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A military installation that should at best be on a remote island, not in a Welsh beauty hotspotA military installation that should at best be on a remote island, not in a Welsh beauty hotspot




































A giant radar farm capable of scanning a third of every square millimetre of space around the earth hardly needs a genius to confirm it for us: it turns out it would, unsurprisingly, be one of the most high-radiation projects ever put on British soil.

Television broadcast dishes, radio transmission antennae, even some industry-specialised handheld devices: these are just some of the radiofrequency radiation sources that have been proven in countless decades-long studies to be correlated with higher levels of incidence of cancers in the closest surrounding residential areas than comparable areas, including most commonly leukaemia (blood cancer) and forms of brain cancer.

But a 27-dish radiofrequency radiation factory like DARC radar? Take those studies, multiply them by several factors, and you’re just beginning to come close to the level of public health impact under discussion when we talk about DARC.

The science is crystal clear

Decades of research show it: the higher incidence rates of cancers and other health complications experienced by residential populations in the closest vicinity of some particularly higher-powered, long-range broadcast-capable radiofrequency installations are undeniable.

TV and FM radio transmitters at the higher ends of power density are a well-known example. Take the high-powered UK radio and TV transmitter at Sutton Coldfield, where the rate of adult leukaemia within 2 kilometres of the installation was shown to be 1.8 times higher than that of the general population. The study showed a ‘statistically significant decline in risk with increasing distance from the antenna.’1

Or take Michelozzi et al.’s study2 of the Vatican radio station, where adults within 2 kilometres of the station’s antenna showed, for leukaemia, a standardised mortality rate of 1.8—or that adults were 1.8 times as likely to die from leukaemia in the antenna’s radiation impact zone, versus its surrounding areas. Or see the way Ha et al.’s two extensive studies in 11 administrative areas in the Republic of Korea showed that people aged 10 or over living within 2 km of high-power AM transmitter antennae were 1.8 times more likely to develop cancer than those living near to lower-powered transmitters.3 Or why not try Maskarinec et al.’s case-control study showing children were twice as likely to develop leukaemia near radio towers in Hawaii.4

And these non-ionising radiation sources are not even the most powerful.

But DARC isn’t an FM radio or TV antenna system: It’s different, right?

Yes: DARC is different. It’s likely to be a minimum of about approximately five times more dangerous to human health than even the antennae mentioned above.

DARC, being a radar farm consisting first of twenty-one 15 metre wide, 20 metre tall radar receive dishes, and then six more 15 metre wide, 20 metre tall transmit dishes capable of detecting objects in space the size of a football up to an altitude of roughly 36,000 kilometres,5 would comprise a system it can be reasonably assumed would be much closer to the category of something more familiar: weather radar systems.

And weather radars?

It so happens that their typical maximum exposure levels are five times more powerful than the more powerful typical FM radio and TV antennas.6 That's all according to the UK government Health Protection Agency’s own independently commissioned report, Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields.

The weather radars DARC would bear similarity with, then, according to the report, are ‘usually mounted on securely fenced high towers … away from residential areas [our emphasis].’7

But we’ll give you one guess. How far do you think the population centres of Park Hall caravan site and key surrounding settlements in the Brawdy area are from the proposed Cawdor Barracks radar site?

You were right. About 0.0 kilometres.

For a radar system so unbelievably powerful, and so unprecedented for the population-dense countries of Britain that each radar statutorily has to be fitted with warning lights preventing human beings going near it when it’s operating, Natural Resources Wales’ concerns describing DARC as ‘unique to Britain’8 are just the beginning.

Wait. So if high-frequency RF radiation can be this high-risk, wouldn’t even the US military have had to admit it by now?

Well, that’s exactly what the Pentagon did.

An investigation by the defence agency into itself last year revealed that US military pilots and ground crews, known to operate in close proximity to what the Chicago Sun Times refers to as the ‘massive radar systems on the decks of ships [the aircraft] land on’ experience 24% higher cancer rates than the general population, including an 87% higher rate of melanoma, a 39% higher rate of thyroid cancer, a 16% higher rate of prostate cancer and a 16% higher rate of breast cancer.9

That’s after US military companies just like the one trying to build DARC were forced to settle a lawsuit10 brought by East German soldiers who developed radiation sickness and ultimately cancer generated by parasitic X-rays after working in close proximity to military radars in Germany.

