Radiation Information

“There is no safe level of exposure and there is no dose of (ionizing) radiation so low that the risk of a malignancy is zero”

“It should be appreciated that since both h-3 (tritium) and c14 (carbon 14) deposit in the gonads and the DNA and RNA they are a genetic risk to children yet to be born a thousand years from now.”

(Quotes from Dr Karl Z Morgan, found in attachment 7 to Morgan’s written comments to DOE, FEIS on the continued operation of K L and E reactors, SRS Aiken, SC vol 2, Dec 1990, USDOE)

According to Monticello’s 2010 Environmental Operating Report, sources of environmental radiation include the following:

  •  Natural background radiation arising from cosmic rays and primordial radionuclides
  •  Fallout from atmospheric nuclear detonations
  • Releases from nuclear power plants
  • Industrial and medical radioactive waste
  • Fallout from nuclear accidents

Radiation is energy that travels in waves. It includes visible light, ultraviolet light, radio waves and other forms, including particles. Each type of radiation has different properties. Non-ionizing radiation can shake or move molecules. Ionizing radiation can actually break molecular bonds, causing unpredictable chemical reactions. The NIRS RadiationBasics fact sheet walks the layperson through what radiation is, where it comes from, types of radiation, half-lives and how it can affect humans.

RadiationandChildren: TheIgnoredVictims (NIRS) reveals how national radiation protection standards fall short of protecting those most vulnerable to the harmful effects of radiation. It discusses how “standard man”, the ubiquitous model for radiation damage, is not sufficient and why these standards are unenforceable and, therefore, unprotective.

Radiation: TheMythoftheMillirem fact sheet discusses conventional ways of measuring radiation the units used, and their shortcomings. It also makes the argument that a “permissible” dose doesn’t mean the dose is safe.

The paper Conflicting Mandates, Co-Opted Studies: International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization outlines how the IAEA’s mandate to spread “peaceful” uses of nuclear technology conflicts with the WHO’s need to perform unbiased health studies, especially in the aftermath of Chernobyl.

The European Committee on Radiation Risk was formed in 1997 by the European Parliament as an entity independent from all other Radiation Committees. Parliament agreed there was enough available evidence showing that low-level exposure to man-made radiation caused ill health and that models used by ICRP failed to predict these effects. The resulting report, 2003 RecommendationsoftheEuropeanCommitteeonRadiationRisk (), addresses not only the science behind the low-dose debate, but also the ethical basis for allowable radiation exposures.  For the Nuclear Monitor summary click here.

Factsheets from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service:

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This entry was posted in Documents and Reports, Monticello Nuclear Power Plant, Radiation Information, Radioactive. Bookmark the permalink.

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