- The Washington Times - Friday, January 20, 2012


We have indeed turned into a not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) nation, often making it a trial to accomplish even the simplest tasks (“NIMBY nation,” Comment & Analysis, Tuesday).

One of the most prevalent phobias is about radiation. Anything radioactive, including the natural world, which is filled with radioactive elements, seems to raise fears, many of them unwarranted. Scientists have been studying radiation and its effects on people for decades. The Health Physics Society has developed a scientific position on effects of low levels of radiation. Despite claims from individuals, radiation at low doses like we get from medical diagnostics, airplane flights and the natural world do not harm people.

Even much lower doses from nuclear plants (which are not even measurable) and uranium mining have never been seen to affect the public.

Radiation, whether in making power or in curing disease, is a tool that we need to use properly - and not abandon out of ignorance or from political pandering.


Professor, Engineering Physics Department

University of Wisconsin

Madison, Wisc.

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