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H.R. 4675 (115th): Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2018

H.R. 4675 provides doctors and government agencies with evidence-based research on the effects that low-dose radiation exposure has on the population. Specifically, the legislation:

  • Directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to carry out a basic research program on low-dose radiation within the Office of Science
  • Directs DOE to identify ongoing scientific challenges in low dose radiation research and to develop a long-term basic research plan that addresses these challenges while leveraging the existing body of scientific knowledge and engaging with the international research community
  • Directs DOE to consult with NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the EPA, the DOD, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Homeland Security in carrying out this program
  • Requires DOE to provide Congress with a 4-year research plan that identifies and prioritizes basic research needs relating to low-dose radiation within 180 days of enactment

According to the bill’s sponsor, there is ample data that demonstrates the harmful effects that high-dose radiation has on the human body, but there are few measurements or studies focusing on low-dose radiation.

Last updated Feb 13, 2018. Source: Republican Policy Committee

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 13, 2018.

Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2018

(Sec. 2) This bill requires the Department of Energy to carry out a research program on low-dose radiation to enhance the scientific understanding of the effects of exposure and to improve risk-assessment and risk-management methods.

"Low-dose radiation" is defined as a dose less than 100 millisieverts. (The Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits an adult's annual occupational radiation dose to 50 millisieverts.)