Educate Yourself about Radiation Protection Regulations with Historical Research from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

October 18, 2018

This week is Nuclear Science Week, which supports national and international interests relating to all aspects of nuclear science.

Radioactive waste storage courtesy of

In support of Nuclear Science Week, I thought it would be valuable to reflect on the history of nuclear power in the United States, including regulations into radiation protection for Americans. These types of regulations may assist in developing clean energy, avoiding future radioactive accidents, and helping insure proper radioactive waste material disposal.

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently released these print historical volumes that cover major milestones within the United States nuclear power resources and regulatory environment.

 Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective

Inside this book, you will find a bit of history about nuclear power that began in 1954 when the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (112th Congress, 2nd Session) became a law.  This scholarly text explores the political, business, construction, and environmental elements surrounding nuclear power plant safety and regulation within the United States.  It also covers many insights into the reactor faults that led to Three Mile Island’s accident, evacuation of employees and political aftermath.  Nuclear reactor engineers, operators, technicians, students as well as professionals and policy analysts pursuing research about Three Mile Island, clean energy, nuclear engineering and ionizing radiation may be interested in this work.

Permissable Dose: A History of Radiation Protection in the Twentieth Century

While reading this academic text, you will learn about the role of U.S. federal agencies in radiation safety, and about the evolution of radiation protection regulations.  It traces how the principles and practices of radiation protection have changed over time in response to political and scientific developments.  This book underscores  historical efforts to provide adequate protection against the hazards of radiation to workers exposed in their jobs and to the general public.   Environmental science, pre-med, medical students and professionals may be interested in the 20th century history of radiation protection to compare it with modern-day regulations.

Image courtesy of

The Road to Yucca Mountain: The Development of Radioactive Waste Policy in the United States

The last resource within this trilogy by the same author, J.S. Walker, historian at the United States Regulatory Commission, traces the efforts of policy makers to find solutions to complex issues relating to waste management from commercial applications of nuclear energy that have become a source of scientific and public inquiry.  Within this book, Walker examines the early history of radioactive waste disposal at government installations that produced materials for nuclear weapons.

Find more resources relating to this topic in our Nuclear Power & Radiation collection.

More about Hazardous (HAZMAT & CBRNE) Materials

Discover more products from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC).

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications


Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at

About the author:  This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publications and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore,, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, ProQuest, and more.

%d bloggers like this: