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Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

  • IASbaba
  • October 11, 2021
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Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

Part of: Prelims and GS-II – International relations

Context Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently upheld the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) model to prescribe radiation safety standards, ending the protracted controversy on the topic.

Background

  • Over six years ago, during February 2015, petitions were filed requesting the NRC, “to amend its regulations based on their evidence that contradicts the linear no-threshold (LNT) dose-effect model.
  • The petitioners support “radiation hormesis,” a concept that proposes that low doses of ionising radiation protect against the deleterious effects of high doses of radiation and result in beneficial effects to humans. This was denied by the NRC.

About LNT model

  • The linear no-threshold model (LNT) is a dose-response model used in radiation protection to estimate probable health effects such as radiation-induced cancer, genetic mutations on the human body due to exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • The LNT model helps the agencies to regulate radiation exposures to diverse categories of licensees, from commercial nuclear power plants to individual industrial radiographers and nuclear medical practices.

What is Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)?

  • It is an independent agency of the USA government tasked with protecting public health and safety related to nuclear energy. 
  • It was established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974.
  • Functions: Overseeing reactor safety and security
  • administering reactor licensing and renewal
  • licensing radioactive materials
  • managing the storage, security, recycling, and disposal of spent fuel.

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