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Title: Assessment of radioactive fallout arising from testing of nuclear weapons in the South Pacific and the probable effects on the Australian population.
Authors: Fry, RM
Symonds, JL
Watson, GM
Issue Date: Mar-1973
Publisher: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Abstract: The first part of this report gives a short description of the different basic types of nuclear weapon and lists Chinese weapons tests in the northern hemisphere and French weapons tests in the South Pacific by date, together with an indication of the power of each device where such information is available. The second section of the report discusses the measurement of radiation and what dose units are appropriate for assessment of the significance of fallout exposure to man, and outlines the background of natural and man-made radiation to which man is inevitably subject. The principal biological effects of radiation are then identified and the nature of the relationship between radiation dose and the incidence of effects is examined. Conventional radiation protection philosophy assures a linear relationship between dose and effect, which is independent of dose rate, On this assumption it is possible to derive, from the limited high-dose data available, risk coefficients for radiation effects which may be used to calculate the incidence of harmful effects from the low radiation doses relevant to fallout studies. The difficulties and inaccuracies inherent in this extrapolation mean that estimates made in this way are essentially of the upper limits of possible damage, not the most likely value which may often be zero. The final section assesses the magnitude of fallout in Australia from the French and Chinese series of tests and expresses this in the form of dose commitments to man; the dose commitment for any radionuclide being the dose received to date plus the dose to be received in the future from residual long-lived activity already incorporated in the body and remaining in the environment. From these dose commitments, using generally accepted risk coefficients, estimates of the upper limits of the magnitude of the harmful effects, carcinogenesis and mutagenesis, which may be attributed to fallout from the respective series have been derived for the Australian population.
ISBN: 064299580X
Appears in Collections:Scientific and Technical Reports

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