NRC to study cancer risk near San Onofre

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SAN DIEGO – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced the launch of a new study looking at cancer risk for those who live near nuclear power plants.

The study will look at six nuclear power plants in the United States including San Onofre. It will study cancer rates of people, including children living within a 30 miles radius.

“We are quite relieved they are going to do this study,” said Professor Emeritus Roger Johnson, who has opposed the San Onofre plant reopening. “Even if they operate perfectly they’re a potential danger because of low level radioactive waste in the atmosphere.”

It’s that fear of even a low level release of radioactive material that has many in this community so worried, he said.

“It accumulates over a lifetime. It stays in your body and last forever,” said Johnson. ”Year after year, it doesn’t take much and radiation effects the DNA in your cells.”

To answer those fears, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission along with the National Academy of Sciences launched a wide-spread cancer risk study at six nuclear power plants across the United States.

The $2 million study will look at multiple types of cancer including children and could pave the way for a future study of all 65 U.S. nuclear plants.

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