American Nuclear Society Releases Radiation Policy Report

The American Nuclear Society (ANS) released a new collection of statements and scientific papers on the effects of low-level radiation—Low-level Radiation and its Implications for Fukushima Recovery—in connection with the recent ANS Annual Meeting, which took place June 24-28, 2012, in Chicago, Ill.

The report, which is “dedicated to the residents surrounding the Fukushima site who are still unable to return to their homes due to the overreaction toward low-level radiation,” evaluates the current model used to estimate potential effects of overexposure to nuclear radiation. The report suggests the current model (the Linear No Threshold or LNT model) may be unrealistic, and suggests alternative approaches to address health effects, mitigate hazards, and set appropriate limits to prevent negative consequences of radiation exposure.

The report is a compendium of more than 60 pieces of content and 200 pages, including policy statements, opinion pieces and scientific articles, and takes a critical eye to radiation protection policy, particularly where it has the potential for “fostering fear and uncertainty with no compensating benefit.” The report includes statements from ANS, the French Academies of Sciences and of Medicine, Robert DuPont and more. Scientific articles are also reprinted in their entirety, including seminal works published between 1990 and 2012.

“The pessimism that now makes much noise in the global public about nuclear radiation can, in our time, be shown to be wrong. The information collected and discussed in this Special Session has, we are hopeful, opened the door to a change in our attitudes with the foundation of scientific evidence about radiation,” said Eric P. Loewen, PhD, ANS President, in the report’s foreword.