Dr. Wade Allison, author of Radiation and Reason, recently shared a short paper titled A revolution in radiation protection that would lead to safer and cheaper nuclear power. He described it as “reference light”, explaining that his intended audience for this work is not the journal-reading academic community but the kind of people who want good information that can help them make informed decisions.
Here is a sample quote to whet your appetite for downloading and reading the whole paper.
Fundamentally, nuclear radiation is a powerful agent and the forces that hold life together are feeble, so the resilience of life is a surprise — that is, until you realise that in 400 million years life has had time to evolve many ingenious defences that enable it to survive powerful attacks. Designed first to protect plants and later animals, they are subconscious. In recent biological research many have been studied including action by anti-oxidants, DNA repair, cell death, and long-term immune protection against cells detected as foreign. Indeed the whole design of cellular biology with its dispersed DNA copies, its cycle of cellular replacement, overlaid by the life-and-death cycle of individuals, is optimised to ensure survival of the species against attack by physical and chemical agents — and, less certainly, by other biological systems too. Small wonder then that humans and other life forms survive low and moderate radiation levels without a scratch. Nature has matters well in hand at the cellular level and adaptive mechanisms actually bolster radiological protection based on previous moderate exposures.
The paper is only 4 pages long; you will thank me for recommending that you invest 5 minutes to read the document. Share it, spread it, help to overcome the inherited advantages of the forces aligned against the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and radiation.