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Position Papers |

The Medical Consequences of Radiation Accidents and Nuclear War

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*Members of the Health Policy Committee for the 1981-1982 term were Lawrence Scherr, M.D., Chairman; Samuel P. Asper, M.D.; Steven C. Beering, M.D.; Daniel D. Federman, M.D.; Thomas F. Frawley, M.D.; Paul F. Griner, M.D.; Ceylon S. Lewis, Jr., M.D.; Robert H. Moser, M.D.; and John T. Sessions, Jr., M.D. Suzanne Stone served as the staff liaison to the committee for this paper. The position paper was adopted by the College Board of Regents on 16 April 1982.

Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(3):447-450. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-97-3-447
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The existence of fissionable materials raises the specter of radiation accidents. Partial nuclear reactor core meltdowns have occurred already; the accident at Three Mile Island in 1979 was the fourth such episode to have occurred in America since 1952. Further, "significant release" episodes have taken place in five states, and the potential exists for radiation accidents during storage, transportation, and reprocessing as well as for radioactivity release in weapons accidents and during all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle.

As awareness of the threats posed by nuclear materials has grown in the general population, there has been a corresponding awareness


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