New Study to Assess Cancer Risks Associated with Nuclear Facilities
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is starting a new study that will observe the increased cancer risk for residents living near a nuclear facility. It is known that some radiation is released from nuclear reactors, but an earlier study had found no links between the radiation and increased risk of cancer for nearby residents.
The past study was conducted in 1990 when the technology wasn’t so advanced. Therefore, the NRC is now pushing forward the study with modern methods of analysis and information sources, reports CNN. The NRC is commissioning the National Academy of Sciences to conduct cancer risk studies at six nuclear power plants and one nuclear fuel facility.
The facilities that will be assessed during the pilot study are San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, San Clemente, California; Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Morris, Illinois; Millstone Power Station, Waterford, Connecticut; Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, Forked River, New Jersey; Haddam Neck, a decommissioned plant in Haddam Neck, Connecticut; Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant, a decommissioned plant in Charlevoix, Michigan. The pilot study will also include the Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin, Tennessee.
Congress directed the NRC to work with the National Academy of Sciences, which developed methods for assessing radiation near nuclear plants and for assessing cancer rates in nearby communities. The academy suggested that two types of epidemiology studies be carried out—one, a geography-based study of people with various cancers living near nuclear facilities, and second, a study of cancers in children born near nuclear facilities.