[ RadSafe ] ALARA

Perle, Sandy sperle at mirion.com
Fri Jun 20 11:53:16 CDT 2008

Hi Gary,

I agree with your point that focusing on very small doses sends a
message to the public that these low doses need to be concerned with and
actions taken to eliminate. I have stated this many times in the past.
After the Tokamura incident many years ago, I questioned why the
regulatory entities took action in the neighboring towns where there was
actually no effect or adverse conditions, and they were very aware of
that. The response was, the population would feel like something was
being done to protect them. My comment, they then through that there was
in fact an issue. So, I again return to the concept of reasonableness.
ALARA is a good tool if used properly. During my 22 years in the NPP
world, I saw many examples of where dose was reduced (reasonably), but
also resulted in cost savings, better trained staff and an improved work

Therefore, I completely support the ALARA principle as long as there is
a viable evaluation of the current situation, what steps really need to
be implemented, what the benefit of the reduced dose is and how much
will it cost to save the dose and to how many individuals. Another
factor is that ALARA just doesn't become to goal, at no cost, and
required as such by regulatory entities. Personally, I think most
regulators are quite reasonable and that they do understand where there
is or is not a need for an ALARA evaluation plan.



Sander C. Perle 
Mirion Technologies
Dosimetry Services Division 
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614
+1 (949) 296-2306 (Office)
+1 (949) 296-1144 (Fax)
Mirion Technologies: http://www.mirion.com/ 
-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of garyi at trinityphysics.com
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 9:39 AM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] ALARA


It pains me to disagree with people I admire, so why not just change
your mind and agree 
with me?  :)

I almost agree with you that "it works just fine", in the sense that
doses are kept low and occupational exposure is very safe under ALARA.
But my beef is that we foist a myth on the world by pretending that they
should worry about miniscule doses.  Its like being locked in a room
with someone who believes that tiny bugs are crawling everywhere and
must be stomped and swatted.  Do you go along with that, stomping and
swatting, or do you bang on the door and ask to be let out?

I stick by my statement that ALARA gives us nothing we could not have by
writing clear regs.  Do tiny doses pose a risk?  Maybe.  But maybe we
should tell people to hold their breath so they can be safe from radon.
Or just breath very very shallow.

-Gary Isenhower

On 20 Jun 2008 at 8:23, Perle, Sandy wrote:

Subject:        	RE: [ RadSafe ] ALARA
Date sent:      	Fri, 20 Jun 2008 08:23:19 -0700
From:           	"Perle, Sandy" <sperle at mirion.com>
To:             	<garyi at trinityphysics.com>, <radsafe at radlab.nl>

>>ALARA is just stupid.  No doubt, people believe they are fulfilling
ALARA, but does anyone really do it?  Or do they just reach a point
where they think, consciously or not, "That's low enough" and stop
trying to reduce doses?<<


ALARA is only "stupid" when the term Reasonable is not considered in
the operation. If a reasonable approach is implemented, then ALARA
works just fine. It's all how one defines reasonable.

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