Study Background

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S.NRC) requested that the National Research Council provide an assessment of cancer risks in populations near U.S.NRC-licensed nuclear facilities. This assessment is being carried out in two consecutive phases. The first phase (Phase 1) was completed in May 2012 and resulted in a consensus report. The second phase (Phase 2) would be the assessment of cancer risks informed by the recommendations of the Phase 1 report.

The Phase 1 report identified two scientifically sound approaches for carrying out the assessment of cancer risks in populations near U.S. nuclear facilities. The Phase 1 report also recommended a pilot study involving seven nuclear facilities to assess the feasibility of the recommended approaches. The U.S.NRC announced in October 2012 that it was asking the National Research Council to undertake the recommended pilot study.

The study is currently in the Phase 2 Pilot Planning stage.

Phase 2: Pilot Planning

The National Research Council will perform the pilot study of cancer risks in populations near seven U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S.NRC)-licensed nuclear facilities using two epidemiologic study designs: (i) an ecologic study of multiple cancer types of populations of all ages and (ii) a record-linkage-based case-control study of cancers in children. The pilot study will have two steps: Pilot Planning and Pilot Execution. The National Research Council has started the Pilot Planning step which is estimated to take one year to complete.

The seven nuclear facilities that are part of the pilot study are:

  • Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Morris, Illinois
  • Millstone Power Station, Waterford, Connecticut
  • Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, Forked River, New Jersey
  • Haddam Neck, Haddam Neck, Connecticut
  • Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant, Charlevoix, Michigan
  • San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, San Clemente, California
  • Nuclear Fuel Services, Erwin, Tennessee