And after the US Department of Veterans Affairs actively acknowledged in 2010 that personnel working with LORAN (Long Range Navigation) radar stations may have been exposed to X-ray radiation (an ionising form of radiation well-known to have the capacity to cause cancer) from the high voltage vacuum tubes involved in the radars.11

… And after a case-controlled study among U.S. Air Force personnel which found an increased risk of brain cancer among personnel who maintained or repaired radiofrequency or microwave-emitting equipment.12

So. DARC can be expected to produce insane levels of radiation for such a huge, residentially-located radar farm.

At this point, given some of the evidence, you would be forgiven for asking why more hasn’t been done to address the risks of non-ionising radiation levels on the residential population—right?

Enter the WHO.

No, sadly we don't mean the loveable 70s hair band whose track Baba O'Riley your dad spent his youth playing air guitar to.

We mean the World Health Organisation (WHO), the major source of many of the arguments and data for many supporters of projects like DARC, which takes, you’ll notice if you’ve read its guidance, a pretty tough line on research scientists who point to the growing body of evidence on the subject of radiation risks for public health. A very tough line, in fact.

It is true that producing consistent evidence of the health effects of radiation sources like radars when such studies take longer time periods, and need to test conditions in complex everyday environments, can be challenging.

Yet the research community of medical scientists on the ground that has so far repeatedly proven those instances of RF radiation’s health effects on some higher-risk residential populations—instances about which the WHO has little to say in response—has been noticing, over the last couple of decades, something about the Core Group responsible for the WHO’s investigatory department for electromagnetic field radiation (the EMF).

You guessed it: It just happens to be stuffed to the brim with people affiliated with the US telecoms and military industries.

Five out of six of that directing Core Group’s members are also members of the ICNIRP, an NGO ultra-loyal to the US corporate telecommunications and military industries.13

The WHO’s EMF was started by a man named Michael Repacholi, a scientist with little medical research experience who spent his years there frequently inviting representatives of the electric, telecommunications and military industries to the EMF’s meetings, and arranging for the EMF’s funding to be provided by telecommunications industry lobbying organisations, including the GSM Association, and the Mobile & Wireless Forum.14

Add in the fact that the current head of the Radiation Programme within the WHO is an electrical engineer with no experience in medicine, a member of the industry-loyal Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (whose members mostly are involved in making radars, phones and wifi), and an individual who spends her time receiving funding from industry-aligned organisations like the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Communications & Information Technology Ontario (CITO), and Nortel,15 it should be unsurprising to know:

Many medical research scientists across the world have come to consider the WHO’s stance on radiofrequency radiation to be inappropriately dismissive of the medical evidence, unresponsive to criticism about its decision-making procedures, and one that faces risks of playing fast and loose with public and service personnel’s health.16











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DARC. It’s the gift that just keeps on taking.

Okay. So DARC is bad in theory. And DARC is bad when it’s fully operational. But at least it can’t possibly be harmful to our health before it’s even switched on, right?

DARC’s Construction Phase has entered the chat.

The MOD’s scoping report for DARC makes clear just how major a construction project it would be to bring 27 radars as high as multi-storey buildings all the way to the west of Pembrokeshire, and construct them with antenna foundations, ground foundations, surrounding concrete hardstanding, perimeter maintenance pavement, antenna patrol roads, back-up power generation and even more associated buildings.

So massive would this project be that, if it were authorised, an astonishing 20 LGV lorries (weighing in excess of 3.5 tonnes each) and 80 HGV lorries a day (four per hour)—would have to be filling up the highways.

Were the ground to be dug up to lay all these unprecedentedly extensive foundations, however, even the MOD’s report has to admit that ‘excavations or placement of below ground temporary or permanent structures may result in the disturbance and mobilisation of existing ground contamination within areas of made ground.’17

Gimme one public health risk. And just keep 'em coming.

Cawdor Barracks in Brawdy has been, let’s not forget, a military base. An active military base with a fire training area, explosive weapons testing facilities and storage, an extensive ‘known asbestos contaminated area’ so bad it’s surrounded by warning signage and former bulk fuel installations, and where PFAS, PFOS, potential unexploded ordnance, chlorinated solvents, fire-fighting substances, radon with the ‘potential to migrate beneath the Cawdor Barracks site and into buildings’, natural uranium, and Strontium-90 are all confirmed in the report to be ground contaminants present in the earth there.18

Given that, you’d be understandably forgiven for hoping that none of the contaminants could leech into the groundwater, or somehow make its way into our water systems.

Except the report repeatedly says not only that some of it could, but that some contaminants from the base already have.

