PolitiFact: Isakson Nuclear Death Comments Are True

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ATLANTA - The safety of nuclear power plants in the United States is a hot topic following an earthquake and tsunami-fueled nuclear disaster in Japan.

So PolitiFact Georgia decided to research comments by Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson that have already been posted in the Internet.

"There has never been a death caused by a nuclear reactor in the United States, even when Three Mile Island failed in the 1970s", Isakson said on March 15, just days after the earthquake in Japan.

You can read more about this PolitiFact in Friday's edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The PolitiFact Georgia panel conducted extensive research into Isakson's statement and found it's correct.

"It's true nobody was killed there, but there are studies that indicate there will be a spike in cancer rates because of this and some of that's unpredictable into the future," said PolitiFact Georgia editor Jim Tharpe.

Tharpe told Channel 2's Carol Sbarge the panel discussed whether the senator's statement needed more context, but one member pointed out that there's no evidence anyone has died from the Three Mile Island meltdown.

"Three Mile Island was 31 years ago. There is zero evidence that anyone died. There's a lot of speculation that people could've died or may die in the future. Thirty-one years ago though, there's no conclusive evidence that anyone died as a result of what happened," Tharpe said.

Tharpe said that's the reason PolitiFact Georgia gave Sen. Isakson a true rating on their truth-o-meter.

"The preponderance of the evidence was on Sen. Isakson's side that there have not been any documented deaths at this point," Tharpe said.

You can read more about this PolitiFact in Friday's edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.