Why is Fukushima nuclear crisis so threatening?


by petergreat
Tags: fukushima, nuclear crisis
JaredJames
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#55
May2-11, 04:53 PM
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Quote Quote by Dmytry View Post
ahh, and for acceptance of the LNT: see
http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/understand/risk.html
really, guys, you only show your ignorance here by demanding sources for common knowledge. It's as if in one of the scientific forums here someone demanded sourcing on the derivative of sine or cosine.
Thank you Dmytry.

As a note, I was referring more to Joe's specific claims when requesting sources.
QuantumPion
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#56
May2-11, 05:15 PM
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Quote Quote by Joe Neubarth View Post
I am, because I know what is happening. You live in a dream world where people only get cancer if they have stepped across an imaginary threshold. Say it ain't so.

What is that threshold? 60 REM? 70 REM? One Sievert?
According to the IAEA, 0.2 Gray (20 Rads) is the threshold between known acute effects. Meaning there is no statistical evidence of doses below 20 Rads directly causing cancer.

Note that I am not saying that low levels of radiation do not cause cancer. What I am saying is that the risk is so small that it is impossible to tell whether low radiation dose causes cancer or not.
GJBRKS
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#57
May2-11, 05:18 PM
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Quote Quote by JaredJames View Post
If it isn't the same radiation, how can you compare them? It's a different issue.

Nothing clever about comparing apples with oranges.
The question raised by this thread pertains not to the immediate effects of a nuclear explosion or reactor breach , but to the possible amount of radioactive fallout produced.

Thus the introduction of megatonnes of energy can as well be harmlessly compared to energy of incident rays as it is therefore not conducive to this discussion.

Your thoughts as well as my words ...

PS I'm glad I have the talent to compare apples and oranges , helps me a lot during shopping fi.
Dmytry
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#58
May2-11, 05:29 PM
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Quote Quote by JaredJames View Post
Thank you Dmytry.

As a note, I was referring more to Joe's specific claims when requesting sources.
ahh, also, regarding LNT. The EPA page is kind of out of date. The microbeam studies are additional evidence in support of LNT.
The reason it is not possible to show effects of low levels of radiation is that you need large sample sizes to eliminate noise, i.e. random fluctuations. The statistical noise is proportional to square root of sample size. Meaning that if it takes e.g. 100 people to conclusively show dose effect of 1 sievert - which causes excess cancer rate of 10% on background of 40%, it will take 100 million for 1 millisievert (and another hundred million for control).
It is not possible to control for healtcare (rate of failure to diagnose), age, smoking, race, etc. when big populations are involved. It is theoretically impossible to directly show that radiation effects continue at low doses - there is a threshold to sensitivity of population studies. However, theoretical considerations - and single cell single track studies - lead to conclusion that effects are linear.

Generally, in science, the continuation is adopted as null hypothesis, in absence of proof of non-continuation.
For example, how much money would you bet that 1 gram of matter does not attract 1 gram gravitationally over distance of 2 meters? Such attraction would be EXTREMELY difficult to show, but surely we aren't going to bet our money it isn't true, as simple logic shows there must be some very complicated effect to make gravity not work on 1 gram, but work on 1000 pieces each of 1 gram.
Would you bet human lives on such an assertion? I can't show that 1 gram attracts 1 gram over distance of 2 meters directly, sorry, all i have is theory that it does, based on evidence with larger masses or smaller distances and the perceived complexity of a theory which would fit the experimental data but would not have 1 gram attract 1 gram over 2 meters distance.
It's a simple matter of occam's razor - and occam's razor is very much in favour of LNT.
Dmytry
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#59
May2-11, 05:40 PM
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Quote Quote by QuantumPion View Post
According to the IAEA, 0.2 Gray (20 Rads) is the threshold between known acute effects. Meaning there is no statistical evidence of doses below 20 Rads directly causing cancer.
no. Cancer is not 'acute effect', it happens after many years if at all. The acute effects are like, white blood cell decrease, immune system less effective, hair loss in particularly radio-sensitive individuals, etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_radiation_syndrome
cancer is never included as acute effect.
http://www.jlab.org/div_dept/train/r...ts.html#accute

