Report presents approaches for study of cancer risks near U.S. nuclear facilities
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A report presented by the National Research Council proposed a study that could help determine the relationship between living near nuclear facilities and cancer. The report identifies scientific approaches for assessing cancer risks for populations near the nuclear reactors and fuel cycle facilities that are licensed across the US. Two approaches were outlined for the study. One would be to investigate rates of cancer occurrence and cancer deaths in geographic areas within a 30-mile radius of nuclear facilities, with each area representing a range of exposures. Another approach would be to conduct a case-control study to assess the association of cancers in children less than 15 years old in relation to their mothers’ proximity to a nuclear facility during pregnancy. If the council decides to move forward with the study, the committee recommended a pilot study that would determine whether the two approaches could be conducted on a large scale.