Chris Peterson and his wife are looking over two decades of medical records. That’s how long he’s been battling thyroid cancer. Although uncertain how he got the disease he thinks the cause has something to do with the Indian Point nuclear plant located less than 6 miles from where he once lived on the outskirts of New York City.

Chris Peterson/Thyroid Cancer Patient

“I think Indian Point should be closed down… so that there can be a study.”

Peterson wants that study to examine why Indian Point’s surrounding counties have some of the highest thyroid cancer rates in the state.

Some critics of the plant believe there is a link between cancer and the plant’s release of radioactive iodine.

SOT Joe Mangano/Radiation and Public Health Project

“I am strongly confident that Indian Point emissions have played a major role in raising thyroid cancer near the plant.”


Behind me is one of the nuclear reactors at Indian Point. Just about everything that happens here is regulated by the NRC, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The agency says the plant does not pose a health risk to people who live nearby.


While excessive exposure to radioactive iodine can cause thyroid cancer, the NRC says Indian Point is safe.

SOT Patricia Milligan/NRC

Patricia Milligan

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

“This plant is doing exactly what it should be doing, the doses that are being released are very low and a very minor fraction of the limit.”

The New York State Department of Health which released the data showing the spike in thyroid cancer says while the cause could be radioactive iodine, there are other factors to consider including “greater awarness and detection.”

With Indian Point’s license to operate a reactor coming up for renewal in four years, many nearby thyroid cancer patients like Chris Peterson want to make sure the controversy isn’t over.

In Buchanan , NY DLM FOX NEWS.