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TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH J. MANGANO
TO THE U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
ON THE DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
REGARDING LICENSE RENEWAL
FOR THE INDIAN POINT 2 AND 3 NUCLEAR REACTORS

Cortlandt Manor NY
February 12, 2009

I’m Joseph Mangano, Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project. Scientists and health professionals in our group have published 23 medical journal articles and 7 books on health risks from nuclear reactors.

The DSEIS assumes that since routine emissions from Indian Point are below federally permitted limits, there were no health risks in the past, and won’t be in the next 20 years. There is no hard evidence, no statistical data, in the DSEIS to support this assumption.

Our group elects to conduct research, rather than blindly accept this assumption, near Indian Point and other nuclear plants. To date, we have made several findings:

1. Routine radioactive releases from Indian Point are among the highest of U.S. plants
2. Westchester and Rockland child cancer incidence is significantly above the U.S. rate.
3. The average level of radioactive Strontium-90 in baby teeth local children is among the highest in the U.S., and rose sharply after the late 1980s.

Each finding suggests Indian Point has harmed local residents. Today I present new data on local thyroid cancer rates. For the first time, national county-specific incidence rates are now published (42 states) by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thyroid cancer can be a red flag for harmful effects of radiation exposure. Specifically, radioactive iodine, only produced in nuclear weapons and reactors, enters the body through breathing and the food chain, and attacks cells in the thyroid gland. A 1997 study by the National Cancer Institute concluded that Iodine-131 from atomic bomb fallout caused as many as 212,000 Americans to develop thyroid cancer.

The great majority of residents in four New York counties live within 20 miles of Indian Point. According to official CDC data from 2001-2004, three of these counties (Rockland, Orange, and Putnam) have the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd highest thyroid cancer rates in the state. The other county, Westchester, ranks 8th of 62 New York counties.

Local thyroid cancer rates are actually among the highest in the U.S. The four counties rank 5th, 15th, 26th, and 122nd out of 806 counties published by the CDC.

The local thyroid cancer rate was slightly below the state average in the late 1970s, when Indian Point 2 and 3 had just started. Something caused the low local rate, now 67% above the U.S., to rise. Indian Point emissions must be considered as one possible factor.

The high thyroid cancer rate represents a public health problem that officials should address promptly. Moreover, the DSEIS is incomplete without addressing thyroid cancer and other components of a local health “report card”.

No decision on license extension should be made until all historical health risks of Indian Point are studied using statistical evidence, and the public is fully informed. The fact that the NRC does not require evidence-based proof of safety as a condition for license extension is poor policy, which may put many lives at risk.

Thank your for your time. I hope the NRC will take my comments seriously.

Joseph J. Mangano MPH MBA
Executive Director, Radiation and Public Health Project


 

ATTACHMENTS

Table 1
Cancer Incidence Rate, 2001-2004
Counties Closest to Indian Point vs. NYS and U.S.
ALL CANCERS
County
Cases/Yr
Cases/100,000
NY Rank
vs Oth NY
vs U.S.
Rockland
1555
520.6
22
+ 7.2%
+ 9.9%
Orange
1676 
523.4 
21
+ 7.7%
+10.5%
Putnam
520
561.6
2
+15.6%
+18.6%
Westchester
5124 
495.9
49
+ 2.1%
+ 4.7%
TOTAL
8875
510.0
 
+ 5.0%
+  7.7%
Total NY State
 
487.8
 
 
 
Other NY State
 
485.8
 
 
 
United States
 
473.6
 
 
 
In the four county area, the “Excess” cancer cases is obtained by multiplying 8875 x 4 years = 35,500 total cases, then multiplying by 5.0% (1775 excess cases vs. other NY) and by 7.7% (2734 excess cases vs. U.S.).
THYROID CANCER
County
Cases/Yr
Cases/100,000
NY Rank
vs Oth NY
vs U.S.
Rockland
55 18.7   1 +101% +117%
Orange
59 16.5   2 +77% +92%
Putnam
16 15.5  3 +67% +80%
Westchester
118 12.0  8 +29% +40%
TOTAL
248 14.3    +54% +67%
Total NY State
  9.7      
Other NY State
  9.3      
United States
   8.6      
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov,  Rates adjusted to 2000 U.S. standard population. U.S. includes Atlanta, CA, rural GA, HI, IA, KY, Detroit, NM, UT, Seattle, or 20% of U.S. population.
 

 

Table 2
Thyroid Cancer Incidence Rate, By U.S. County
42 States, 806 Counties with >15 Cases Total, 2001-2004
County Cases/Year Cases/100,000 Pop.
HIGHEST RATES    
1. Los Alamos NM            6 32.5
2. Lehigh PA               72 21.4
3. Jefferson OH 15 19.4
4. Cache UT 13 19.0
5. Rockland NY 55 18.7
6. Northampton PA 53 18.5
7. Socorro NM 3 18.1
8. Juneau City/Boro AK 17.8
9. Laramie WY  15 17.5
10. Benton IA 5 17.1
11. Sanpete UT 3 16.9
12. Hall NE            9 16.7
12. Luzerne PA 58 16.7
14. Bristol RI         9 16.6
15. Orange NY 59 16.5
16. Warren IA 7 16.3
16. Jones IA 4 16.3
16. Bucks PA 106 16.3
19. York PA 67 16.2
20. Bourbon KY 3 16.1
20. Mercer PA 20 16.1
22. Santa Cruz AZ 6 15.7
22. Camden NJ 82 15.7
22. Lancaster PA 75 15.7
25. Lawrence PA 15 15.6
26. Putnam NY 16 15.5
26. Burlington NJ 72 15.5
26. Valencia NM 10 15.5
26. Somerset PA 13 15.5
122. Westchester NY 118 12.0
U.S. Rate    8.6
        
