Reaction on the results of the WIV/ISP study

SCK•CEN wants to react on the results of the WIV/ISP study published today in the press.

 “The small local increase (statistically insignificant) in the occurrence of thyroid cancer which was shown in this study is not exceptional. In approximately 20% of all Belgian municipalities, the occurrence of thyroid cancer is in fact significantly higher than the regional average and significantly lower in approximately 20%. A local variation obviously exists and is totally independent from nuclear activities being present or not. On average, the occurrence of thyroid cancer in Flanders (thus also in the vicinity of the Mol-Dessel nuclear site!) is 2x lower than in the Brussels area and Wallonia. With regard to the SCK•CEN nuclear emissions in particular, these emissions are extremely low and even negligible. The yearly doses are a few thousand times smaller than the sum of all natural and medical doses to which the average Belgian is exposed”, explains Luc Holmstock, nuclear physician at SCK•CEN and guest professor for interuniversity radioprotection training.

The authors carried out hypothetical calculations to study the influence of emissions on the results. To this end, they used higher values than the actual emissions produced by SCK•CEN which are more than a million times lower.