Markey Commends Start of Cancer Risk Study of Americans Living Near Nuclear Power Plants

Lawmaker repeatedly called for study of health impacts for residents

Washington (September 23, 2013) - Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.) released the following statement after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced it is moving forward with a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) pilot study of cancer risk in populations around six U.S nuclear power plant sites and a nuclear fuel facility and will be holding public meetings in support of the study. Senator Markey has long called for an independent study on this issue and had recommended in 2009 that the NRC request NAS to perform such a study, which the agency ultimately did. 

 

"I hope this pilot study will result in a thorough, accurate accounting of the health risks associated with living near nuclear facilities," said Senator Markey. "Residents deserve to know whether there are any adverse health impacts associated with living near nuclear reactors. I commend the NRC for initiating this study, and I look forward to reviewing the results."  

 

In the House of Representatives in 2005, Senator Markey called for an independent examination of the question of public health risks surrounding nuclear power plants when he was contacted by Cynthia Sauer, then an Illinois resident whose daughter had brain cancer and who also had reviewed health statistics which appeared to indicate an elevated level of pediatric cancer incidence and other health problems in populations living near the Dresden and Braidwood nuclear power plants. Her family had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain additional information from the NRC, which had relied on an admittedlyflawed 1990 study conducted by the National Cancer Institute to assert that no such negative health effects existed. These concerns were heightened when, in 2006, Senator Markey again wrote the NRC when he learned that Exelon, the licensee of the Illinois reactors, had released millions of gallons of tritiated water from these reactors over a period of several years without notifying the authorities.

 

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Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 2022242742