[ RadSafe ] ALAP

John Ahlquist john.ahlquist at sbcglobal.net
Thu Mar 3 15:41:10 CST 2011

ALAP stood for "as low as practicable' not "possible".  As I recall, economic 
and social considerations were to be taken into account in determining ALAP.
NCRP 39 noted that ALAP posed difficulties for rule makers but states 
"nevertheless it is a concise summary of the intention to encourage protection 
processes that are better than any prescribed minimal level, and this is the 
basic criterion for all cases in which a non-threshold dose-effect relationship 
either exists or has to be assumed."

John Ahlquist

Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2011 12:25:31 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerry Cohen <jjc105 at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] [ As low as possible
To: "The International Radiation Protection \(Health Physics\) Mailing
    List"    <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
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It is interesting that in your article, you conjectured on a possible future 
policy of "as low as unreasonably achievable" (ALAURA). It should be noted that 
a precursor to the current ALARA policy was ALAP (as low as possible). ALAP was 
superseded by ALARA  because of an awareness that no matter how low the level 
exposure, it could  always be made yet lower by expending more and more 
resources toward that end.
      The "preisthood" (ICRP, etc) who advise such policies are composed of 
experts on radiation effects. They are not stupid people; so why do they 
policies that many of us consider ill advised? It may stem from a genuine 
concern for human well-being---or--- could it possibly be from enlightened 
self-interest? It is hard to get funding to protect people against anything 
is not harmful.

Jerry Cohen

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