[ RadSafe ] Improper Application of ALARA following stabilization of Fukushima Nuclear Reactors

Victor Anderson victor.anderson at frontier.com
Tue Mar 19 08:36:27 CDT 2013

Good Morning,

Its very simple and complicated. First, the government of Japan must declare
that it is safe to return to the evacuated areas.  There must be an
acknowledgement of any residual radiation accompanied by a statement that
these levels do not pose a public health risk.  This is similar to what
public health officials did in the United States during the initial releases
from Fukushima.  Yes, we detected radioactivity in air and sometimes other
media such as water and milk.  In California, the Department of Public
Health simply declared that these levels of radioactivity posed no public
health risk.  We did not compute any risks or state any as this would have
been a contradictory message.  We did publish reports of levels in air and
milk as found.  (These reports took far too long to get published; but
that's another story.).  By being forthright in declarations concerning
environmental radioactivity, CA Department of Public Health was able to
prevent the vast majority of people living in California from panicking and
not drinking milk, water, eating food, etc.  These actions also protected
our agricultural sector.  The critics and those claiming that everyone was
going to die or suffer cancer were just ignored.

Yes, public health officials made a statement and stuck to it.  They did
take personal responsibility for what was said.  I was one of them.  The
same general plan will work in Japan.  It just takes courage.


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Mohan Doss
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 4:40 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Improper Application of ALARA following
stabilization of Fukushima Nuclear Reactors

Dear All,
   Thanks for your responses to the survey.  In addition to Radsafe, the 
anonymous survey was also sent  to "HPS" & "Help Japan" Groups in 
LinkedIn, and ~50 additional scientists in the radiation field.  Below 
are the results. Based on this straw poll, there is general agreement 
that the evacuation should be ended.   One key question to decide before 
recommending this to the government is:  How to reduce the fear and 
concerns about the low level radiation they are going to find (I am 
assuming the general public now own many sensitive radiation detectors, 
so they will be able to observe the slightest increase in radiation 
levels) when they return.  Any ideas?
   With best regards,

Mohan Doss, Ph.D., MCCPM
Medical Physicist,
Associate Professor, Diagnostic Imaging,
Fox Chase Cancer Center, R427
333 Cottman Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19111-2497.
Phone: 215 214-1707
Fax:   215 728-4755
E-mail:Mohan.Doss at fccc.edu

The comments:



*Response Text*



Guidelines for reponse to nuclea



LNT is no more applicable to radiological issues as it is to emotional 
health.A little bit of stress won't kill you,and in fact will likely 
make you stronger.Same for Radiological exposures....



We should encourage the development of holistic policies that protect 
the environment and public health by using and acknowledging the WHO 
definition of health: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental 
and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or 
infirmity."Could it be that our use of the LNT model has caused more 
harm than good for scenarios like Chernobyl and Fukushima?



Although, from a litigation perspective. it is important that we, HPs, 
show that there is still risk, yet associate with other route hazards 
that people face, ie. drinking, eating fried foods, charred foods, etc.



If the persons evacuated are dying because of emotional stress then the 
whole purpose of evacuation is not dealt with in a proper manner. The 
alternatives need to be looked into definitely.



I would delete the statement " and cancer risk according to the LNT model,"



I agree in principle.The decision would be much easier for elderly but 
no so much for a young family with infants.The problem becomes how to 
counter the false scaremongering of anti groups convinced that small 
amounts of radiation are a big danger. We need better risk communication.



The ALARA principle is fundamentally flawed. Where there is zero 
evidence of harm, there should be no restriction on technologies that 
are known to provide a benefit compared to alternatives.



Additionally, proper control level should be used and explained. Not 
only are families distressed from evacuation conditions, but fears and 
concerns of radiation has been so blown out of proportion and not 
sufficiently addressed that normal background levels are considered too 
high for products suspected of 'Fukushima contamination'... To qualify 
this I have only read several stories, I do not have first had accounts 
of the occurrence of lower than background limits being used...



You are preaching to the converted on Radsafe!
Should record respondents expertiese in survey



Dose in the evacuated areas is not high enough to deny entry.



I beiieve ALARA was used incorrectly.



Until we determine a "good way" to inform/train individuals on the risks 
(or non-risks) of exposure to radiation applying ALARA as you suggest 
will be very hard.We have long recognized the need for effective 
education on all things "radiation"; we just haven't been able to find a 
good way to do it.



all health effects of all alternative options should be included in 
ALARA to achieve the lowest health effects, costs also taken into account



The public media are the main culprits - even if they act in good faith, 
they sould have studied and learned before perpetuating inittially 
ideologically based desinformation on radiaiton risks from low doses.



ALARA includes consideration of "economic and social factors", and 
health status is included in these. I t is a nonsense to deny people 
access to their homes for doses of around 20 mSv/y.



Educating their public as to what levels there should be a concern.



This is a good example of the hazards CAUSED by continuing to apply LNTH.

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