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Cancer risk no higher beside nuclear plants

By Ella Pickover

Children currently living near Sellafield or Dounreay nuclear plants are not at an increased risk of developing cancer compared to peers in other parts of Britain, researchers have said.

People living close to nuclear power stations should take reassurance from the study, experts said.

The report, published in the British Journal of Cancer, examined cancer rates between 1963 and 2006 among those who were under 25 and living near Sellafield or Dounreay when diagnosed.

And researchers from the Childhood Cancer Research Group at the University of Oxford and from Newcastle University found no difference was found in cancer incidence from 1991 to 2006 between those living near these nuclear power plants and the general population.

"Apart from previously reported raised risks, no new significantly increased risks for cancer overall or any diagnostic subgroup were found among children or teenagers and young adults living around either nuclear installation," the authors wrote.

Commenting on the research, Dr Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK's head of health information, said: "This study is reassuring for anyone who happens to be living near a power plant."

Belfast Telegraph


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