Production of nuclear electricity is under scrutiny because of health issues connected with operation of nuclear facilities. National and international regulatory institutions aim to have regulations that ensure that any radiation dose received by the workers are kept as minimal as possible to reduce any risk on human health. Under these circumstances when a controlled nuclear facility is operating in standard conditions the possibility to have direct injuries connected by non-stochastic effects of ionizing radiation will happen only if regulations are violated. In addition, the stochastic effect of radiation may cause cancer. Nuclear power plants calculate the cost of potential health damage caused by ionizing radiation based on the Linear No-Threshold Relationship (LNT) between the dose and cancer risk. However, recent radiological research questions the validity of the LNT relationship for low and very low doses. In this paper, a new methodology based on a linear-quadratic function is proposed for the cost estimation of health risks induced by ionizing radiation, this new methodology results in significantly higher monetary cost for higher doses. At the same time the new methodology also results in lower monetary cost for low exposure levels and even zeros payment for environmental doses because they cannot be avoided. By adopting this new methodology it could provide motivation for nuclear facilities to improve health & safety measures.
Since the termination of its nuclear weapons programme, commenced in 1989 and verified by
the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) in 1993, successive South African
governments have consistently advocated the ...