Chapter

The Role of Federal Agencies in Radiation Protection

J. Samuel Walker

in Permissible Dose

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780520223288
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924840 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520223288.003.0003
The Role of Federal Agencies in Radiation Protection

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The radiation controversies of the 1950s and 1960s had focused on the Atomic Energy Commission's (AEC) programs, and the AEC had played the most visible role among the various federal agencies involved in radiation safety. The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave the AEC a potentially strong rival. The new agency took over the duties of the Federal Radiation Council, and its functions included the protection of the population from environmental radioactivity. The scope of the EPA's regulatory mandate under Nixon's reorganization plan extended, potentially at least, to all sources of radiation. Despite the breadth of its mandate, radiation protection was not a priority issue for the EPA. The importance of radiation safety to the EPA and the ambiguity of its role under Reorganization Plan No. 3 soon led to contention with other agencies. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has disputed the EPA's claim that its responsibilities included medical uses of radiation. Differences also quickly arose between the EPA and the AEC over their respective roles in radiation protection.

Keywords: Atomic Energy Commission; Environmental Protection Agency; radiation; protection; difference

Chapter.  9910 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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