[ RadSafe ] ALARA

Bob Cherry bobcherry at satx.rr.com
Fri Jun 20 14:26:25 CDT 2008

The irony of our profession:

1. We tell the public to not worry too much about these small doses.

2. The public generally doesn't trust us because the activists tell them we
are part of the industry and hence part of the problem.

3. The public tells us to protect them from these small doses.

4. We have many more jobs as a result.

Bob C

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf
Of Perle, Sandy
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 11:53 AM
To: garyi at trinityphysics.com; radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] ALARA

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 morale. 

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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