The National Research Council will perform a 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 focus on the five activities described below:
- Obtain nuclear facility airborne and waterborne effluent release and meteorology data and digitize these data into a form that is usable for dose estimation.
- Develop a computer model to obtain estimates of absorbed doses to individual organs resulting from effluent releases.
- Obtain cancer incidence and mortality data at the census-tract level to assess the feasibility of the ecologic study.
- Link birth registration and cancer incidence data to identify eligible cases of pediatric cancers and matched controls to assess the feasibility of the record-linkage-based case-control study.
- Develop processes for involving and communicating with the public.
The pilot study will have two steps: Pilot Planning and Pilot Execution. This study will focus on Pilot Planning, which involves the following tasks:
- Appoint the study committee.
- Identify the processes for selecting qualified individuals and/or organizations to perform the epidemiology and dosimetry tasks.
- Initiate effluent release and meteorological data collection.
- Investigate availability of existing models or need to create a new model for dose estimation.
- Identify state requirements for data sharing and transfer of health information.
- Obtain IRB approvals for the study, as appropriate.
- Identify key stakeholders and assess their concerns, perceptions, and knowledge.
At the conclusion of the Pilot Planning step, National Research Council staff will submit a separate prospectus for the Pilot Execution step for institutional and sponsor approval.