MARGARET Thatcher’s government feared the nuclear reactor at Dounreay could have been responsible for a cluster of leukaemia cases. Conservative ministers ordered a survey into the concerns in the mid-1980s. They were worried about a number of cases of the disease among young people in Thurso living within 12.5 kilometres (7.7 miles) of the nuclear facility. The then Scottish Secretary Malcolm Rifkind announced a study that would examine the number of cases between 1958 and 1983, to try to establish whether or not there was a link between low levels of radiation and leukaemia. Ministers were also worried about clusters in two other parts of the UK. However, neither of these appeared to be linked to nuclear sites. Initial findings from the study, reported to the cabinet, showed that experts found that “the distribution of cases is the result of chance”.
Herald 19th Feb 2016 http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14287863.Thatcher_s_government_feared_Dounreay_linked_to_leukaemia_cases/