Reuters: Child leukaemia doubles near French nuclear plants says gov’t study — Result is statistically significant -IRSN expert

Published: January 12th, 2012 at 8:44 am ET


Child leukaemia doubles near French nuclear plants-study, Reuters, Jan. 11, 2012:

The incidence of leukaemia is twice as high in children living close to French nuclear power plants as in those living elsewhere in the country, a study by French health and nuclear safety experts [INSERM] has found.


“This is a result which has been checked thoroughly and which is statistically significant,” said Dominique Laurier, head of the epidemiology research laboratory at France’s nuclear safety research body (IRSN).


h/t EX-SKF, GreenParis

Published: January 12th, 2012 at 8:44 am ET


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20 comments to Reuters: Child leukaemia doubles near French nuclear plants says gov’t study — Result is statistically significant -IRSN expert

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Why have these news reports been hidden for so long, FOR SO MANY DAMN YEARS? Why is it only coming out now?!?! I’m more angry than I’ve ever been – if that’s possible. SHUT THEM ALL DOWN!!!!

    • It’s kind of like testing breast milk for radiation officials have already said present “no danger” to newborns. Then why the @#$% bother testing? Here we’ve got yet another confirmation of the FACT that ‘normally’ operating nukes all over the world routinely cause children to get leukemia. Obviously there needs to be a big multi-governmental/industry study that should take a decade or two, to determine if leukemia is really a danger to children…

      • Radio VicFromOregon

        Yeah, sadly, well put, JoyB. In fact, i am certain i read an article about children in Chernobyl getting leukemia and researchers, or whomever projecting the possible rate of such cases from Fukushima in Japan, and i swear the responder to the questions suggested that it’s only leukemia, after all, an inconvenience, not a death sentence. Not their exact words, but my take away from their response. I was struck dumb. You’ve nailed it.

    • Radio VicFromOregon

      I was wondering if Reuters, who has put an article out more than not compared to the others, is maybe leaving bread crumbs. They can’t come right out and say much, but, this article comes upon the heels of the “cold shut down” ruse that was exposed in the press, high rad readings here and there. Slowly, too slowly of course, but still, a different paradigm emerges in the public consciousness. This is part of the process. You and others blogging on the other sites keeps that pressure on and journalists see it. A few will want to write about it. This study tried to get wings not so long ago. Now it makes the MSM. Take a little credit for that, Whoopie. And, thx.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    As a result of the lame “stress-tests” the French conducted on their nukes, short term investments of 30 billion € are necessary, according to their “Nuclear safety commission”.
    30 billion! Just to meet the basic level of safety!

    That was last week. Funny enough, they announced yesterday to invest big in offshore wind power and to have 5 GW operable until 2015.

    Somebody finally learned how to use a calculator, methinks.

  • CaptD CaptD

    France better start to follow Germany toward Big Solar and phase out nuclear or the voters in France at the next election will make changes in their Gov’t. then do it!

    Remember the rest of Europe is “downwind” from France!

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Bobby1, so true. Since crapping the sea with nuclear waste drums is forbidden, they just use…a pipeline! Smart eh.

      • Bobby1

        Very efficient, those French. You don’t have to worry about the rust from those barrels!

        How much of that tritium ends up in rainfall, and drinking water systems, I wonder. It is impossible in principle to filter it. It must travel all over Europe.

        • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

          Hi Bobby1, it does indeed. I attended a presentation by a scientist who explained that tritium is impossible to filter out as (chemically spoken) you would try to divide water from water. Tritium replaces one of the H in H2O by “heavy water”.

          When they cut the fuel rods in La Hague to reprocess them, 24 hours later those emissions can be maesured at Gent university.

  • arclight arclight

    Families Against Cancer & Toxics

    Stop cancer before it starts February 15, 2011

    “Eighteen children associated with Sierra Vista were diagnosed with leukemia between 1995 and 2007, and four have died. This is over three times the expected rate for this small desert town near a military base.

    The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) led the cluster investigation, in cooperation with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the ATSDR, and the Cochise County Health Department.”

    heres a “blame it on everything but nuclear reactors” piece

    “Numbers and proportions of leukemias in young people and adults induced by radiation of natural origin. Gerald Kendalla, Mark P. Little and Richard Wakeford, Leukemia Research, Volume 35, Issue 8, August 2011, Pages 1039-1043.

    Abstract. “We use recent estimates of doses to the red bone marrow to calculate the number and proportion of cases of leukemia in England induced by natural radiation. . . .

    In young people up to the age of 25 years the attributable fraction is about 15%, substantially lower than a previous estimate.” Natural origin radiation includes cosmic rays and long-lived natural radionuclides, e.g., radon. The latter can be either inhaled or ingested.”
    and this

    “Several expert commissions investigated, and found moderate levels of cesium in rain-water and air samples, along with plutonium and americium in household dust near the plant. There was also some evidence of chromosomal damage to lymphocytes among the local population.

    One panel deemed these observations consistent with fallout from a possible accident at the research facility that would have to have occurred around September 1986, but so far no such accident has been proved…….”

  • Radio VicFromOregon

    Establishing causal links is necessary, absolutely necessary, and time consuming, and frustrating, and necessary for public heath workers and administrators and us people in general to make informed decisions, otherwise really dumb choices get made, like the current one we are all in. Or, as other examples of medicine gone wrong, some may recall exposing children in the US to yearly chest xrays for coughs they were getting from their parents smoking. The doctors never considered that the smoke was the problem. Or, the death rate of menopausal US women from heart attacks or breast cancer doubled when doctors began to routinely put menopausal women on estrogen to block the natural process of estrogen loss. A few brave researchers kept pushing their studies and their findings finally got out. Within two years of reducing the rate of prescribing estrogen, the rate of heart attack and uterine cancer declined by half in these women. The above article on leukemia and French nuclear reactors starts that process of connecting the dots, but, damn, i wish they could have taken it a little further.

