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Switzerland

Swiss Study: Nuke Plants OK For Kids

Children growing up near nuclear power plants are not at higher risk of developing leukemia, Swiss researchers concluded this week.

Questions remain over how nuclear plants might affect children
Questions remain over how nuclear plants might affect children

Worldcrunch NEWS BITES

Swiss researchers have determined that children who grow up near nuclear plants are not more likely to develop leukemia or other kinds of cancer.

The Switzerland's Social and Preventive Medicine institute (IMSP) published the results this week of a three-year study of children. Their findings, that nuclear plants do not put children at risk, contradict a German study published in 2007. The German report concluded that growing up near a nuclear plant could be hazardous to children's health.

According to IMSP director Matthias Egger, the risk of contracting cancer is about the same for children who live close to a nuclear plant as it is for children who live far away from one. But he also admits that "considering the very small number of cancer cases considered in the study, there is a high statistical uncertainty."

The IMSP researchers looked at 573 cases of child leukemia. Of those, eight children lived within five kilometers of a nuclear plant.

The Swiss League against Cancer (LSC), which ordered the study together with the Federal Office for Public Health (OFSP), also qualifies these results. "This is not the proof that nuclear plants are not harmful," the LSC said, adding that the cancer-producing effect of radioactive radiation is "unquestionable."

Nuclear energy has been challenged all across Europe in recent months. Germany has already pledged to close all its nuclear plants over the next 20 years, while France and the UK still defend their investment in nuclear power.

Matthias Egger stated that the aim of this study was not political. In Switzerland, Federal elections will take place within three months, making the issue of nuclear energy particularly sensitive.

Read the full original article in French by Bernard Wuthrich

Photo - Jayson Shenk

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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