Reassessment of NRC's Dollar Per Person-Rem Conversion Factor Policy, Final Report (NUREG-1530, Revision 1)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2022
Date Published: February 2022

Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

Pamela Noto, NRC Project Manager

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) uses the dollar per person-rem conversion factor in developing cost-benefit analyses to determine the monetary valuation of the consequences associated with radiological exposures. In 1995, the NRC issued NUREG-1530, "Reassessment of NRC’s Dollar per Person-Rem Conversion Factor Policy," which updated the dollar per person-rem conversion factor from $1,000 to $2,000 (in constant dollars) (NRC, 1995a). The $2,000 per person-rem conversion factor serves only as a proxy for the health effects associated with a person-rem of dose. This number resulted from the multiplication of the value of a statistical life (VSL) ($3 million in 1995) by the risk coefficient for stochastic health effects (7.3 × 10-4 per person-rem), rounded to the nearest thousand. A reevaluation of the $2,000 per person-rem conversion factor is appropriate because estimates and bases for the VSL and cancer mortality risk coefficients have changed since the NRC published NUREG-1530 in 1995.

Revision 1 to NUREG-1530 incorporates updates to the dollar per person-rem conversion factor and establishes a method for keeping this factor up-to-date. The dollar per person-rem conversion factor has been updated from $2,000 (in constant dollars) to $5,200 in 2014 dollars based on the application of an updated best estimate VSL of $9.0 million and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s cancer mortality risk coefficient of 5.8 × 10-4 per person-rem. Revision 1 to NUREG-1530 uses a conversion factor with two significant figures instead of rounding to the nearest $1,000 value and provides guidance to the staff on when to use a higher dollar per person-rem conversion factor.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, February 23, 2022