Nine experts named in cancer-risk study at NFS, other facilities

Brad Hicks • Oct 24, 2013 at 9:16 PM

The National Academy of Sciences has announced the nine experts selected to carry out the planning of the cancer-risk pilot study titled “Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations near Nuclear Facilities,” a release from the organization said.

The committee will be chaired by Dr. Jonathan M. Samet of the University of Southern California. Other members include independent consultant Harold L. Beck, Dr. Steven M. Becker of Old Dominion University, retired National Cancer Institute employee Dr. Andre Bouville, Dr. Jean D. Brender of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Dr. R. William Field of the University of Iowa College of Public Health, Dr. Daniel O. Stram of the University of Southern California, Dr. Margot Tirmarche of the Nuclear Safety Authority of France and Dr. Jonathan Wakefield of the University of Washington.

The slate of provisional committee appointments is open to public comment for 20 calendar days. Members of the public can view brief biographies of the selected committee members and provide comments at http://bit.ly/1eO4iRC.

Last month, the NAS announced that it has started the initial planning step of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission-sponsored pilot study of cancer risks in populations around the Nuclear Fuel Services fuel-cycle facility in Erwin and six nuclear power plants across the country.

Other facilities to be included in the study are the Dresden Nuclear Power Station in Illinois; the Millstone Power Station and the decommissioned Haddam Neck, both of which are located in Connecticut; the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey; the decommissioned Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant in Michigan; and the shutdown San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in California.

The NAS will perform the pilot study of cancer risks in populations around these facilities using two epidemiologic study designs — an ecologic study of multiple cancer types of populations of all ages, and a record-linkage-based case-control study of cancers in children.

The NAS release said the pilot study will have two steps — Pilot Planning and Pilot Execution. The Pilot Planning step, which is now under way, is estimated to take one year to complete.

The pilot study aims to update and improve information on potential cancer risks around nuclear sites from a 1990 U.S. National Institutes of Health — National Cancer Institute report. The NRC has used this report since its completion as a primary resource when community with the public about cancer risks in counties that contain or are adjacent to nuclear sites.

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