Regulators probe cancer risks near nuke plants

The study will look at multiple types of cancer seen in communities near nuclear sites in Illinois, Connecticut, Michigan, California and New Jersey. The academy will also look at cases in which children were born with cancer near those plants.

The NRC first asked the academy to study the cases in 2010, though plants are currently subject to strict regulations involving the release of radioactive material.

“The offsite dose to the highest exposed member of the public is also generally less than 1% of the amount of radiation the average U.S. citizen receives in a year from all background sources,” according to NRC guidance issued late last year. “Nonetheless, some stakeholders have expressed recurrent concerns about the potential effect of these releases on the health of residents living near nuclear facilities.”

In additional guidance issued Monday, the NRC announced that planning for the study is under way the academy, which will soon announce a series of meetings regarding the study.