Surfing: riding in radioactive waves | Photo: D Ramey Logan/Creative Commons

Is it safe to live and surf near nuclear power plants? Does radioactivity accelerate the development of cancer and leukemia? Do waves become a source of diseases?

If an accident takes place, gases are leaked; water gets contaminated and highly radioactive. In recent times, we've learned it with the Fukushima nuclear power station. Everything around was shut down forever. The surf, the town, the environment.

Only very small amounts of natural radioactivity can be considered harmful and safe. Everything else represents a risk. The breast tissue and the thyroid are extremely sensitive to ionizing radiation.

Over 60 worldwide studies have revealed that people living near nuclear power plants are more likely to develop cancer than the national averages.

The world has 438 nuclear power units installed in 31 countries. But what are the most popular surf spots located near radioactive reactors?

Morro Bay and Pismo Beach, California
The Diablo Canyon Power Plant is the only nuclear power plant still operational in California. It has a total net capacity of 2,240 MW.

Diablo Canyon Power Plant: California's nuclear reactor | Photo: Michael L. Baird/Creative Commons

Matagorda, Texas
The South Texas Nuclear Project Electric Generating Station was the first nuclear station to be built in the state. It has a total net capacity of 2,560 MW.

Beer Can Island and Stuart Beach, Florida
The Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station was built to resist winds of up to 235 miles per hour. It has a total net capacity of 1,386 MW.

Hutchinson Island, Florida
The St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant uses nearby ocean water for coolant of the secondary system. It has a total net capacity of 1,678 MW.

Kure Beach, North Carolina
The Brunswick Nuclear Plant cools water collected from the Cape Fear River and discharges into the Atlantic Ocean. It has a total net capacity of 1,858 MW.

Virginia Beach, Virginia
The Surry Power Station had the worst fatal accident in the history of nuclear energy in the USA. It has a total net capacity of 1,638 MW.

Montauk, New York
The Millstone Power Station is the only nuclear power generation site in Connecticut. It has a total net capacity of 2,102 MW.

Seabrook Beach, New Hampshire
The Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant is known for its age-related issues. It has a total net capacity of 1,247 MW.

Praia Brava, Angra dos Reis, Brazil
The Angra Nuclear Power Plant is Brazil's sole nuclear power plant. It has a total net capacity of 1,889 MW.

Angra Nuclear Power Plant: Brazil's sole nuclear station | Photo: Furnas/Creative Commons

Gravelines, France
The Gravelines Nuclear Power Station is the sixth largest nuclear power station in the world, the second largest in Europe. It has a total net capacity of 5,460 MW.

Gravelines Nuclear Power Station: the second largest in Europe | Photo: Raimond Spekking/Creative Commons

Veules-Les-Roses, France
The Paluel Nuclear Power Plant has had problems with the blockage of cooling water from the English Channel. It has a total net capacity of 5,320 MW.

Flamanville, France
The Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant is haunted by the risk of flooding. It has a total net capacity of 2,660 MW.

Hinkley Point B Nuclear Power Station: the only one of four still operational in the area | Photo: Robin Somes/Creative Commons

Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom
The Hinkley Point B Nuclear Power Station is the only one of four nuclear power stations in the area that is still operational. It has a total net capacity of 1250 MW.

Cemlyn Bay, United Kingdom
The Wylfa Nuclear Power Station is the world's oldest operating nuclear center by date of construction. It has a total net capacity of 980 MW.

Wylfa Nuclear Power Station: the world's oldest | Photo: David Dixon/Creative Commons

Thorntonloch, United Kingdom
The Torness Nuclear Power Station was the last of the United Kingdom’s second generation nuclear power plants to be commissioned. It has a total net capacity of 1,205 MW.

Hartlepool, United Kingdom
The Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station was the first of its kind to be built as close to a major urban area. It has a total net capacity of 1,190 MW.

Walberswick, United Kingdom
The Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station is the UK's only commercial pressurized water reactor (PWR) power station, with a single reactor. It has a total net capacity of 1,188 MW.

Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station: UK's only commercial pressurized water reactor | Photo: Martin Pettitt/Creative Commons

Camber Sands, United Kingdom
The Dungeness Nuclear Power Station is built on the largest area of open shingle in Europe. It has a total net capacity of 1,040 MW.

Competitive surfing can be divided into five different eras. From crowning the first world champion in 1964 until now, there have been several tours, spanning from 1964 to present day.

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