US House passes law on research

18 November 2014

The US House of Representatives on has passed legislation to authorize Department of Energy (DoE) research on whether low-dose ionizing radiation poses a risk.

Under the measure (HR 5544), passed by voice vote on 17 November, the DoE's Office of Science would conduct research on low-dose radiation. Paul Broun, US Representative for Georgia's 10th congressional district and the bill's sponsor, said there isn't enough scientific data regarding exposure to low levels of radiation.

"Sufficient data is not available for experts to definitely conclude whether there are risks from this low dose radiation," Broun said. "As a medical doctor, and a true fiscal conservative, I recognize that this major gap in understanding is detrimental to the health of Americans and will contribute to the unnecessary economic burdens if we do not deal with it immediately."

The director of the Office of Science would be required to establish an agreement with the National Academies on a long-term strategy for low-dose radiation research within 60 days of the bill's enactment. Such a study would have to be completed within 18 months.

The measure encountered no opposition during House floor debate.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News