H.R. 35, Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015

H.R. 35

Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015

Date
January 7, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 35, the Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015, under a suspension of the rules.  H.R. 35 was introduced on January 6, 2015 by Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Bill Summary

H.R. 35 is identical to H.R. 5544, the Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2014, legislation that passed on November 17, 2014 by voice vote.[1]

H.R. 35 requires the Director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science to carry out a research program on low-dose radiation, with the purpose of enhancing the scientific understanding of low-dose radiation and reducing uncertainties associated with human exposure to low-dose radiation.  Within 60 days of enactment, the Director would be required to enter into an agreement with the National Academies to conduct a study assessing the current status and development of a long-term strategy for low dose radiation research.  The study shall be completed within 18 months of the bill’s enactment.  Within 90 days of completion of the study, the Secretary of Energy is required to provide Congress with a 5-year research plan that responds to the study’s findings and recommendations and identifies and prioritizes research needs.

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[1] See http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2014-11-17/pdf/CREC-2014-11-17-pt1-PgH8011.pdf#page=1, H8012

Background

“Every day, humans are exposed to background radiation, and yet sufficient data is not available for experts to conclude whether there exists a radiation dose limit below which the health risk is zero.”[2]  As a result, regulatory agencies are unable to set precise radiation-dose limits and lack sufficient understanding of low-dose radiation to plan for potential radiological events.[3]  This legislation would attempt to provide agencies and experts with sufficient data, which would in turn inform decisions related to low-dose radiation exposure.

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[2] http://broun.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=391607
[3] See Id.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is currently unavailable, but no cost is expected.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.