Following last week's story about the possibility of Oyster Creek Generating Station being included in a pilot study of cancer risks in populations in close proximity to nuclear facilities, we asked for your thoughts.
Do you feel radiation may have adverse effects on local residents? Or do think the worries are unwarranted?
A few voters indicated they would wait for the study to come out before forming or finalizing their opinion, but otherwise, the poll results were pretty evenly split between readers saying "no, they aren't worried," and those saying "yes they are," with "not worried" results trumping "worried" by a single vote.
The National Research Council will conduct the two-phase study, which was requested and will be funded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), on the 104 nuclear reactors and 13 fuel cycle facilities licensed throughout the country.
The study is a follow-up to one that was done in 1990 by the National Cancer Institute that had limitations and is now outdated, said John Burris, chair of the committee that wrote the report and president of Burroughs Wellcome Fund. That finding stated, “If nuclear facilities posed a risk to neighboring populations, the risk was too small to be detected by a survey such as this one.”
"Finding scientific evidence of whether people who live near nuclear facilities have a greater risk of developing cancer than those who live farther away is a challenge," Burris said. "There are issues of whether scientists can get the information needed to carry out the study.”
Some cancer registries only contain recent data and data could be insufficient to estimate the amount of radioactive material released from nuclear facilities, he said.
“This makes it much more difficult to determine risks from decades ago when radiation releases from nuclear facilities were larger," Burris said.
The research council proposed two approaches to the study—one would investigate rates of cancer occurrence and cancer deaths in small geographic areas within 30 miles of nuclear facilities; the other would be to conduct a record-based case-control study to assess the association of cancers in children under 15 years old in relation to their mothers’ residential proximity to the facility during pregnancy.
Both approaches would have a sub-analysis focusing on leukemia, a form of cancer associated with radiation exposure in children.
Thank you for voting!