No Evidence To Link Nuclear Facilities To Health Of Surrounding People

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

There are good reasons not to trust claims made in the June 6 article “Environmental Group Says Study Shows Those Living Near Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Have Higher Mortality Rates.” 

After more than a half-century of continuous radiological monitoring and medical research, there is no evidence linking U.S. nuclear energy facilities to effects on the health of the public or workers. Claims that radioactivity from nuclear plants has caused cancer and higher mortality rates have been refuted by a United Nations scientific committee on radiation, the National Research Council, the American Cancer Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The largest and most comprehensive study of potential health effects near nuclear energy facilities—by the National Cancer Institute—found no evidence of increased health risk from a wide range of cancers. In fact, a recent study co-authored by renowned NASA climate scientist James Hansen and Columbia University’s Earth Institute determined that nuclear energy has prevented at least 1.8 million deaths by displacing the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity. 

Regarding Joseph Mangano, the person hired to analyze the radiation data in Alabama,  states including New Jersey, Florida, California, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and  Michigan have investigated similar claims of “potential” linkages and determined Mangano’s claims were unfounded.

The nuclear energy industry safely produces large amounts of electricity, and implements multi-layered protective programs that include strict monitoring for radiation within and around the facilities.  

Ralph Andersen
Sr. Director Radiation Safety & Environmental Protection
Nuclear Energy Institute
Washington,  D.C.

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