Regulators cancel cancer risk study for NFS in Erwin

ERWIN, TN (WJHL) – A cancer risk study planned for Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin was recently canceled by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission because it would have taken a “significant amount of time and resources” to complete.

The cessation of the study was announced earlier this month. It would have been conducted by the National Academy of Sciences and focused on cancer risks in populations near nuclear power facilities.

NFS would have been one of seven sites that would have participated in a pilot study to see if the study methods would have been valid on a national scale, according to NRC spokesman Scott Burnell.

The NRC monitors nuclear sites around the country. NRC said it and other state agencies monitor environmental samples from near nuclear plants and that those analyses show any radiation releases are “too small to cause observable increases in cancer risk near the facilities.”

“We’re balancing the desire to provide updated answers on cancer risk with our responsibility to
use Congressionally provided funds as wisely as possible,” said Brian Sheron, director of the NRC’s
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, said in a news release. “The NAS estimates it would be at least the end of the decade before they would possibly have answers for us, and the costs of completing the study were prohibitively high.”

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