After about 70 years of assuming that low dose radiation was harmful, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and National Academy of Sciences have been directed to work together to assess the current status of US and international research on low-dose radiation and to formulate a long-term research agenda under a bill approved by the US House of Representatives.
18 months to make plan for long term studies on low dose radiation
The Low Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015 (HR 35) directs the two organisations to carry out a research program “to enhance the scientific understanding of and reduce uncertainties associated with the effects of exposure to low dose radiation in order to inform improved risk management methods.” The study is to be completed within 18 months.
The researchers must identify current scientific challenges to understanding the long-term effects of ionizing radiation; assess the status of current low dose research in the US and elsewhere; formulate overall scientific goals for the future of US low-dose radiation research; and recommend a long-term strategic research agenda to address and overcome the identified scientific challenges. The US Secretary of Energy must then deliver a five-year research plan in response to the study’s findings and recommendations.
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