Radiation Hazards

February 12, 1958

Report Outline
Concern Over Effects of Radiation on Man
Growth of Radiation in Human Environment
Protection of Public from Radiation Risks

Concern Over Effects of Radiation on Man

Researeh on Radiation-Free Hydrogen Fusion

Disclosure by British and American atomic energy authorities on Jan. 24 that significant progress had been made toward controlling the power produced in the process of hydrogen fusion kindled hopes for eventual elimination of one of the major hazards of the atomic age. The process of uranium fission, now used to generate atomic power, produces radioactive end-products and raises formidable problems of waste disposal. The fusion process involves no such hazards and it promises to make available virtually unlimited quantities of power at competitive costs.

The United States, Great Britain, and Soviet Russia are pursuing intensive research on the fusion process. However, a generation may pass before it can be developed to the point of practical and widespread application. Henry DeWolf Smyth, formerly a member of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, said on Jan. 30 that “What has been achieved so far is merely the first stage in a long, long period of study.”

Facilities to produce power through splitting the atom are therefore likely to be undergoing expansion for many years to come. As a result, unprecedented amounts of harmful radioactive substances may be released into the atmosphere. Many public health authorities believe that growth in the use of atomic energy and of the products of atomic fission holds a greater threat to the well-being of the population at large than does the testing of atomic weapons.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Nuclear Power
Jun. 10, 2011  Nuclear Power
Jan. 28, 2011  Managing Nuclear Waste
Jan. 2007  Nuclear Proliferation
Mar. 10, 2006  Nuclear Energy
Jun. 08, 2001  Nuclear Waste
Jan. 22, 1993  Nuclear Fusion
Feb. 22, 1991  Will Nuclear Power Get Another Chance?
Dec. 05, 1986  Nuclear Reactor Safety
Jul. 29, 1983  Nuclear Power's Future
Dec. 04, 1981  America's Nuclear Waste Backlog
Sep. 12, 1980  Nuclear Fusion Development
Aug. 10, 1979  Determining Radiation Dangers
Dec. 03, 1976  Nuclear Waste Disposal
Aug. 22, 1975  Nuclear Safety
Aug. 04, 1971  Nuclear Power Options
Jun. 10, 1964  Atomic Power Development
Feb. 12, 1958  Radiation Hazards
Feb. 27, 1957  Atomic Power Race
Mar. 29, 1955  Atomic Energy for Industry
Apr. 24, 1946  Control of Atomic Energy
General Defense and National Security
Hazardous Substances and Nuclear Waste
Nuclear Energy