Agency bends to nuclear industry in blocking cancer study


It is pretty obvious why the Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not want any new research on whether living within 31 miles of a nuclear power plant causes cancer (“NRC’s puzzling about-face on cancer study,” Editorial, Sept. 12). Recent studies in France and Germany both show that living near a nuclear plant doubles the risk of cancer in children. The 1990 National Cancer Institute study that the NRC loves to cite is outdated and heavily flawed. It seems the NRC wants to block scientific research on possible cancer streaks in order to make sure that the public remains in the dark about this important issue.

The public should be aware that the NRC is funded largely by fees paid by the nuclear industry that this agency is supposed to regulate. No wonder it continues to act in the interests of its money stream rather than in the interests of the public. Actions speak louder than words — the blocking of research by the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates the true colors of the NRC and the nuclear industry.

Roger Johnson, San Clemente, Calif.

The author is a retired professor in the field of neuroscience.