a final analysis will be published later this year.

9. The whole IET/KEMA project does look suspiciously bad. The project was initiated 12 Nov 2010. Firstly there was a rush job to do the report in very short time, with completion in Jan 2011 and publication in “early February” 2011. Key national public stakeholders were unaware of the “stakeholder day” 9 Dec 2010. There was only a contact phone number and even that had no-one to respond before Christmas. A NG spokesperson said that it “is not an open review”. It was looking principally for commercial evidence from industry. Very short shrift was given to independent national powerline-specialist stakeholders like Revolt who protested that more time would be needed for the review and for them to submit information. KEMA insisted they had enough information to complete the job. On 7 Jan 2011 KEMA said “We are not really in a position to accept significant new information at this time”. When approached in person, KEMA was more accommodating in ensuring information would be considered, but only on the basis that the job was practically done and it would not make a significant difference.

10. Revolt news316 of 7 Jan 2011 summarised the worrying situation with the IET/KEMA review. Now that the project, with its confident (arrogant even) promise of a published report by early February, just three months after its initiation, has stalled after more than seven months, it has the appearance of interference by the political interests of IET and government. Yes, IET has been political on EMFs since the days when David Jefferies was its President at the same time as being NG Chairman, and even Prime Minister John Major declared his personal pay deals “distasteful”. Revolt news315 of 2 Jan 2011 had said “Anything less [than resolving differences between the many previous reports and their rebuttals] will leave the public suspicious of such a hasty and closed review directed by interested parties.” The latest situation heightens suspicions. It has the appearance of political reluctance to accept aspects of a draft technical report which might conflict with the prior political interests of forcing very extensive overhead powerline developments upon the public, so that, in time-honoured fashion, more “favourable” evidence is sought in the absence of which the project is pushed aside. That is certainly the appearance. It could hardly have been made more obvious if it were intended!

11. If the IET/KEMA project were open, stakeholders would be invited to discuss the position and the need (or not) for more evidence. It’s not too late. But no, this and the decision to stall seem to be made in secret. It was even left to National Grid to let respondents know. Shameful!

12. Meanwhile the NG consultation on undergrounding, which was stalled waiting for the KEMA review, is on again, with a new deadline of Monday 4 July 2011 and with a view to reporting “later this summer”.

Statements made by the editor or by other parties and quoted for information do not necessarily represent the views of Revolt. Criticism of government and industry, and grievances from members of the public, are in the nature of Revolt's work, though we try to give credit where it is due. Revolt is strictly non-party-political and regrets any offence which may be inadvertently caused.




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