The first ever long-term study examining the health impact idled U.S. nuclear reactors have on people living near the facilities found a significant drop in cancer incidents since the plant's closing, prompting
researchers to call for further study of other populations near
shuttered plants — including two in Illinois.
In a 20-year period since the California Rancho Seco nuclear reactor closed, there were 4,319 fewer cases of cancer reported in Sacramento County, which has a population of about 1.4 million. The shuttered plant is located about 25 miles from the center of Sacramento city.
The cancer drops were most notable in women,
Hispanics and children, according to Joseph Mangano, executive director
of the Radiation and Public Health Project, and co-author of the report
published today in the Biomedicine International journal.
need here for more knowledge is great given how many reactors are near
major population centers,” Mangano said on a conference call with
reporters today. “The bottom line is clear. We need more information
about the long-term impact of low level radiation from both idled and
currently operating reactors.”
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