Social and Ethical Aspects of Radiation Risk Management

Social and Ethical Aspects of Radiation Risk Management, 1st Edition

Social and Ethical Aspects of Radiation Risk Management, 1st Edition,Deborah Oughton,Sven Hansson,M. Baxter,ISBN9780080450155

Oughton   &   Hansson   &   Baxter   

Elsevier Science




229 X 152

The first comprehensive treatment of the major ethical and social issues resulting from the use of ionizing radiation

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Key Features

  • Covers all the major social and ethical issues in relation to radiation protection
  • Information is easily accessible and non-technical
  • Authors include leading radiation protection officials as well as specialists who are more independent of the radiation protection system, thus presenting both authoritative and more critical views
  • Includes theoretical perspectives as well as practical experience


This book is the first comprehensive treatment of the major ethical and social issues resulting from the use of ionizing radiation. It covers topics such as nuclear fuel cycles, radioactive waste treatment, nuclear bomb testing, nuclear safety management, stakeholder engagement, cleanup after nuclear accidents, ecological risks from radiation, environmental justice, health and safety for radiation workers, radiation dose standards, the ethics of clinical radiology, and the principles of radiation protection and their ethical underpinnings. With authors ranging from philosophers to radiation protection officials and practitioners, the book spans from theoretical to practical implications of this important area of radiation risk assessment and management.


Health physics specialists, radiation protection authorities, industry and regulators, risk assessors and managers, students in applied ethics

Deborah Oughton

Deborah Oughton is professor in nuclear and environmental chemistry, and research director of the Centre of Environmental Radioactivity, at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB). Since the early 1990s, through the support of the Norwegian Ethics Programme, she has combined a career in science with study and research on the ethical implications of radiation risk. She currently holds an associated professorship in Research Ethics at the University of Oslo, is deputy head of the National Committee on Research Ethics in Science and Technology, and ethics coordinator at UMB. She has published widely in both science and ethics, and has been a strong advocate of putting ethics into practice in radiation risk management.

Affiliations and Expertise

Center for Environmental Radioactivity (CERAD), Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway

Sven Hansson

Sven Ove Hansson, professor in philosophy, is a leading expert in the ethics of risk and one of the few moral philosophers who have written extensively on the ethics of radiation protection. In addition to being a moral philosopher, he is also a logician and a decision theorist. He is editor-in-chief of Theoria and editor of the book series Studia Logica Library: Outstanding Contributions. He is a member of the editorial boards of Synthese, Studia Logica, and the Journal of Philosophical Logic; member of the scientific editorial board of Philosophy & Technology; and area editor of the book series Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning. His books include The Structure of Values and Norms and Ethics at Peril. He is the author of well over 250 articles in refereed journals. He is member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) and President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Division of Philosophy, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden

M. Baxter

Affiliations and Expertise

Isle of Seil, Argyll, UK

View additional works by M. Baxter

Social and Ethical Aspects of Radiation Risk Management, 1st Edition

A companion series to the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity



Chapter 1. Introduction


1.1 Part I. Ethical Principles for Radiation Protection

1.2 Part II. Putting Protection to Practice

1.3 Part III. Nuclear Accidents

1.4 Part IV. Proliferation and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

1.5 Part V. Public Participation

Chapter 2. Radiation Risks and the ICRP


2.1 What is ICRP?

2.2 The Aims and Scope of ICRP Recommendations

2.3 The Early History and Development of ICRP Recommendations

2.4 The Development of the System of Radiological Protection and Current ICRP Recommendations

2.5 Ethical Underpinning of the Evolution of ICRP Recommendations

2.6 Some Moot Points


Chapter 3. Moral Thinking and Radiation Protection


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Individual vs Collective Approaches

3.3 Weighing vs Limit-Setting

3.4 The de minimis Issue

3.5 Valuing Future Effects

3.6 Protecting the Most Sensitive People

3.7 Conclusion


Chapter 4. A Cross-Cultural Approach to Radiation Ethics


4.1 Background

4.2 Ethics of Radiation Protection in a Globalizing World

4.3 “Principles of Biomedical Ethics” as an Example

4.4 Possible Sources of Cross-Cultural Ethics

4.5 The Need for Cross-cultural Discourse

4.6 The Relevance of the “Four Principles” for Cross-Cultural Radiation Protection Ethics

4.7 Further Cross-Culturally Accepted Principles with Relevance for Radiation Protection

4.8 Conclusion


Chapter 5. Ethical Aspects of Ecological Risks from Radiation


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Valuing the Environment: Philosophical Theories

5.3 Common Ethical Principles

5.4 Harms and Values in Practical Radiation Protection

5.5 Assigning Monetary Value to the Environment

5.6 Conclusion: Relevance of the Value Debate to Ecological Radiological Protection


Chapter 6. Why Chemical Risk Assessment can Learn from Radiation Risk Assessment


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Some Principles and Presumptions of Radiation Protection

6.3 Contamination

6.4 The Developmental Basis of Disease

6.5 Contamination of Developing Children

6.6 Adverse Health Effects

6.7 Particular Substances have No Obvious Thresholds

6.8 A Unified Approach to Dose-response Assessment

6.9 Conclusion


Chapter 7. Ethical Issues in Clinical Radiology


7.1 Introduction

7.2 Ethics in Medical Radiology

7.3 Medical, Social, and Legal Context for Radiology

7.4 Risk, Uncertainty, Communication, and Skeptical Doctors

7.5 Justification Issues

7.6 Some Special Concerns

7.7 Conclusions



Chapter 8. Ethics in Practice—Protecting Workers


8.1 Introduction

8.2 Radiation Protection in Workers

8.3 Ethical Requirements for Occupational Radiation Health Research

8.4 Radiation Science and Workers

8.5 Summary


Chapter 9. ALARA: What is Reasonably Achievable?


