By A. David Rossin, PhD
The June 2013 issue of Nuclear News (page 35) carried an article under the heading “Performance Indicators—WANO/INPO 2012 data show reduced radiation exposure.” A pair of companion graphics titled “Collective Radiation Exposure” are presented, one for boiling water reactors and a similar one for pressurized water reactors. What for?
Collective dose is simply not a Performance Indicator” at all.
All U.S. nuclear power plants have as-low-as-reasonably-achievable (ALARA) programs and continue to apply ALARA to their planning and work. Inspection by the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) can review the quality of the program. But the total millirems of personnel exposure accumulated over a period of months or years is no indicator of anything. It is certainly neither a measure of health effects nor a predictor of potential cancers.
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