2. M.H. Chew and Associates Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Introduction: There is concern about cancer risk from living near nuclear power plants (NPP). Different studies yield different results and this study seeks to add to the body of knowledge on the topic.
Methods: Using an ecological design, pair-wise comparisons were made for cancer death rates (CDR) in three county classifications for U.S. NPPs: counties where a NPP was located, counties that bordered the NPP counties, and remaining counties (not NPP counties and not border counties). For purposes of this study, the assumption was that different levels of any radiation released by NPPs would exist in these county classifications, as follows: most in the NPP county, second-most in border counties, and least in the remaining counties.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between any of the paired comparisons (p>0.19).
Conclusion: The study did not find evidence that living near a nuclear power plant in the U.S. resulted in different cancer death rates among these county classifications. The lack of statistically significant CDR differences among the county classifications is likely related to there being essentially no difference in their radiation levels. However, the study is limited by the lack of inclusion of other cancer-related factors such as smoking rates. Since this is only a preliminary investigation, further study with other research designs is needed to verify this finding.
Keywords: Nuclear power plants, cancer death rates, nuclear regulatory commission, radiation