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RE: "Perception is reality"

Dear Randy,

I would like to make some comments about your example:

a)	It is a good example to use in a training course, not only because the 

theme on risk perception but also non compliance requirement for the safe 

transport of radioactive material;

b)	Necessity of training  First Responders

About the first topic, no transport of radioactive material, especially in 

large quantity, can be made without a person traveling in company with the 

driver, to help him in case of any necessity.  So my question is: Was the 

driver alone in the truck? If so it was an error, if not the assistant could 

provide information to First Responders.

About the second topic, the principles for the protection of the public and 

workers in the event of any nuclear or radiological accident and this 

consider your case,  include the necessity of training to first responders, 

and should taken into account special training to those who must act to save 

life, to prevent serious injuries or to prevent a substantial increase in 

the scale of the accident. For such situations it is neither possible nor 

appropriate to specify maximum levels of dose. It is only recommended that 

substantial efforts should be made to keep doses to these workers to levels 

lower than those at which serious deterministic health effects may occur. In 

the case particular of transport if the driver and assistant are unconscious 

or couldn’t help giving any information, first responders could use the 

instructions letter containing basic procedures in case of an accident. Seem 

to me your example is an alert to Regulatory and State Authorities to lack 

of adequate training to First Responders.

In Brazil after the Goiania Accident it was implemented a large programe to 

train Fire Brigade, Civil Defense, and specially the States Department of 

Health in the Basic Principle of Radiation Protection and emphasizing that 

Save Life is the highest priority during a Radiological Accident.

I am surprise with such attitude of the First Responders, and I think it was 

an case in isolation.

Jose Julio Rozental


Madrid, until 02-10-2002

>From: Randall_F_Brich@RL.GOV

>Reply-To: Randall_F_Brich@RL.GOV

>To: radsafe@list.vanderbilt.edu

>Subject: RE: "Perception is reality"

>Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 15:19:12 -0700


>Dr. Weiner's statement regarding fatal consequences due to perceived risk

>was personally observed by me one fateful day. The accident occurred in a

>remote area of the US and involved a truck carrying refined uranium and a

>slow moving train. The first responders backed away from life-saving 


>almost immediately when they noticed the radioactive symbol. It was several

>hours before knowledgeable individuals arrived at the scene but it was too

>late -- the driver died from loss of blood which possibly could have been

>prevented had the first responders administered first aid. Unfortunately,

>the first responders reacted emotionally to a perceived risk from LSA

>material -- material which carries practically no inherent risk.



>Randy Brich


>509-372-4617 (phone)

>509-372-4549 (fax)





>	The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect

>the views or position of the U.S. Department of Energy or the Federal





>-----Original Message-----

>From: RuthWeiner@AOL.COM [mailto:RuthWeiner@AOL.COM]

>Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 1:15 PM

>To: radsafe@list.vanderbilt.edu

>Subject: "Perception is reality"



>My disagreement with this concept is that it results in misapplication of

>resources, which can have dangerous or even fatal consequences.



>Ruth Weiner, Ph. D.



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