Alan Waltar, nuclear engineer, Past President of the American Nuclear Society: This review contains a brief summary of the ANS/HPS Joint Conference on Low Level Radiation, including both an overview of the conference as well as key conclusions deemed to be helpful in planning the path forward. We plan on continuing activity so that the information and momentum gained from this conference can be captured to productively impact the radiation community. This initiative can be elevated to a more encompassing international level, with dedicated leadership coming from globally recognized institutions such as the OECD/NEA.
Charles Sanders, Ph.D. radiobiologist: Dr. Sanders’ book is a single-author monograph dealing with the topic of hormesis from a historical perspective, epidemiological data of a bomb survivor, high-background areas, and medical uses. The birth of linear no-threshold (LNT) as a paradigm for radiation protection according to the author is based on the “radiophobia” whipped up by regulators.
Malcolm Grimston, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Imperial College, London: In physical terms Fukushima was a middle-ranking industrial accident of the kind that happens perhaps eight to ten times each year round the world. The response, and especially the irrational prevention of people from returning to their homes in areas where there was hardly any contamination, turned it into a serious human tragedy.
Mohn Doss, Medical Physicist in Diagnostic Imaging: Mohan Doss and Edward Calabrese with life time careers studying low dose radiation and low dose toxins are ignored by this writer for Discover Magazine. Instead he focuses on trying to convince his readers that low dose radiation is dangerous and should not be used or tolerated in modern society. He ignores all the benefits of low dose radiation in diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine and in having affordable and safe nuclear energy. That's what the media so often does. Very unfortunate.
John Dunn, MD, JD: The United States Environmental Protection Agency is charged with identifying and mitigating environmental risks. This article discusses US EPA’s misguided decision to use the Linear-No-Threshold (LNT) cancer risk model as a basis for regulating exposure of the public to ionizing radiation such as is associated with residential radon. The Health Physics Society has stated that reliance on the LNT model “…tends to foment the public’s fear of all types of radiation . . . reliance on the LNT model, especially at very low doses and dose rates, is inappropriate and can exaggerate the risk.” The HPS also condemns “collective” (cumulative) dose as a measure of radiation health risk.
Leon Louw, lawyer, economist, Executive Director of Free Market Foundation in South Africa, Director - Regulatory Affairs for Nuclear Africa (Pty) Ltd and Bonne Posma, physicist, Chairman, Nuclear Africa (Pty) Ltd, Founder, Saminco (USA) specializing in electric propulsion systems for off-road vehicles and underground mining conveyances. The nature and risks of nuclear radiation are widely misunderstood from the most advanced society to the least sophisticated societies. Many view nuclear radiation as they view ghosts and spirits. People who fear what they regard as ominous phenomena generally have difficulty explaining why. This facilitates the promotion by scaremongers of irrational fear. During the era of nuclear weapons testing, radiation fear mushroomed. It endures despite the fact that, for over half a century, 450 water-moderated nuclear power plants delivered millions of terawatt hours of electricity without a single radiation fatality.
Howard Cork Hayden, Emeritus Physics Professor, University of Connecticut: This article was presented at the ANS - HPS Joint Topical Conference on LNT, Linear No-Threshold Model and Cumulative Dose. It is a straightforward proof that radiation dose is not a cumulative measurement.
Andrzej Strupczewski, Chairman of Nuclear Safety Commission at National Centre for Nuclear Research, Poland: Fear is dominating practically every discussion on consequences of the Fukushima accident. The largest earthquake ever noted in Japan’s history followed by a disastrous tsunami hit on March 11, 2011. Both these calamites destroyed the entire province, moved Japan isles by 4 metres (!) and killed almost 20,000 people. Reports of UN agencies (including World Health Organization and the UNSCEAR Scientific Committee) unanimously state that no health consequences have been or will ever be detected – even within Fukushima neighbourhoods most exposed to the radiation.
Bruno Comby, President of Environmentalists for Nuclear: I discovered a new local radiation hot spot in France in nature (publicly accessible) near the former Areva uranium mine of Lodeve. The radiation count there goes up to 4.8 microSv per hour, that’s a 100 times more than in the middle of the Salagou lake, and 50 times more than the usual background radiation, but still 20 times less than I measured inside an inhabited house in Ramsar near the Caspian sea.
Mohn Doss, Medical Physicist in Diagnostic Imaging: 1) Low-dose radiation increases activation of natural killer cells. 2) Natural killer cells eliminate cancer cells, and so there would be less cancers following exposure to low-dose radiation.