In any decision involving radiation a risk-risk or risk-benefit comparison should be done. This can be either explicit or implicit. When the adverse effect of an alternate action is less than the planned action, such as medical use of X rays or nuclear power in ordinary operation, the comparison is simple. But in this paper I argue that with the situation faced by the Japanese in Fukushima, the assumption that the risk of an alternate action is small is false. The risks of unnecessary evacuation exceeded the risk of radiation cancers hypothetically produced by staying in place. This was not realized by those that had to make a decision within hours. This realization suggests important changes, worldwide, in the guidelines for radiation protection in accident situations.
"EVACUATION CRITERIA AFTER A NUCLEAR ACCIDENT: A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE,"
Dose-Response: An International Journal:
4, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dose_response/vol10/iss4/7