‘There is the potential that surface water runoff generated from the construction areas would discharge to either local surface water features and/or groundwater,’ the report explains. ‘Construction activities could result in the contamination of this runoff, ultimately adversely impacting the water environment and designated sites due to water quality deterioration and aquatic habitat degradation.’19

It might be fine though. Just so long as, say, any private water company providing the military base with its water supply didn’t have a track record of facing criticism for the drinking water of residential areas being contaminated with hazardous materials produced by nearby MOD military bases… right?

Ancala Water Services says hi.

Ancala, the private water company with the responsibility of ‘water supply provision’ for Brawdy’s Cawdor Barracks and two consents to discharge effluent ‘from Cawdor Barracks sewage treatment works into Brawdy Stream’,20 is, like many private water firms, a profit-driven PFI company that just seems to keep having to say sorry.

Like that one time two months ago, when the BBC reported that diesel from an army camp at Trenchard Lines in Upavon, Wiltshire had entered into the drinking water supply.21

Or that other time, when the BBC reported that Ancala had had to issue a ‘do not drink’ order in St Athan due to a contaminant entering the water supply, right next to the MOD St Athan RAF base. The same MOD that’s running the Brawdy base wouldn’t even say what the contaminant was, leaving the gates wide open for speculation.22

And yet somehow, it gets worse.

The radiation risks: reckless. The parties who want to build it: can’t be trusted as far as they can be thrown. But what about the thousands of tourists who keep the Dewisland Peninsula’s economy going, the rich animal and plant habitats that would be displaced if DARC ever saw the light of day, and the effects DARC would have on the economy itself?

The more you know, the more impact you can have.

Read on next to learn more about tourism, economics and the environment.





But before you do, if you agree with us that the health of Pembrokeshire residents deserves better than a high-powered radiation farm that the military-industrial complex can’t be trusted to give us honest information about, there is one way to fight back. And it’s exactly how we win.

Take these quick actions to back Pembrokeshire now with PARC Against DARC. Let’s make DARC history!

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK



SIGN THE PETITION AGAINST DARC



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Could donating work for you? With our ambitious plans for fighting DARC, nothing would help us more than your kind donation. Huge thanks in advance!





















References

    1. 'Cancer incidence near radio and television transmitters in Great Britain. I. Sutton Coldfield transmitter', 145:1-9, Dolk et al. (1997),
    2. 'Adult and childhood leukemia near a high-power radio station in Rome, Italy', 155:1096-1103, Michelozzi et al. (2002),
    3. 'Incidence of cancer in the vicinity of Korean AM radio transmitters', 58:756–762, Ha et al. (2003),
    4. 'Investigation of increased incidence in childhood leukemia near radio towers in Hawaii: preliminary observations', Maskarinec et al. (1994), 58:756–762,
    5. 'Sky News – US wants to build spy base in UK to help keep satellites safe', Sky News, 16 July 2021,
    6. See 'Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields', p. 38 (FM radio and TV) and p. 67 (Weather radar) respectively, Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation for Health Protection Agency (UK Government), April 2012, . The report describes '[t]ypical antennas' (in reference to FM radio and TV antennas) as having 'output powers of 10–50 kW', while the '[t]ypical peak and average output power values' for weather radar are given as 'about 250 kW and 150 W, respectively'
    7. Ibid., p. 67
    8. Natural Resource Wales correspondence to Pembrokeshire County Council, NRW reference CAS-212933-M3Z9, PCC reference 22/1136/SO, Eleanor Sullivan, p. 6, 17 April 2023,
    9. '24% higher cancer rates found in military pilots, ground crews, Pentagon study finds', Tara Copp, Chicago Sun Times, March 20 2023,
    10. 'East German Soldiers Get Compensation for Radar Sickness', Deutsche Welle, February 17 2004,
    11. 'LORAN Radiation', U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,
    12. 'Radiation exposure, socioeconomic status, and brain tumor risk in the U.S. Air Force: A nested case–control study.', 143(5):480–486, Grayson JK (1996),
    13. 'World Health Organization, radiofrequency radiation and health - a hard nut to crack (Review)', Lennart Hardell, International Journal of Oncology, June 21 2017,
    14-16. Ibid.
    17. 'EIA Scoping Report: Project DARC – Cawdor Barracks', Part 1, p. 124, Sweco, 10 March 2023,
    18-19. Ibid., p. 111 and p. 124 respectively
    20. 'EIA Scoping Report: Project DARC – Cawdor Barracks', Part 2, p. 17, Sweco, 10 March 2023,
    21. 'Trenchard Lines Upavon water contaminated with diesel', BBC News, 16 November 2023,
    22. 'St Athan: Bottled water delivered after supply contaminated', BBC News, May 13 2022,