Dec 8, 2007 8:48am EST
(Reuters) - A German study has found that young children living near nuclear
power plants have a significantly higher risk of developing leukemia and other
forms of cancer, a German newspaper reported on Saturday.
study confirmed that in Germany a connection has been observed between the
distance of a domicile to the nearest nuclear power plant .... and the risk of
developing cancer, such as leukemia, before the fifth birthday,"
Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper quoted the report as saying.
newspaper said the study was done by the University of Mainz for Germany's
Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BFS). A copy of the report was not
researchers found that 37 children within a 5-kilometer (3-mile) radius of
nuclear power plants had developed leukemia between 1980 and 2003, while the
statistical average during this time period was 17, the paper said.
newspaper cited an unnamed radiation protection expert familiar with the study
who said its conclusions understated the problem. He said the data showed there
was an increased cancer risk for children living within 50 kilometers of a
Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement that he would examine
the study. He said the BFS should also evaluate its findings.
plans to prematurely shut down all of its nuclear power plants by the early
(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau)