Though I am pretty skeptical about the value of the Whitehouse.gov petition system, I have been convinced that it might sometimes be a vehicle for starting an important conversation.
Recently, someone started a petition asking the Obama Administration to stop using the Linear, No-Threshold Dose response assumption as the basis for EPA regulations that set limits on low level radiation doses.
The silliness and wastefulness of our current regulatory regime using that basis is best demonstrated by the requirement to prove that no one would be exposed to more than 15 mrem (0.15 mSv)/year during the next 10,000 years as a result of long term storage of used nuclear fuel at a permanent repository. That dose is just 1/20th of the average background exposure for an American, even if you ignore the additional 300 mrem (3 mSv)/year that is added to the average as a result of medical treatments.
Please take a few minutes out of your day to go and sign the petition. Again, here is the URL Stop using linear no-threshold (LNT) model in EPA regulations. Recognize that there is a hormetic or threshold response at low doses (I have reworded the title; I think the existing one is not an accurate reflection of the petition itself.)
Hat tip to Andrea Jennetta, the publisher of Fuel Cycle Week and I Dig U Mining for convincing me that we need to squeak loudly about this issue. (I’m using the word “squeak” in the sense of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.)