VAN BUREN COUNTY (WKZO) -- They admit it’s just a preliminary study but the anti-nuclear group Beyond Nuclear has commissioned Joseph Mangano, who is the director of the Radiation & Public Health Project to study death records in Van Buren County.
He says the death rate in the county used to be 6% below the state average prior to the construction of the plant, but is now over 12% higher. That means about 13-hundred more people have died in the last decade than would have 40 years ago.
He says cancer deaths have risen even faster, from 10% below the state rate back in the 70’s to 12% above now.
County health officials don’t agree with their conclusions and Palasades spokesperson Rose Lindsay says they wouldn’t be allowed to operate if they weren’t safe. She says they have their own studies that show that nuclear plants don't cause cancer in the communities that surround them.
Beyond Nuclear says the report is the starting off point and more studies will be required to determine exactly what is going on.