[ RadSafe ] Guidance on ALARA
eic at shaw.ca
Wed Mar 25 07:34:55 CDT 2009
Is there any guidance on how to apply ALARA, that takes into account the
benefits to the worker from having a job?
For example, suppose I want to build a uranium mine in an area with high
unemployment and I have the choice of 2 mining methods. One his highly
mechanized and requires importing expensive equipment from outside of the
host country. The other requires 200 more workers, each expected to receive
5 mSv per year. Further, suppose that the total cost of the 2 methods is
A quantitative ALARA analysis requires that I spend X dollars to avoid 1 Sv
of collective dose and, therefore, I should choose the mechanized option and
eliminate 200 jobs.
To me, this does not make any sense. If 5 mSv per year has been found to
present a risk that is no greater than other jobs, and having a job is
considered a good thing, then why should I eliminate any jobs in the name of
ALARA? Who benefits from this????
It seems to me that, to maximize benefits to workers and society, we should
maximize employment first (as long as no one exceeds dose limits), and only
after this has been done apply ALARA.
So, my question is: Is there a statement to that effect issued by any
recognized agency, or is there any other guidance document that recognizes
the benefits of employment in a quantitative way when performing an ALARA
I'm aware of the 'social and economic factors taken into account' phrase.
The problem with that is that almost everyone interprets it differently and
it certainly provides no quantitative guidance.
Thanks in advance,
Environmental Instruments Canada Inc.
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