At high doses, radiation kills. Of this there is no scientific dispute. But scientific dispute does lie at low exposures to radiation.

There are two competing theories about the effects of low-level radiation.

Under the Linear No-Threshold model, the risk of contracting cancer is proportional to the exposure. The more radiation, the greater the risk, the less radiation, the lower the risk. Under this model, there is no absolutely safe level of radiation, only reduced risk.

Under the Hormesis model, at very low doses radiation is actually beneficial to human and animal health, lowering risk of not only cancers but other causes of mortality. The hormesis model, which is gaining currency in scientific circles, only applies to low doses. At high doses, the LNT and Hormesis models converge.

Energy Probe has historically accepted the LNT model as the more prudent one on which to base our regulatory systems for radiation. Because new evidence is emerging in radiation safety, we will be investigating both sides of this debate.