Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nuclear Power Causes Cancer: What Industry Doesn't Want You To Know

Nuclear power, frequently mentioned as one option for meeting future energy needs, would pose a health threat to Americans if a meltdown occurred. But despite meltdowns at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and many other near-miss accidents, there is another dirty little secret the nuclear industry doesn't want you to know. Cancer risk from nuclear plants aren't just potential risks, they are actual risks.
Every day, reactors must routinely release a portion of radioactive chemicals into local air and water -- the same chemicals found in atomic bomb tests. They enter human bodies through breathing and the food chain. Federal law obligates nuclear companies to measure these emissions and the amounts that end up in air, water, and food, and to report them to federal regulators.
However, nuclear advocates consistently claim that these releases are below federally-permitted limits, and thus are harmless. But this thinking is a leap that ignores hard evidence from scientific studies. Now, after half a century of a large-scale experiment with nuclear power, the verdict is in: nuclear reactors cause cancer.
The claim that low doses of radiation are harmless has always been just a claim. It led to practices like routine diagnostic X-rays to the pelvis of pregnant women, until the work of the University of Oxford's Dr. Alice Stewart found that these X-rays doubled the chance that the fetus would die of cancer as a child. Many studies later, independent experts agreed that no dose is safe. A 2005 report by a blue-ribbon panel of the National Academy of Sciences reviewed hundreds of scientific articles, and concluded that there is no risk-free dose of radiation.

more: Samuel S. Epstein: Nuclear Power Causes Cancer: What Industry Doesn't Want You To Know

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