The NRC and EPA have both formulated policy on how to handle a release of radioactive material from a nuclear power plant. The NRC urges rapid evacuation. The EPA argues for shelter in place combined with deliberate relocation. Both are wrong, but the EPA’s position is far more sensible.
Underwriter Certification, our proposed system for regulating nuclear power, requires a firm, automatic procedure for compensating people who have been harmed by a release of radioactive material. If humanity is to enjoy the benefits of nuclear power, it is essential that this system be reasonably realistic. It must be at least qualitatively correct, reflecting the essentials of what happens when radioactive particles interact with a human. The system must be well enough defined that underwriters can reliably estimate their loss associated with a given release. This paper attempts to come up with such a system.