News & CommentFrance

Thrust and Parry Over Nuclear Risks

Science  31 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5300, pp. 610
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5300.610a

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PARIS—Claims about the health risks posed by nuclear-power installations are always controversial, but nowhere more so than in France, where some 75% of the nation's electricity is generated from nuclear energy. So, it was no surprise that publication of a study by two French epidemiologists earlier this month claiming to show a link between cases of childhood leukemia and the nuclear-waste reprocessing plant at La Hague on the Normandy coast sparked fireworks in the French press. Several French epidemiologists sharply criticized the study's methodology and conclusions. Their attacks have now drawn an unusual response from the British Medical Journal (BMJ), in which the paper appeared.