[ RadSafe ] ALARA

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Fri Jun 20 12:45:44 CDT 2008

The strength of ALARA is unfortunately also its weakness; "Reasonable".
What is reasonable is highly situation dependant.  It depends on
knowledgeable people evaluating conflicting goals and risks and deciding
on what it the most reasonable course of action.  A dose that is
unreasonable in normal circumstances may not be in an emergency.  In the
immediate aftermath of a nuclear explosion I expect that "reasonable"
for many emergency worker will be much higher than it would be in any
other situation, for example.  

The problem with ALARA is that it requires knowledgeable people making
the decisions, or at least the decision makers accepting the
recommendations of knowledgeable people.  I am not vastly optimistic
about this.  Too often decision makers either believe that because of
their position they must know everything, or they have "advisors" who
have agendas that are more important than, as I heard one say, "... A
bunch of useless numbers from some techno-weenie-wonk". 

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