Radiation hazards

Angela Creager, Kevin Crowley, B. John Garrick, Susan Lindee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At 8:15 AM on Monday, August 6, 1945, a uranium-based nuclear weapon exploded at an altitude of about 2,000 ft above the city of Hiroshima, Japan. About 65,000 civilians in the city died within the first few months from burns, concussion, and radiation. Three days later, a plutonium-based nuclear bomb detonated above Nagasaki, Japan, killing about 40,000 people. The year after the war ended, President Truman asked the Academy to conduct "a long-range continuing study of the biological and medical effects of the atomic bomb on man." Angela Creager, the Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History at Princeton University, described some of the history surrounding this study and the Academy's creation of the Committee on the Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation. Kevin Crowley, senior board director of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the NRC, focused on the Academy's studies of low-level radiation, both among the Japanese survivors and others exposed to radiation. John Garrick, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and vice-chair of the NRC's Committee on Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety and Security of US Nuclear Plants, considered the risks to health posed by nuclear power accidents. Susan Lindee, the Janice and Julian Bers Professor of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, discussed some of the many ways in which the social sciences can contribute to the understanding of the effects of radiation on humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9349-9353
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Jun 24 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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