WASHINGTON, D.C.—This week, researchers from Stanford University released a report which purported to assess global health impacts resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi accident in March 2011. Included in the researchers’ analysis was a hypothetical accident scenario involving the Diablo Canyon power plant near San Luis Obispo, Calif. The Nuclear Energy Institute’s Ralph Andersen, senior director for Radiation Safety & Environmental Protection, made the following remarks regarding the study:
“Safety is the top priority of the U.S. nuclear energy industry. Our focus and commitment remains on actions we can take to further enhance the safety of America’s nuclear energy facilities.
“We expect many scientific institutions and organizations will evaluate the impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi accident over the coming years. Like our partners in the nuclear energy industry, NEI is carefully reviewing the findings as they become available.
“Other experts in the field of radiation protection project no deaths in Japan and a very small potential increase in cancer—approximately 0.02 percent—as a result of radiation released during the Fukushima accident.
“This Stanford analysis reflects expertise in atmospheric modeling; however, radiation protection experts (including organizations such as the Health Physics Society and the International Commission on Radiation Protection) agree that the science does not support calculating cancer risks at very low radiation doses.
“The findings of this study indicate that the emergency response actions taken in Japan were effective in protecting public safety under very challenging conditions.