At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., introduced a bill to create a low-dose radiation research program at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Posey rounded up fellow members of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee to back the “Low-Dose Radiation Research Act.” The bill would place the new program at the Energy Department’s Office of Science.
“Humans are exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation every day from natural and man-made sources ranging from cosmic rays to CT scans,” Posey’s office noted. “However, there is a lack of research and analysis on the biological effects of this kind of radiation. A better understanding of low-dose radiation is necessary for informed decisions on medical treatments, energy production, and space exploration. Because of the widespread implications of this research, the bill directs the Department of Energy to coordinate with other relevant federal agencies with an interest in low-dose radiation.”
Posey reeled in U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., and Texas Republican U.S. Reps. Randy Weber and Brian Babin to back the proposal.
“This important bipartisan legislation will benefit research being conducted in so many fields including deep space exploration and our understanding of the effects of low-dose radiation on our astronauts as they venture to other worlds,” Posey said on Friday. “I thank Reps. Dan Lipinski, Randy Weber and Brian Babin for their leadership on this issue.”
“Nuclear science has implications for our national defense, energy security, and medical needs,” said Lipinski. “This Nuclear Science Week, I am proud to help introduce this legislation to ensure that we also prioritize research that ensures workers in these fields are safe.”
“I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation to improve our understanding of exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation,” said Weber. “This research is critical to our ability to further develop America’s nuclear energy industry in a safe and cost-effective manner. This bill, combined with my Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, which became law last year, will ensure our continued leadership in nuclear technology.”
“Our lack of understanding on the effects of low-dose radiation impairs our ability to make informed decisions about safe exposure levels,” said Babin. “As humans once again return to deep space exploration, we need hard data to make appropriate decisions on how to best protect our astronauts. I’m proud to support this bill which not only authorizes low-dose radiation research at the Department of Energy, but also enables coordination with NASA on this critical issue.”
Posey’s bill was sent to the Science, Space, and Technology on Friday. So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. Senate.
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