At Nancecuke common between Portreath and Porthtowan there is an old RAF base; RRH Portreath. Originally a Radar listening post it was later, controversially, used as an outstation of the Porton Down Chemical Defense Establishment. Sarin and VX nerve toxins were produced here in the 1950's. Later reports of fatalities among workers and chemicals being dumped into mine workings were discussed in Parliament and reported in the newspapers. Site cleansing began over ten years ago.
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