By Jim Shilander
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Tuesday that it would sponsor a cancer risk study in the vicinity of six nuclear plants around the country—including San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The NRC noted that a committee at the National Academy of Sciences had made recommendations whether and where to perform the studies. The Academy will be conducting the study. The release stated that the Academy had recommended using the six sites, including San Onofre, based on the operating history, population size and the ability to gather data from state cancer agencies.
The Academy will work to begin the study in the next three months, and it will likely continue into 2014. The study is attempting to update a 1990 National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute report on cancer in populations living near nuclear facilities.
Gary Headrick of San Clemente Green said he was very happy to hear about the study. At the recent NRC public meeting regarding the future of SONGS in Dana Point, many voicing concern about a potential restart of the facility cited health worries and wanted to see a study similar to the one proposed.
“We’re pleased someone’s going to take a closer look at it,” Headrick said. “It sounds like a more sophisticated approach than what’s been taken in the past.”
Southern California Edison also released a statement regarding the study.
“The first priority for Southern California Edison is the health and safety of the public and its employees. Studies like the proposed Nuclear Regulatory Commission-sponsored National Academy of Sciences assessment of cancer risks in populations living near Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed nuclear facilities provide valuable research on the issue.”