LOWEST RATES     
803. Vanderburgh IN 7 3.6
803. Charlotte FL 9 3.6
805. Robeson NC 4 3.5
806. Ellis TX 4 3.4
Excluded are IL, MD, MN, MS, NH, ND, TN, VA.  States/cities using 2001-2005 data include Atlanta, CA, rural GA, HI, IA, KY, Detroit, NM, UT, Seattle.  The 806 Counties represent 68% of U.S. population.  Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov

 

Table 3
Thyroid Cancer Incidence Rate, By New York County
Counties with >15 Cases Total, 2001-2004
County Cases/Year  Cases/100,000 Pop.
1. Rockland 55 18.7
2. Orange 59 16.5
3. Putnam 16 15.5
4. Sullivan 10 12.9
5. Oneida 30 12.2
6. Chenango 7 12.2
7. Suffolk 184 12.1
8. Westchester 118 12.0
9. Nassau 169 11.9
10. Richmond 56 11.8
11. Dutchess 34 11.4
12. Schenectady 17 11.3
13. Saratoga 25 11.3
14. Montgomery 6 11.0
15. Niagara 25 10.8
16. Madison 8 10.6
17. Cayuga 9 10.3
18. Onandaga 47 10.3
19. Tioga 6 10.2
20. Broome 21 10.1
21. Oswego 12 9.9
22. New York 168 9.8
23. Otsego 6 9.6
24. Erie 94 9.5
25. Washington 6 9.3
26. Delaware 5 9.3
27. Albany 28 9.2
28. Chemung 9 9.1
29. Greene 5 8.9
30. Orleans 4 8.8
31. Queens 203 8.7
32. Chautauqua 13 8.6
33. Columbia 6 8.6
34. Allegany 4 8.5
35. Monroe 62 8.3
36. Herkimer 5 8.1
37. Jefferson 9 8.0
38. Warren 6 8.0
39. Kings 193 7.9
40. Ulster 14 7.5
41. Livingston 5 7.4
42. Fulton 4 7.2
43. Bronx 89 7.2
44. Rensselaer 11 6.9
45. Genesee 4 6.4
46. Ontario 6 6.1
47. Cattaraugus 5 5.9
48. Wayne 6 5.7
49. Clinton 5 5.4
50. St. Lawrence 6 5.0
51. Steuben 5 4.4
Excluded counties (fewer than 4 cases/year) are Cortland, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Lewis, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Tompkins, Wyoming, and Yates Counties.  Rates adjusted to 2000 U.S. standard population.  Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov  
  

 

Table 4
Thyroid Cancer Incidence Rate
Four Counties Closest to Indian Point vs. Other NY State
By Five Year Period, 1976-2005

Thyroid Cancer Cases per 100,000 Population (number of cases)

Period Orange Putnam Rockland Westchester
1976-80 1.85 (20) 4.65 (15) 4.10 (46) 3.55 (156)
1981-85 4.05 (50) 2.50 (10) 5.70 (70) 3.95 (176)
1986-90 3.10 (42) 2.05 (10) 6.70 (90) 4.35 (203)
1991-95 4.80 (72) 4.35 (19) 8.25 (112) 4.95 (234)
1996-00 11.25 (181) 8.60 (43) 10.65 (153) 8.60 (414)
2001-05 16.55 (295) 18.20 (93) 12.35 (621) 18.05 (267)
  
Period 4 County Total Other NY State % Local Rate is
+/- Oth NYS
1976-80 3.40 (237) 3.45 -1.5%
1981-85 4.20 (306) 3.71 +13.2%
1986-90 4.38 (345) 3.91 +11.9%
1991-95 5.46 (437) 5.07 +  9.2%
1996-00 9.51 (791) 7.11 +33.7%
2001-05 14.55 (1276) 9.82 +48.1%
Source: NY State Cancer Registry, http://www.health.state.ny.us/statistics/cancer/registry.  Rates per 100,000, adjusted to 2000 U.S. standard population.

 

Table 5
Thyroid Cancer Mortality Rate
Four Counties Closest to Indian Point vs. U.S
By Age Group, 1979-2005

Age Group

4 Counties Cloest to Indian Point U.S. % +/- U.S.
   Deaths Ann. Pop. Rate Rate   
All Races                
45-64 69 350,379 0.729 0.517 +41.2%

65 and over

173 194,440 3.295 2.536 +29.9%
Whites               
45-64                                          59 303,597 0.720 0.515 +39.8%
65 and over                                             166 177,374 3.466 2.535 +36.7%
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,http://wonder.cdc.gov/, underlying cause of death.  Uses ICD-9 cancer codes 193 (1979-1998) and ICD-10 cancer codes C73 (1999-2005).  Rates are deaths per 100,000 persons adjusted for 2000 U.S. standard population.  About 98% of thyroid cancer deaths occur in persons 45 years of age and over.