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Childhood Leukemia and Cancers Near German Nuclear Reactors

Significance, Context, and Ramifications of Recent Studies

A government-sponsored study of childhood cancer in the proximity of German nuclear power plants (German acronym KiKK) found that children < 5 years living < 5 km from plant exhaust stacks had twice the risk for contracting leukemia as those residing > 5 km. The researchers concluded that since “this result was not to be expected under current radiation-epidemiological knowledge” and confounders could not be identified, the observed association of leukemia incidence with residential proximity to nuclear plants “remains unexplained.” This unjustified conclusion illustrates the dissonance between evidence and assumptions. There exist serious flaws and gaps in the knowledge on which accepted models for population exposure and radiation risk are based. Studies with results contradictory to those of KiKK lack statistical power to invalidate its findings. The KiKK study’s ramifications add to the urgency for a public policy debate regarding the health impact of nuclear power generation. 

International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Vol 15, No 3 (2009)

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Resources

  • Video: Nuclear Health Risks

    PSR President Dr. Bob Gould talks about the risks to public health and the global environment posed by nuclear weapons and energy. Read more »

  • Annual Report 2012

    PSR is pleased to present its 2012 Annual Report to our members and other stakeholders. Read more »

  • Fukushima Disaster: Impacts & Continuing Threats

    More than two years since the nuclear disaster began at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, its impact is massive and widespread. It will be decades before the full scope of the impacts of this ongoing disaster is fully understood but significant health, economic, environmental and social consequences are already evident and quantifiable. Read more »

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