Author(s): Rhm W, Walsh L
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Abstract Currently, most analyses of the A-bomb survivors' solid tumour and leukaemia data are based on a constant neutron relative biological effectiveness (RBE) value of 10 that is applied to all survivors, independent of their distance to the hypocentre at the time of bombing. The results of these analyses are then used as a major basis for current risk estimates suggested by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) for use in international safety guidelines. It is shown here that (i) a constant value of 10 is not consistent with weighting factors recommended by the ICRP for neutrons and (ii) it does not account for the hardening of the neutron spectra in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which takes place with increasing distance from the hypocentres. The purpose of this paper is to present new RBE values for the neutrons, calculated as a function of distance from the hypocentres for both cities that are consistent with the ICRP60 neutron weighting factor. If based on neutron spectra from the DS86 dosimetry system, these calculations suggest values of about 31 at 1000 m and 23 at 2000 m ground range in Hiroshima, while the corresponding values for Nagasaki are 24 and 22. If the neutron weighting factor that is consistent with ICRP92 is used, the corresponding values are about 23 and 21 for Hiroshima and 21 and 20 for Nagasaki, respectively. It is concluded that the current risk estimates will be subject to some changes in view of the changed RBE values. This conclusion does not change significantly if the new doses from the Dosimetry System DS02 are used.
This article was published in Radiat Prot Dosimetry
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy