The American Nuclear Society has announced that it will focus on Nine Grand Challenges by 2030. It is time that they commit to greater focus on these broad challenges and resolve them. Major expansion of nuclear power desperately needs them resolved.
Jay Lehr, Ph.D. Science Director at The Heartland Institute: New research shows people exposed to low-doses of radiation, contrary to the assumptions behind the regulatory standards of U.S. agencies, are not at increased risk of developing cancer. Scientific and regulatory bodies currently estimate the risk of low doses by extrapolating directly (linearly) from the risk known to exist from high doses. They assume there is no threshold of exposure to radiation below which cancer might not be caused and that a low dose of radiation might have a protective effect called hormesis.
Edward Calabrese, Professor of Toxicology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst: Considerable recent ﬁndings have revealed that the linear dose response for cancer risk assessment has not only outlived its utility in predicting risk but is based on a ﬂawed scientiﬁc foundation. The present article characterizes this demise of a key concept of environmental risk assessment, in the framework of a ﬁgurative obituary of a long-lived concept that has poorly served society. This obituary is intended to illustrate an integrated mix of poignant and improper historical judgments that led to both the acceptance and ultimately the demise of this once intellectually facile and nearly universally accepted concept.
Dr. A. David Rossin is a Center Affiliated Scholar, Center for International Security and Arms Control, Stanford University. He was President of the American Nuclear Society (1992-93) and served as Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, USDOE, in 1986-87: He initiated this letter to the National Academy of Sciences recommending that guidelines for radiation risk assessment be based on science rather than the arbitrary Linear No Threshold Model.