The work was routinely done, after workers had died naturally, to monitor the affects of radiation exposure on people, the majority of which were employed at Sellafield in Cumbria.

In total 64 workers had body parts or tissue removed without permission between 1955 and 1992.

In 2007, the then trade secretary Alistair Darling launched the Redfern Inquiry, conducted by Michael Redfern QC, after the removals were discovered.

The Government yesterday (November 16) published the Redfern Inquiry into the analysis of human tissue taken from individuals who had worked in the nuclear industry.

Secretary of state for energy and climate change, Chris Huhne, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt regret and to apologise to the families and relatives of those involved. I hope that the publication of today’s Report goes some way toward providing the closure they deserve.

“The events described in the Inquiry should never have happened in the first place. We have learned the lessons of the past. The law on human tissue has been reviewed, and there is now a rigorous regulatory system in place, in which both the public and professionals have confidence.”

Luke Walsh

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