9.1 Introduction

9.2 ALARA and Optimization in the Radiation Protection System

9.3 A Three-Levelled Model

9.4 What is “Reasonably Achievable?”

9.5 The Scope of Economic Compromises

9.6 ALARA and Cost-Benefit Analysis

9.7 Related Principles of Protection

9.8 Conclusion


Chapter 10. Lessons Learned from the Chernobyl Accident in Norway


10.1 Introduction

10.2 Radioactive Contamination—A Societal Challenge

10.3 Early Lessons from the Chernobyl Accident

10.4 Long-Term Challenges and Lessons Learned

10.5 Health Concerns


Chapter 11. Lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster


11.1 What Happened at Fukushima

11.2 “Safety Culture” as a Monoculture

11.3 Applied Ethics for Nuclear Science



Chapter 12. Environmental Injustice Inherent in Radiation Dose Standards


12.1 Introduction

12.2 The Fukushima Accident

12.3 Fukushima Environmental-Injustice Victims

12.4 Poor People: EIJ Victims

12.5 Poor People and Nuclear/Radiation Regulations

12.6 Children: FD EIJ Victims

12.7 Children and Nuclear-Radiation Regulations

12.8 Nuclear Workers: FD EIJ Victims

12.9 Workers and Nuclear-Radiation Regulations

12.10 Future Generations, FD, and Nuclear-Radiation Regulations

12.11 Conclusions


Chapter 13. Safety Culture and Safety Quality


13.1 Introduction

13.2 Personal and Organizational Values

13.3 Safety Culture/Climate

13.4 Safety Quality and Human Reliability Analysis

13.5 Implications for Safety Management

13.6 General Discussion


Chapter 14. The Legacies of Soviet Nuclear Testing in Kazakhstan: Fallout, Public Health and Societal Issues


14.1 The Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site

14.2 Research into Radiation Effects of Nuclear Testing Near Semipalatinsk during Soviet Time

14.3 Radiation Risk Research in Kazakhstan during the Early Post-Soviet Years

14.4 Addressing Nuclear Legacies in the New Economy of Kazakhstan

14.5 Conclusions


Chapter 15. Moral Dilemmas of Uranium and Thorium Fuel Cycles


15.1 Introduction

15.2 Existing Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Uranium

15.3 The Closed Fuel Cycle and Intergenerational Justice Dilemmas

15.4 Is Thorium a Viable Substitute or Supplement for Nuclear Fuel?

15.5 Conclusions



Chapter 16. Social Identities and Public Uptake of Science: Chernobyl, Sellafield, and Environmental Radioactivity Sciences


16.1 Introduction

16.2 Sheep Farmers, Scientists, and Radiation Hazards: The Background

16.3 Scientific Knowledge and Social Identities

16.4 Public Belief and Private Dissent

16.5 Credibility: The Social Dimension

16.6 Conclusions: Lay Reflexivity and Social Identities



Chapter 17. Stakeholder Engagement in Regaining Decent Living Conditions after Chernobyl


17.1 Introduction

17.2 A Key Feature of the Situation of the Population in the Contaminated Territories: The Loss of Control on Daily Living Conditions

17.3 The ETHOS Project

17.4 Key Lessons

17.5 New Approach to Long-Term Rehabilitation

17.6 Conclusion




Chapter 18. Public Participation—Potential and Pitfalls


18.1 Introduction

18.2 What is Participation?

18.3 The Role of Participation in Democracy

18.4 Two Ways to Justify Participation

18.5 Quality Criteria for Participative Procedures

18.6 Conclusion


Chapter 19. Compensation or Bribery? Ethical Issues in Relation to Radwaste Host Communities


19.1 Introduction

19.2 Host Communities

19.3 Ethical Acceptability and Public Acceptability

19.4 Site Selection

19.5 Effects on the Host Community—Negative Impacts

19.6 Positive Impacts

19.7 Appropriate Compensation: Process

19.8 Appropriate Compensation: Outcome

19.9 The Inadequacy of Existing Guidelines

19.10 Compensation, Bribery, and Incentives

19.11 Is Bribery Unavoidable in This Context?

19.12 Mitigation and New Build

19.13 Bribery, Benefits, and Independence

19.14 Financial Compensation

19.15 Ethical Decision Making and Commensurability: Against Algorithms

19.16 Responses

19.17 Problems with Cost-Benefit Analysis

19.18 Conclusions

19.19 Afterword




Quotes and reviews

"…quick and easy to read, as the chapters are quite short and do not contain equations, sophisticated graphs, or very technical language…This book definitely serves its stated purpose: it is indeed a response to the much-needed discussion between the public and government and scientists and stakeholders about radiation risk management."--Health Physics, July 2014

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