A proposed study could help determine if there is a link between living near nuclear power plants or other nuclear facilities and having a higher risk of cancer, but challenges and limitations exist, says a new report from the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. The report recommends that a pilot study be completed first to evaluate the feasibility of a full-scale study, although the ultimate decision about whether to perform either would be the responsibility of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), which sponsored the Research Council report.
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The pilot study focus would look at six nuclear power plants and one fuel cycle facility that provide a broad representation of plant designs and operating histories: Dresden, Ill.; Millstone, Conn.; Oyster Creek, N.J.; Haddam Neck, Conn.; Big Rock Point, Mich.; San Onofre, Calif.; and Nuclear Fuel Services, Tenn.
You can download the NAS study proposal free at the National Academies Press page for this report.