Nuclear regulators want new study on cancer rates near nuclear reactors

That year Markey sent a letter to then-NRC Chairman Nils Diaz questioning whether NCI erred in measuring mortablity rates because the information is based on where people die rather than where they lived during the period prior to contracting cancer. Measuring mortality rates rather than incidence rates may also negate the full health impacts of cancer because not everyone who contracts the disease dies.

Markey also questioned the use of county-wide data to reach a conclusion. The lack of precision may dilute the health impact on the communities that live closest to a reactor, Markey wrote in his 2005 letter.

“We need to ensure that this new study examines rates of cancer incidence, utilizes relevant data, and is conducted independently,” Markey said in a release on Wednesday.

Markey had written a letter in December 2009 to the NRC urging it to request the National Academy of Sciences to perform a cancer study.