Senator Markey Statement on NRC Decision to End Cancer Risk Pilot Study

Washington (September 8, 2015) - Statement from Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, on the announcement this morning from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it is ending the pilot study of cancer risks in populations near U.S. nuclear power facilities being conducted by the National Academy of Sciences.

We need a thorough, accurate accounting of the health risks associated with living near nuclear facilities so residents can know if there are any adverse health impacts associated with living close to nuclear reactors. But the NRC has decided to take a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ approach to this public health concern by ceasing work on what could be a life-saving cancer risk research study.  The NRC blames budgetary constraints for ending the study, but what price do residents pay for living near operating nuclear facilities? We should know that answer, and the NRC should prioritize the resources to continue and complete this study.” 

In 2013, Senator Markey praised NRC’s decision to start the study, having originally called on the NRC in 2009 to perform the independent research.