September 8, 2015
The NRC is ceasing work on a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) pilot study (Phase 1 and Phase 2) of cancer risks in populations near U.S. nuclear power facilities. The NRC determined that continuing the work was impractical, given the significant amount of time and resources needed and the agency’s current budget constraints.
The NRC continues to find U.S. nuclear power plants comply with strict requirements that limit radiation releases from routine operations. The NRC and state agencies regularly analyze environmental samples from near the plants. These analyses show the releases, when they occur, are too small to cause observable increases in cancer risk near the facilities.
“We’re balancing the desire to provide updated answers on cancer risk with our responsibility to use Congressionally-provided funds as wisely as possible,” said Brian Sheron, director of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. “The NAS estimates it would be at least the end of the decade before they would possibly have answers for us, and the costs of completing the study were prohibitively high.”