Leukemia cases in Krümmel remain mysterious
Federal Environment Minister Angela Merkel published the second study on cancer in the vicinity of nuclear power plants at the end of November. According to the investigation, such a connection could not be established. Accumulated cases of leukemia in the vicinity of the reactor in Krümmel in northern Germany remain unclear. The present second study examined 26 nuclear power plants for possible radioactive exposure of the local population. According to Merkel, this showed that there was no connection between nuclear power plants and leukemia. In none of the cases considered was there evidence of increased radioactivity in the vicinity of the reactor. The study again proves that children living in the vicinity of the Krümmel nuclear power plant in northern Germany are four times more likely to get cancer. However, the cause of the eight leukemia cases remains unclear.
Professor Jörg Michaelis from the head of the study at the Institute for Medical Statistics and Documentation at the University of Mainz is at a loss: "The Krümmel phenomenon focuses on leukemia diseases". The increase in blood cancer cases is very striking, but despite intensive investigations into the facts by several commissions, there has not yet been an adequate explanation of the problem. The most obvious explanation is a random statistical accumulation. In this case, however, a decrease in diseases in the Elbmarsch was to be expected. However, the new study even shows an increase.
In addition to increased radiation in the vicinity of the reactor, the study examined 23 other risk factors such as smoking by the parents, consumption of alcohol during breastfeeding or busy roads. Despite individual statistical tendencies, according to Merkel, these factors are not statistically relevant. There are also locally clustered cases of leukemia elsewhere in Germany, but nowhere as high as in Krümmel.