that there may be some thresholds of a practical, if not absolute, nature. All of these
things are in the direction of indicating that in the low-dose region, the radiation hazard is
less than we thought it to be at the time that we made our last major revision of
protection standards in 1957.
2-14. FEDERAL RADIATION COUNCIL
a. Let us turn to the question of radiation protection standards of the
Government. Largely because of the hearings by the Joint Committee, the Federal
Government in 1959 suddenly came to the realization that for the past two or three
decades, any radiation protection standards that it had used had been derived from an
organization that was nongovernmental and over which it had no authority--an
organization which, in itself, had no official standing other than the technical competence
of its work. It was indeed the case that these descriptions applied to the NCRPM.
b. This led to extensive discussions between representatives from the US
Bureau of the Budget; the President's Science Advisor, and numerous others. There
could be no disagreeing with the fact that if the Government wanted to take some official
responsibility for radiation protection, it almost certainly had to have some kind of an
organization of its own upon which to lean. The first thought was the possibility of
having an interagency committee. There were questions as to whether it might be put in
any one agency, but either the agency was basically unsuited or it had too strong a built-
in bias of one kind or another. As a compromise, the Federal Radiation Council (FRC)
was established and was directed to report to the President of the United States. The
FRC has now been officially dissolved and its responsibilities have been assumed by the
Environmental Protection Agency.
c. After an extended study made at the outset of its existence, the FRC adopted
standards for radiation workers. Although expressed in slightly different phraseology,
they were, in fact, the same standards proposed by the NCRPM. But, coming from the
FRC, they could be used officially in any radiation areas subject to government control.
d. Another important standard the FRC adopted was for uranium miners. This
standard was derived more directly from the American Standards Association, which
had taken on this problem some years ago. The recommendations, in turn, related back
to the basic radium protection standards that were proposed by the NCRPM about 1940.
2-15. FURTHER STUDIES
In the meantime, the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy had been continuing its
well-planned, well-balanced public hearings. The areas of concern included Federal-
state relations in the matters of radiation protection regulation, fallout radiation,
workmen's compensation, radiation protection standards, protection of uranium miners,
and so on. Most recently, the committee has been showing a proper and considerable
concern for the problems of radiation in the environment, especially as this may be
influenced by the expansion of our nuclear power program. It began considering