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Cancer deaths linked to nuclear power plants in Salem County

Study claims cancer deaths up since startup of Salem nuclear plants, By Bill Gallo Jr. | For 1 Apr 17, LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP. — A new study claims cancer death rates in Salem County have risen higher than the state average since the startup of three nuclear power plants there.

“Something like this that affects so many people is worth further study,” said Joseph J. Mangano, executive director of the Ocean City-based Radiation and Public Health Project.

“Current death rates in Salem County exceed the state rates for both genders, all age groups, all races and ethnic groups and all major types of cancer,” the study says.

Mangano, in the self-authored study, says that cancer death rates in Salem County have risen from about 5 percent below the state average in the 1983-1986 period to 20 percent above the average in the 2011-2014 period. He also says that non-cancer death rates have risen from about 2 percent above the state average  in 1983-1986 to more than 23 percent above in the 2011-2004 period.

According to Mangano’s research, the incidences of cancer went from 1 percent below the state average in 1998-2001 to more an 9 percent above the average in 2011-2014.

The three nuclear reactors operated by PSEG Nuclear at Artificial Island  in Lower Alloways Creek Township — Salem 1, Salem  and Hope Creek — comprise the second-largest nuclear generating station in the U.S. in terms of power output.

Salem 1 began producing electricity in 1976, Salem 2 in 1980 and Hope Creek in 1986.

“We are not advocating for the shutdown of nuclear power plants,” Mangano said. “There well may be other factors that account for this cancer rise … a combination of factors.”

The region is also home to refineries, chemical plants and Superfund sites……..

Mangano says one of his major concerns are what he says are releases from nuclear plants.

“We are concerned that nuclear plant emissions may be contributing to the increase (on the cancer and death rates),” Mangano said. “We believe strongly that the focus should be placed on the new cancer risk factors and one of them that should be studies is the emissions from the Salem/Hope Creek plants.”……


April 3, 2017 - Posted by | health, USA

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