The word 'acute' has specific meaning in medicine.
JaredJames
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#60
May2-11, 05:43 PM
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Quote Quote by Dmytry View Post
...
Just to reiterate, my issue was Joe attributing all his claims to low level radiation and ignoring any other possibilities and then not supporting them in the slightest.
Drakkith
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#61
May2-11, 07:46 PM
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Generally, in science, the continuation is adopted as null hypothesis, in absence of proof of non-continuation.
For example, how much money would you bet that 1 gram of matter does not attract 1 gram gravitationally over distance of 2 meters? Such attraction would be EXTREMELY difficult to show, but surely we aren't going to bet our money it isn't true, as simple logic shows there must be some very complicated effect to make gravity not work on 1 gram, but work on 1000 pieces each of 1 gram.
Would you bet human lives on such an assertion? I can't show that 1 gram attracts 1 gram over distance of 2 meters directly, sorry, all i have is theory that it does, based on evidence with larger masses or smaller distances and the perceived complexity of a theory which would fit the experimental data but would not have 1 gram attract 1 gram over 2 meters distance.
It's a simple matter of occam's razor - and occam's razor is very much in favour of LNT.
The comparison of scientific theories and the effects of radiation on human health is not possible. Scientific theories have FAR fewer variables to contend with than someone studying a person. That is one reason medical science has so many mysteries in it. Does 1 gram of matter attract another 1 gram of matter gravitationally? Of course! How do we know if we couldn't measure it? Because the rule of gravitational attracted has been proven to be correct from things as large as supermassive stars down to the size of small asteroids at least. We don't EVER see any sudden jumps where a small increase in mass results in a large increase in gravity. It is steady the whole way.

On the other hand, you have uncountable variables that could cause cancer in a person compounded by the fact that we aren't nearly as knowledgeable about how the human body works as we are about the basic laws of physics. Was their cancer caused by radiation, smoking, genetic anomolies, viruses, or one of a thousand other things?

The only way to decide anything is to look at statistical data and make an educated guess. We can look at individuals known to have been exposed to radiation and observe their progress in the long term. This gives us at least some general knowledge of how radiation affects someone. Does it tell us that every person reacts the same way? No! On the contrary, people are all slightly different and will respond slightly differently than your observed person does. Do you look at this fact and just throw away all of your observations because they aren't 100% accurate? No! For then you wouldn't have ANY data to go off of.
QuantumPion
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#62
May2-11, 08:43 PM
P: 733
Quote Quote by Dmytry View Post
no. Cancer is not 'acute effect', it happens after many years if at all. The acute effects are like, white blood cell decrease, immune system less effective, hair loss in particularly radio-sensitive individuals, etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_radiation_syndrome
cancer is never included as acute effect.
http://www.jlab.org/div_dept/train/r...ts.html#accute

The word 'acute' has specific meaning in medicine.
You misunderstood. It is the dose that is acute, not the formation of cancer.
Dmytry
Dmytry is offline
#63
May3-11, 04:05 AM
P: 505
Quote Quote by QuantumPion View Post
You misunderstood. It is the dose that is acute, not the formation of cancer.
you said "Meaning there is no statistical evidence of doses below 20 Rads directly causing cancer."
which is you misunderstanding the source.
andybwell
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#64
May4-11, 03:54 PM
P: 46
Twenty years after Chernobyl, increased thyroid cancers in children are still prevalent. The immediate concern for the Japanese government should be the children living around Fukushima nuclear reactors.
"Today, 20 years after the Chernobyl accident, the large increase in thyroid cancer incidence among those exposed in childhood and adolescence continues."
http://www.hotthyroidology.com/editorial_158.html
Drakkith
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May4-11, 04:08 PM
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Quote Quote by andybwell View Post
Twenty years after Chernobyl, increased thyroid cancers in children are still prevalent. [/url]
I think you mean, increased thyroid cancers in people exposed to radiation as children still show increased thyroid cancers. At least, that's what the article says.
Argentum Vulpes
Argentum Vulpes is offline
#66
May4-11, 11:29 PM
P: 83
@ Joe Neubarth:
I'd be much more worried about living downwind of a coal plant. You will get a little over a 100x more of a yearly dose from a coal plant then a nuclear plant (490 person-rem/year for coal plants and 4.8 person-rem/year for nuclear plants.

/sarcasm on/

I really hope you and every anti nuke out there get San Onofre shut down.

/sarcasm off/

Really the loss of San Onofre would considerably hurt the state of California. The loss of 2350 GW of base load power would be disastrous. Also the loss of 2K + well paying jobs would be disastrous. But then again the western states with large rivers or reservoirs might not mind all of the money/jobs that would come from making a large base load power plant to replace San Onofre.

@ Dmytry:
Yes the USA accepts the LNT, however France, China, and Japan follow Radiation hormesis in their guidelines. Even the medical publication Radiology has come out against LNT saying:

LNT was a useful model half a century ago. But current radiation protection concepts should be based on facts and on concepts consistent with current scientific results and not on opinions. Preconceived concepts impede progress; in the case of the LNT model, they have resulted in substantial medical, economic, and other societal harm.

Boding mine, artical

If the LNT were a hard and fast rule then places like Ramsar Iran would be wasteland and the populace that was crazy enough to live there would be in oncology wards. Instead this High background radiation area (260 mSv/y) has no noticeable increase of cancer rates. And there are several other areas on the globe that have a HBRA. Study

Also on a side note if humans were single celled organisms then the LNT would be an essential rule to follow. However last I checked we are multiple celled organisms with several repair functions that evolved on a hot planet. The LNT is just over an over cautionary theory.

A factor that must also be looked at when comparing Chernobyl to Fukushima is that the populace living Ukraine/Belarus had a iodine deficiency, therefore when a large quantity of iodine was released into the environment the body picked it up and the thyroid concreted it. Since this iodine was radioactive and in a large dose in the thyroid an increase of thyroid cancers are to be expected. Because of the Japanese high iodine diet I really doubt that there will be a significant increase of thyroid cancers seen. If the Thyroid is saturated with iodine it will not absorb any more, even if it is radioactive.
Dmytry
Dmytry is offline
#67
May5-11, 10:02 AM
P: 505
Quote Quote by Argentum Vulpes View Post
@ Joe Neubarth:
I'd be much more worried about living downwind of a coal plant. You will get a little over a 100x more of a yearly dose from a coal plant then a nuclear plant (490 person-rem/year for coal plants and 4.8 person-rem/year for nuclear plants.

/sarcasm on/

I really hope you and every anti nuke out there get San Onofre shut down.

/sarcasm off/

Really the loss of San Onofre would considerably hurt the state of California. The loss of 2350 GW of base load power would be disastrous. Also the loss of 2K + well paying jobs would be disastrous. But then again the western states with large rivers or reservoirs might not mind all of the money/jobs that would come from making a large base load power plant to replace San Onofre.

@ Dmytry:
Yes the USA accepts the LNT, however France
nope.

, China
workers there breathe in all sorts of nasty chemicals when manufacturing ipods for you. Work safety is nearly non-existent. A great example of progressive country when it comes to protection.
, and Japan
terrible nuclear safety record for past 20 years, not just Fukushima.
follow Radiation hormesis in their guidelines. Even the medical publication Radiology has come out against LNT saying:

LNT was a useful model half a century ago. But current radiation protection concepts should be based on facts and on concepts consistent with current scientific results and not on opinions. Preconceived concepts impede progress; in the case of the LNT model, they have resulted in substantial medical, economic, and other societal harm.

