J Korean Med Sci.  2012 Sep;27(9):999-1008. 10.3346/jkms.2012.27.9.999.

Cancer Risk in Adult Residents near Nuclear Power Plants in Korea: A Cohort Study of 1992-2010

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. yoahn@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Institute of Radiation Effect & Epidemiology, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea.


This study evaluated cancer risk for adult residents near Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) in Korea through a valid prospective cohort study during 1992-2010. The study cohort was composed of 11,367 adults living within a five km radius from the NPPs for the exposed and 24,809 adults for the non-exposed or reference cohort set at two different levels of proximity; 5-30 km radius and more than 30 km radius away from NPPs. In 303,542.5 person-years of follow-up, a total of 2,298 cancer cases of all sites, or 1,377 radio-inducible cancers diagnosed during 1992-2008 were ascertained. Multiple adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using multivariate Cox proportional hazard model. There were no epidemiological evidence for increased risk of cancer due to radiation from NPPs. Radiological study results or surveillance data of radiation doses around NPPs could be well documented for risk estimation of radio-inducible cancers, instead of epidemiological study results of the long-time required. Continuous surveillance of quantitative measures of dose levels around NPPs and radiation exposures to the residents is warranted.


Cancer Risk; Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs); Residents near NPPs; Radiation; Cohort Studies

MeSH Terms

Aged, 80 and over
Cohort Studies
Follow-Up Studies
Middle Aged
Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced/*epidemiology
Nuclear Power Plants
Proportional Hazards Models
Prospective Studies
Republic of Korea/epidemiology
Risk Factors
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