[ RadSafe ] Re:LNT and ALARA

Perle, Sandy sperle at mirion.com
Sun Jun 22 11:10:55 CDT 2008

>>Doug, I must strongly disagree with your contention that ALARA is a
sound policy regardless of whether the LNT presumption is valid.
Suppose, for example that LNT is nonsense (as I believe), and therefore,
below some dose level, there is no adverse health effect. What
difference would it make how far below the specified dose limit you go.
No effect is no effect, so, from a health and safety standpoint, it
would not matter how far below the dose threshold you are exposed. ALARA
may be a satisfying policy for regulators. bureaucrats, and politicians,
but it achieves no health advantage and often at  significant costs.
Jerry Cohen<<

I am not a proponent of LNT, but I do admit that I don't have enough
evidence one way or the other, whether or not LNT in total or in part is
a correct philosophy (nor does the general population of scientists or
regulators). Therefore, to impose no philosophy or controls is an
inappropriate action, and not prudent at all. Consider that the USA is
litigation happy. Consider that 1:2 individuals will have some form of
cancer. Therefore, consider what the jury of our peers will believe if
there were absolutely no ALARA programs in place. Consider what the jury
would impose if any and all radiation dose were permitted to be given to
workers, members of the general public, without any consideration at
all. It doesn't matter if it's 0.10 mSv, 1.0 mSv, or 10 mSv. Just give
it to them. I think we all know what will happen, just as it has
happened in the chemical industry. The nuclear option would suffer
tremendously. Worse, we in the nuclear industry would be put at the same
level as those politicians who are wimps, can't act, can't make a
decision, and, as the very attorneys who initiate the litigation in the
first place. 

Those in the nuclear industry who truly believe that there are no
reasons for controls, that any level of radiation is perfectly
acceptable, and who remain in the industry, working in the industry, and
minimizing the dose to the workers or members of the general public, who
do not believe that what they are doing is necessary, are hypocrites,
and should leave the profession. Earning a living in a program that they
have no belief in, leaves a significant credibility gap.

It all comes down to reasonableness, as I stated previously. Do what is
reasonable, and stand behind it. Reasonableness assumes that some
actions can be taken, where there just might be a benefit to the
individual, and minimum cost. No socioeconomic issues to deal with. But
to take no actions under any circumstances, well, that is just not right
at all.

In my humble opinion.

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/ 

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