Boding mine, artical

If the LNT were a hard and fast rule then places like Ramsar Iran would be wasteland and the populace that was crazy enough to live there would be in oncology wards. Instead this High background radiation area (260 mSv/y) has no noticeable increase of cancer rates. And there are several other areas on the globe that have a HBRA. Study
That's always the thing... the hormesis studies always rely on some third world place where they barely even have diagnosis to start with. Places where the only data is from fools who take a consumer grade geiger counter, and think it's mSv/h figures have anything to do with reality. (hint: most counters are overcounting betas).

Also on a side note if humans were single celled organisms then the LNT would be an essential rule to follow. However last I checked we are multiple celled organisms with several repair functions that evolved on a hot planet. The LNT is just over an over cautionary theory.
Cancers start from 1 cell. It is a fact that cancer is a clonal expansion of a single cell.
There is a baseline cancer rate of about 40%. Small changes to amounts of carcinogenic chemicals (that's what radiation does, makes reactive chemicals), which leads to small increase in mutation rate, can be expected to result in proportionally small changes to the cancer rate. Radiation is nothing special.
The 'repair mechanisms' - and most importantly, not the repair mechanism, but the programmed cell death - they work. They work extremely well. There is about 1014 cells in the human body, and in the whole life of human, in only 40% of the humans, over whole lifetime, a single cell becomes cancerous. Depending to the diet, it can be anywhere from 30% to 50% though.

A factor that must also be looked at when comparing Chernobyl to Fukushima is that the populace living Ukraine/Belarus had a iodine deficiency, therefore when a large quantity of iodine was released into the environment the body picked it up and the thyroid concreted it. Since this iodine was radioactive and in a large dose in the thyroid an increase of thyroid cancers are to be expected. Because of the Japanese high iodine diet I really doubt that there will be a significant increase of thyroid cancers seen. If the Thyroid is saturated with iodine it will not absorb any more, even if it is radioactive.
Its BS. Firstly, it may come as surprise but soviet union had such thing as dietary supplements, secondarily, the doses required for saturation - such as in the typical radiation protection pills, you can look it up, are on order of several hundreds times larger than the RDA. 130 milligram
http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/phpr/ki/kifaq.html
vs RDA of 150 microgram
http://www.nutriherb.net/iodine.html
so taking your RDA doesn't quite equate to the protection pills. Those protection pills aren't something you'd just take, too, having too much iodine is not good for you. Saturation is not normal, and does not happen with those 'iodine rich' diets.
Argentum Vulpes
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#68
May5-11, 02:10 PM
P: 83
Dmytry did you even bother to read either paper? What dose the fact that HBRAs are in third world areas have to do with anything. I guess the PhD researchers or the assistants that are sent to do a study are using the cheapest equipment out there and ignoring scientific procedures when taking in data. Thanks for opening my eyes to that fact.

Also the WHO has come out in a paper stating that iodine deficiency really helped with the uptick in thyroid cancers after Chernobyl. Also Oxford has put out a paper that came to the same conclusion. As for the protection pills being distributed the USSR the government would of had to of handed them out quickly. However they didn't acknowledge the accident till 3 day later after they were embarrassed into it.

This really bugs me that you are acting just like the global climate change deniers. You have been shown a mountain of evidence from reliable engineers, and reliable sources, yet you arguments come from sources of questionable reliability or from studies with very narrow scopes.
Dmytry
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#69
May5-11, 03:47 PM
P: 505
Quote Quote by Argentum Vulpes View Post
Dmytry did you even bother to read either paper? What dose the fact that HBRAs are in third world areas have to do with anything
Very low quality data. Low quality radiation measurements, and low quality healthcare (low quality cancer rate measurement). The lowest is the confidence in the data, the strongest are the deviations from LNT.
In the developed world there was a LOT of people exposed to well measured doses of radiation, and a very good follow up.
Things such as this:
http://baltimorechronicle.com/rupnose.html
and all the other overuses of radiation till the 60s and 70s.
But of course, hormesis proponents won't go and check if high quality data - from the USE of their hypothesis - matches their hypothesis.
. I guess the PhD researchers or the assistants that are sent to do a study are using the cheapest equipment out there and ignoring scientific procedures when taking in data. Thanks for opening my eyes to that fact.
To Iran? Ohh come on.

