Society News Archive

23 October 2012
NRC Sponsoring National Academy of Sciences Effort to Carry Out Pilot of Cancer Risk Study

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff is implementing a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee's recommendations to perform a pilot study of cancer risk in populations around six U.S. nuclear power plant sites and a nuclear fuel facility. The NRC is asking the NAS to carry out this effort, which will help the agency determine whether to extend the study to the remaining U.S. reactor and certain fuel cycle sites.

The pilot effort, described in the NRC staff's update to the NRC's five commissioners, will examine each of seven sites with two types of epidemiological studies. The first will examine multiple cancer types in populations living near the facilities; the second will be a case-control study of cancers in children born near the facilities.

The NRC/NAS effort's overall aim is to provide a modern version of the 1990 U.S. National Institutes of Health – National Cancer Institute (NCI) report, "Cancer in Populations Living Near Nuclear Facilities." The NRC has used the 1990 NCI report as a primary resource when communicating with the public about cancer mortality risk in counties that contain or are adjacent to certain nuclear power facilities.

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