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ICRP: Free the Annals!

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Submitted by Mary Olson, Nuclear Information & Resource Service, Southeast Office
   Commenting on behalf of the organisation
Document 2005 ICRP Recommendation
 
Brief Comment With Respect to the ICRP’s 2005 Draft Recommendations:

It is time that the ICRP either dispense with the use of the term ‘individual’ or alternately grapple with what that would honestly mean if dealt with real integrity. Individuals are by definition unique. Individuals in every species exhibit the immense diversity within the genetic treasury of that species. It is absurd beyond comprehension for ICRP to assert that it is considering individuals in it’s current or previous recommendations for the regulation of radiation leakage and distribution. It is not considering any one individual at any time. More correctly the Committee could refer to the “smallest, indivisible unit of population” and perhaps adopt an appropriate acronym of some sort.

The reason the ICRP is not considering individuals is that if it were, it would be forced to consider the most vulnerable individual in its “protection” activities. We would prefer that the Committee do just that. In the event that it does not, we suggest you reframe from using the term ‘individual’ as it is inappropriate.

This brings us to the second point: the term ‘protection’ is also disingenuous. If only the level of constraint is considered that is politically and economically “justified” at a level of certainty, then this is not protection. Protection implies precaution. We would prefer that the Committee would adopt this approach. In the event that it does not, it would be more honest to simply call these “human irradiation recommendations.”

The Southeast Office also endorses the broader comments made by the home office of Nuclear Information and Resource Service and submitted by Cynthia Folkers.

Mary Olson
NIRS Southeast Office