by KARL GROOMSMAN –
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering a move to eliminate the “Linear No-Threshold” (LNT) basis of radiation protection that the U.S. has used for decades and replace it with the “radiation hormesis” theory—which holds that low doses of radioactivity are good for people.
The change is being pushed by “a group of pro-nuclear fanatics—there is really no other way to describe them,” charges the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) based near Washington, D.C.
“If implemented, the hormesis model would result in needless death and misery,” says Michael Mariotte, NIRS president. The current U.S. requirement that nuclear plant operators reduce exposures to the public to “as low as reasonably achievable” would be “tossed out the window. Emergency planning zones would be significantly reduced or abolished entirely. Instead of being forced to spend money to limit radiation releases, nuclear utilities could pocket greater profits. In addition, adoption of the radiation model by the NRC would throw the entire government’s radiation protection rules into disarray, since other agencies, like the EPA, also rely on the LNT model.”
“If anything,” says Mariotte, “the NRC radiation standards need to be strengthened.”
The NRC has a set a deadline of November 19 for people to comment on the proposed change. The public can send comments to the U.S. government’s “regulations” website...