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High Risk Counties Within 100 Miles of Nuclear Reactors

Figure 8-11 from
The Enemy Within: The High Cost of Living Near Nuclear Reactors

by Jay M Gould. Four Walls Press, New York 1996

High Risk Counties Within 100 Miles of Nuclear Reactors Figure 8-11 from The Enemy Within: The High Cost of Living Near Nuclear Reactors by Jay M Gould. Four Walls Press, New York 1996

Nearly half of the nation's 3,000-odd counties can be defined as "nuclear" counties because they are located within 100 miles of reactor sites. They had more than two-thirds of all breast cancer deaths in 1985–89 and a combined age-adjusted breast cancer mortality rate (about 26 deaths per 100,000 women) that is significantly higher than that of all remaining counties (about 22 deaths per 100,000).

The "nuclear" counties at highest risk, depicted in this map with the darker shading, are mainly in the Northeast where the mortality rate of 28 deaths per 100,000 (with rates as high as 32 deaths per 100,000 in the New York Suburban counties) is associated with the greatest concentration of reactors. "Nuclear" counties in the Great Lakes and Pacific states also have combined mortality rates significantly higher than the U.S. rate of 24.6 deaths.

"Nuclear" counties in the southern states, along with those surrounding the DOE reactors at Hanford and the national laboratories in Idaho and New Mexico, are depicted with lighter shading and have had significantly greater increases since 1950 than the United States as a whole.

The nonnuclear counties—including those surrounding the five reactor sites that displayed no significant divergence from national norms—carry no shading and are seen to fall mainly between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River.

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