Also the WHO has come out in a paper stating that iodine deficiency really helped with the uptick in thyroid cancers after Chernobyl. Also Oxford has put out a paper that came to the same conclusion. As for the protection pills being distributed the USSR the government would of had to of handed them out quickly. However they didn't acknowledge the accident till 3 day later after they were embarrassed into it.
Everyone picks on soviet union all the time. But it could do something as simple as dietary supplements. The far bigger difference for Fukushima, if you want to look for differences, is that the wind was blowing to the west into populated areas, versus to the east into pacific ocean.

This really bugs me that you are acting just like the global climate change deniers. You have been shown a mountain of evidence from reliable engineers, and reliable sources, yet you arguments come from sources of questionable reliability or from studies with very narrow scopes.
No, you are linking a bunch of controversial papers that deny LNT and revert back to old hormesis 'hypothesis' which if you recall was the first hypothesis about effects of the radiation. See all the early 20th century quack radium medicines. You are the effects-of-pollution denial person here.
What do you want, totally unanimous scientific opinion?
See, on one hand we have pretty much every nuclear regulatory body, the microbeam studies, the theoretical understanding of cancer. On the other side, we have a couple people - a minority - trying to do statistics on apriori insufficient numbers of people for getting any result, doing it with almost the worst data available. Iran, lol. What's next for the data sourcing, North Korea?
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#70
May5-11, 04:59 PM
P: 468
I'm sure you will like this... (I just posted it on the "more political thread" about Fukushima).


I post this recent video which debunks MSNBC propaganda proposed at the date of 25th anniversary of Chernobyl accident. MSNBC is owned by GE who also built some of the reactors at Fukushima.

If you didn't know that people returning living in the controled zone around Chernobyl are in fact living LONGER than the ones staying outside, then it's probably because you didn't hear MSNBC propaganda recently...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7BlJ...eature=related

For a long time nuclear activities, even the "civil" ones, were managed in military styles. Now, in addition, private companies make marketing out of them.

In the first case, the lies were called "top secret defense". Now they are called "communication and propaganda for the masses"...

What's threatening in Fukushima crisis?

Well, just an other proof that lies combined to false safety measures leads to unforeseen desaster: some really didn't believe it was possible, but some others didn't WANT to believe it was possible and shut their eyes on purpose.

Money. Power. Ignorance. And lies. A bunch of lies.This is what's threatening, applied to nuclear risks AND consequences.
Dmytry
Dmytry is offline
#71
May5-11, 05:27 PM
P: 505
Plus there's those people who go on how a bit of radiation is good for you (the same way how it was till early 1970s). The attitude that already killed many thousands - not by nuclear accidents, but by things such as nosal irradiation (and this death toll is not estimated from large doses. This death toll was directly measured)

It is just like climate change denial indeed. I didn't really want to make this analogy myself but the parallel is obvious.
Majority of scientists agree with anthropogenic global warming, which goes against interests of fossil fuel industry, minority (openly funded by fossil fuel industry) disagrees, the topic is declared 'controversial' and the idea is that there's not enough proof.
Same for LNT. Majority of scientists agree with LNT which goes against interests of nuclear power industry, minority disagrees, the topic is then declared 'controversial'.
One to one parallel really. Science vs industry clash in both cases, and science takes a while to prevail.
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#72
May5-11, 05:45 PM
P: 468
As i just quickly read the animated discussion earlier on this thread about effects of radiations and nuclear industries on life, i would like to post this study that i found, which is screening the effects on children of living near a nuclear plant in the US (14 nuclear plants/24 reactors taken into account in this study).

From: Archives of Environmental Health
Date: 2/1/2003
Author: Chang, Carolyn; Dave, Amie; Feinberg, Elyssa; Frimer, Marina; Mangano, Joseph J.; Sherman,

http://www.c-10.org/pdf/Elevated%20c...e%20to%20U.pdf

I just extract some of the main results:
Results

Incidence of all cancers. Incidence for total cancers for children < 5 yr during 1988 to
1997 was higher than the SEER rate near all 14 nuclear plants in our study (Table 4).
The rate for all 49 counties combined was 22.51 per 100,000, or 11.4% greater than the
SEER rate (p < 0.0002). The smallest excess was near the Salem/Hope Creek complex
(+0.7%); the largest occurred near both the Turkey Point and St. Lucie facilities in
Florida (+29.1%).


