[Excerpt] "How dangerous is radiation? How much radiation does it take to give us cancer? Are we wasting money on overly restrictive regulations, or are we not being sufficiently protective of our radiation workers and the public? How much clean-up is necessary on our Department of Energy facilities? What about Yucca Mountain and nuclear reactor plants – can they be made safe?
These are only a few of the questions that have been asked, and will continue to be asked, about radiation. Unfortunately, these all come down, in part or in whole, to the question “What is the shape of the radiation dose-response curve at low levels of radiation exposure?” In other words, is all radiation dangerous, or is there a threshold below which radiation exposure is harmless? Not “low-risk,” but “no-risk.” This is the crux of the issue, and we still do not know the answer."
P. Andrew Karam, Introduction to Special Issue on Radiation Effects, 1 Pierce L. Rev. 1 (2002), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol1/iss1/4