If you are approximately 20 km away from a large nuclear power plant, can see it from your balcony and about to become a father for the first time, I guess it is perfectly normal to be a little bit concerned about the effects of nuclear energy centers on children. Especially after the recent nuclear incidents in Fukushima.
I’m not an expert in radiation or its effects on children and a quick research shows that there are not many extensive and comprehensive scientific studies on this important topic. One of the most recent and striking comments I read was from “Commentary: childhood cancer near nuclear power stations“. According to its conclusion:
It is proposed that the observed high rates of infant leukemias in the KiKK study may be a teratogenic effect from incorporated radionuclides. Such effects, egg congenital malformations, are often recognised at birth but infant leukemia is not easily ascertained. Such babies are born pre-leukemic with full-blown leukemias only being diagnosed after birth, i.e. after their bone marrows have accumulated sufficient radioactive decays.
It is recommended that US regulatory agencies should establish a KiKK-style epidemiological study of cancer incidences near all US nuclear power stations with precise distances being measured between cancer cases and nuclear reactors.
I also took note of few other articles related to this subject matter:
- Elevated childhood cancer incidence proximate to U.S. nuclear power plants
- Nuclear Power: Economic, Safety, Health, and Environmental Issues of Near-Term Technologies
- A short latency between radiation exposure from nuclear plants and cancer in young children
- Is the nuclear center a risk for the population and workers during usual operation?
- Childhood Leukemia in the Vicinity of the Geesthacht Nuclear Establishments near Hamburg, Germany
If you know more about this matter, feel free to share your resources. I’m really curious about scientific research related to the effects of normal operation (as well as incidents in) of nuclear power plants on the health of children.