‘Nuclear plant workers not under radiation threat'

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on January 10, 2012

Even as local movements against nuclear plants gather steam, a cancer expert has ruled out any greater danger from radiation to workers in such plants.

Employees working in nuclear power stations in close proximity of radiation are not prone to any higher rate of occurrence of disease particularly ‘cancer' than the general public, Dr K. M. Mohandas, Director (CCE), Tata Memorial Centre, said here on Monday.

He said routine medical diagnostic procedures such as dental X-ray, chest X-ray and CT scan deliver radiation doses that are several times higher than those in a nuclear power plant and added that the misconception had to be cleared.

Dr Mohandas' statement is significant in the backdrop of long-drawn protests in Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu and Jaitapur in Maharashtra.

Quoting a study by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) for the period 1995 to 2010 which covered the health profile of its employees at nuclear power stations for over 15 years, Dr Mohandas said, “the average natural incident rate of cancer amongst the general public is 98.5/lakh among NACIL employees.”

Speaking on ‘Radiation and Cancer,' organised by the Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS) of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), the Ministry of Atomic Energy, he cited facts based on studies on 17,700 workers of uranium mining in Canada who have been tracked for over last several decades. The workers are found to be keeping better health than the general public in Canada, he said.

Mr S.A. Bhardwaj, Director (Technical), NPCIL, said radiation was “present everywhere in nature, including houses which we live in, the water we drink, and the food we eat, etc.”

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Published on January 10, 2012
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