[ RadSafe ] Re: Panel wants tighter radiation security

Clayton J Bradt cjb01 at health.state.ny.us
Mon Oct 22 10:16:21 CDT 2007

It is not that self-shielded irradiators and other sources of concern have
been chosen "wily-nily".   As I indicated, the analyses that have focussed
attention upon them are physically defensible.  Importantly, these analyses
show that an RDD constructed from such sources is unlikely to kill anyone
with radiation.  The problem is that the HPs and other physicists doing the
analyses have done their work without questioning the dubious assumption
that an RDD will cause psychological and economic devastation of such
magnitude as to pose an existential threat to the nation.   I believe this
assumption is fishy on the face of it, and furthermore, that there is
little or no scientific evidence to support it.  Given what I know about
Psychology and Economics (I completed a BA in Psychology many years ago
before going straight, you might say - so I do have some perspective of the
behavioral sciences.) there could never be anything like what we would call
"scientific" evidence to support this notion.

It is tempting as HPs to say that Psychology and Economics are outside our
area of expertise and to let other people worry about those links in the
chain of argument, while we just make sure that the Health Physics is done
correctly.  But by doing so I am afraid we are the enablers of a misguided
public policy.

Clayton J. Bradt
Assistant Bureau Director
NYS Dept. of Health

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