  • vivvi

    The only way to fix this problem is to stop making nuke plants and shut down the existing ones. Let’s see … money versus children. Sorry kids, you lose. This is a truly sick planet, sacrificing its children for money and power.

  • arclight arclight

    Cancer cluster downwind of Wylfa

    Welsh-language TV channel S4C has reported new evidence of a cancer cluster near the nuclear power stations at Wylfa in Wales.
    Commissioned by S4C, Professor Chris Busby analysed official data for cancer deaths, showing a statistically significant 58% increase in female breast cancer and 50% increased lung cancer in men downwind of the two Magnox reactors, which began production in 1971.
    Internet users within the UK can view the programme here –

    It is the second of two programmes investigating the significance of the Fukushima disaster for the proposed new nuclear reactor at Wylfa.
    The first programme, Y Byd ar Bedwar – Fukushima, was transmitted on 12th December. It can be seen on until 16th January.

    For reasons of copyright, most S4C programmes including Y Byd ar Bedwar can not be streamed outside the British Isles.

    English subtitles are available – click on the “S” at the bottom right of the video screen. Having problems with subtitles? Click here.

    the data had to be collected by knocking on peoples doors by the reporting staff.. no statistics were ever researched in this way.. normally some one like richard wakeford would just work it out using a pen, papaer napkin over a pint or two down the pub (place of alcohol consumption in uk, favoured workplace of physisists!! 🙂 ) and some excellent formulas worled out earlier!!

    heres a link to the LLRC site for more relevant busby and bramhall investigations and analysis!

    scroll down on left frame to the goodies (website will be updated! but there short of funds, any web savy people or funders out there that might be able to help? if so drop them a line!!)

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    From the article: “A 35-year British study published last year found no evidence that young children living near nuclear power plants had an increased risk of developing leukaemia.”

    I was sniffing around trying to get a sense of the credibility of the present French study and of other studies cited in the Reuters article. There are threads leading off in various directions, but this caught my eye….

    The British study is from these people:

    On their website they reveal that one of their members has a consultancy link with Sellafield, the controversial British nuke reprocessing site. They disclose this, to their credit. The website also lists this item:

    “Assessors In Attendance Representing The Following Organisations

    Department for Children, Schools and Families
    Department for Communities and Local Government
    Department of Energy and Climate Change
    Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
    Department of Health
    Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety (Northern Ireland)
    Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
    Environment Agency
    Food Standards Agency
    Health Protection Agency – Radiation Protection Division
    Health and Safety Executive
    Information Services Division, NHS Scotland
    Medical Research Council
    Ministry of Defence
    Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
    Office of National Statistics
    Scottish Environment Protection Agency
    Scottish Government
    Welsh Assembly Government”

    —- end of quoted fragment.

    So… I’m left wondering whether this organization is a mouthpiece for government/industry pro-nuke forces, which in turn still leaves me wondering about the credibility of their study, and that leaves me wondering about the credibility of the other studies cited.

    Anyone got hard data on this stuff?

    • arclight arclight

      ths fromthe llrc web site.. communications about comare

      some snippets hee
      “The purpose of this letter is to bring you up to date with a recent exchange of correspondence between Professor Bridges, the Chairman of COMARE (Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment) and Dr Busby of Green Audit.

      ………Professor Bridges has replied that he saw no good reason for Green Audit to withhold the WCR data pending release of further WCISU data but also indicated that Dr Busby’s request for the latter data did not seem unreasonable. Professor Bridges informed Dr Busby that the COMARE secretariat would be writing to the Welsh Office encouraging us to take any necessary steps to obtain the release of the WCISU data to Green Audit.

      and the rebuttle

      “Finally, I would like to say that I know of no reputable scientific opinion anywhere in the world that holds Busby’s view that the ICRP risk factor is 100-fold too low. Indeed, you should be aware that the debate in the USA, Japan and parts of Europe has moved on to consider whether there is really a threshold for the induction of cancer by radiation (a view which incidentally may have more evidence going for it than Busby’s view). If a threshold were to be accepted it would, of course, open the door to potentially limitless discharges. In this country such a view is rarely, if ever, heard, largely due to the influence of the COMARE (and NRPB) which maintain the prudent assumption that there is no threshold.”

      they are the pro nuke icrp promoters to the government..

      great post aigeezer

      • aigeezer aigeezer

        Thanks arclight. I was coming to a similar conclusion to yours after reading the “Who is exposed…” blurb in the COMARE FAQ section. They got in all the usual pro-nuke talking points except bananas.

        There’s a lot of Establishment vested interest firepower involved. Ouch!

  • Sabin

    Hi !

    First time adding a comment. I’m French, so I can comment in depths on the present subject, I’ve read more about it.

    I’d like to add a precision regarding that information, it’s only within a precise time period that the leukemia problem statistically appears, with double the number of affected children.

    However, if you broaden the time lapse, for instance doubling it, we’re back into average figures.

    That may either mean there has been in the past a period with huge contamination (with in French plants, or perhaps Chernobyl aftereffects), or else this is a statiscally improbable but possible unevenly spread serie of data events, if you see the idea.

    Don’t get your high horses about it, exert caution on that precise subjet, otherwise you may face criticism like the people telling that Earth has not grown hotter over the last ten years and who are candidly comparing Nino and Nina peaks 😮

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Good point, Sabin. In all the studies there are potential confounds regarding both time and distance, I think.