The UK government's scientific advisory group found no link between childhood leukaemia and proximity to nuclear power plants, but German and French research has found an alarming doubling of risk. Matilda Lee reports.
The study, conducted by the Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (INSERM) and reported in the International Journal on Cancer in January 2012, looked at child leukaemia cases nationwide diagnosed between 2002 and 2007, with addresses coded around 19 nuclear power plants. It demonstrated a stastically signficant doubling of the incidence of leukaemia childhood near nuclear power plants.
The French study confirms an earlier German study, known as the KiKK, which found a doubling of the incidence of child leukaemia near nuclear power plants, and an increased risk of 60 per cent for all childhood cancers. The KiKK findings were confirmed by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection.