The Summit addressed the question of the need for a low-dose radiobiology research facility to study the biological
effects of radiation in a “subnormal” radiation background that is present at the WIPP in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
The consensus of the group was overwhelmingly in favor of this facility in order to establish a scientific basis for
radiation protection standards at low doses. One of the principal justifications for such a facility is the economic
impact of stringent radiation protection standards that are now based on the hypothetical linear, no-threshold (LNT)
dose-response model of radiation-induced cancer which has not been tested at ultra-low radiation levels.
model, upon which stringent clean-up standards for ionizing radiation are based, was developed for high doses and
high dose rates. Without an ultra-low-level laboratory it has not been possible to adequately test the validity of the
LNT at the low levels of radiation at which it is being applied. Information leading to the less stringent radiation
protection environmental standards could result in a saving of as much as $200 billion dollars for clean-up of existing
sites in the United States alone. With the renewed interest in nuclear energy, the impact of unnecessarily stringent
radiation standards will have a major impact on the growth of this industry. The Summit findings included a very strong
recommendation from the international group of attendees for the establishment of an Ultra-Low-Level Radiation
Laboratory at WIPP.
More Summit information:
Please note that due to the size of the following documents, it may take an extended period of time to download this
Ultra-Low-Level Radiation Effects Summit Report
Ultra-Low-Level Radiation Effects Summit Report Summary
Ultra-Low-Level Radiation Effects Summit Congressional Brief
For more information about this project, please contact Dr. Leo Gomez at