Cancer incidence in children 5-9 yr for 1988 to 1997 exceeded the SEER rate for 13 of
the 14 areas. The rate for the study counties was 12.15 per 100,000--12.5% higher than
the SEER rate of 10.80 (p < 0.002). The smallest excess was found near the Millstone
reactors in Connecticut (+2.2%), and the largest occurred near St. Lucie (+73.6%).

Incidence near the Crystal River facility in Florida was 6.5% below the SEER rate.

Combining the age groups yields an incidence rate of 17.42 per 100,000--12.4% above
the SEER rate (p < 0.00001)
. The excess incidence near 3 of the plants (Oyster Creek,
St. Lucie, and Turkey Point) was statistically significant; near the Indian Point and
Brookhaven facilities it reached borderline significance (p < 0.08 and p < 0.07,
respectively). Although county-specific totals are not shown, considerable variation in
rates exists, in part because of the relatively small numbers of cases involved. Still, the
incidence rate for those 0-9 yr of age exceeded the U.S. rate in 38 of the 49 study
counties.

Childhood cancer incidence < 30 mi (48 km) from nuclear reactors was compared with
rates for the remaining counties in the states in which reactors are located. Several
adjoining, less-populated states (New Jersey and Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode
Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire) were combined to ensure adequate
statistical power. For each of 6 states and combinations of states, cancer incidence for
those 0-9 yr in the counties near reactors was higher than in other counties in the state
(Table 5). The total excess incidence derived from comparing the counties near reactors
with those in the rest of the state, or state combinations, was 5.0% (p < 0.04)
.
Elevated rates for the New York and Pennsylvania nuclear counties are of borderline significance
(p < 0.055 and p < 0.07, respectively).

Total cancer incidence by race. U.S. black and Hispanic children < 20 yr of age have
cancer incidence rates 23% and 10% below that for whites, respectively. (44) To assess
the effect of race on childhood cancer incidence near nuclear plants, incidence data from
Pennsylvania counties near nuclear plants were studied (the Pennsylvania registry
makes county statistics for whites and blacks more readily available than do registries in
other states). Using SEER data, the 1988 to 1997 U.S. cancer incidence rates for white
and black children 0-9 yr were calculated at 15.88 and 13.28 per 100,000, respectively.
For the 23 Pennsylvania counties located close to reactors, childhood cancer rates
exceeded U.S. rates for both whites and blacks
(Table 6).

Incidence of leukemia. We examined the incidence of childhood leukemia in the 23
counties near 5 nuclear plants in Pennsylvania (Table 7). These regions account for
slightly more than half the state's population. Leukemia incidence in the state's nuclear
counties exceeded the U.S. rate by 10.8%; the rate for the remainder of the state was
11.5% below the U.S. rate (p < 0.01). For all other cancers, virtually no difference was
seen between nuclear and non-nuclear counties, even though both exceeded the
national rate (by 2.6% and 3.2%, respectively)
.

[...]

This study found a consistent pattern of increased childhood cancer incidence in all
study areas < 30 mi (48 km) from nuclear plants in the eastern United States.
Our
findings support the biologically plausible concept that susceptibility to carcinogens, such
as radioactivity, is greatest in utero and in early childhood. They also support numerous
analyses documenting elevated childhood cancer rates near nuclear facilities in the
United States and other nations. The finding that cancer incidence for children < 10 yr is
12.4% greater in the study counties than the U.S. as a whole suggests that emissions
from nuclear power plants may be linked with 1 of 9 local cases of childhood cancer.
These descriptive epidemiological findings suggest a relationship between radioactive
nuclides and childhood cancer and should be taken seriously in future research
.


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