Linear No-Threshold

with Dr. Alan Fellman, Ph.D., CHP


Episode 3 | recorded fEBRUARY 13, 2020

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Radiation in Space. An in-depth look at MIRD. What is radiation safety and why is it important? Every month, Versant Physics’ host Dr. Eric Ramsay converses with leading experts in the healthcare, medical and health physics, and radiation safety fields. We dive into the important topics that make up our industry’s current culture and showcase the impact the field has on the world. We hope that these conversations will inform, inspire, and educate our listeners.

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One comment

  1. Eric and Alan present an excellent discussion about a very important, controversial subject. Alan’s review of the historical development of this policy-making model, and its current impact are highly illuminating. While the model was a good start for developing safe radiation practice, it is clear that we need to advance and develop a better understanding of the effects of low doses of radiation. Alan makes a very good argument for the serious limitations of relying on a “conservative” approximation to low dose effects. The scientific community needs to improve low dose models and better educate people about the risks associated with low doses of radiation. In addition to the problems that Alan mentioned, there is also the clinical issue of therapeutic abortions, which are often done simply because a relatively safe diagnostic X-ray procedure was performed. The LNT model and the ALARA principle do not enhance scientific understanding of low dose radiation risk or help individuals develop a rational, balanced perception of radiation risk.

    Great podcast!


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Dr. Alan Fellman, Ph.D., CHP

Dade Moeller nv5, Manager for Commercial Consulting


Alan Fellman earned a doctorate degree in Radiological Studies from New York University in 1989 and attained certification in Comprehensive Health Physics from the American Board of Health Physics in 1995. He has spent the bulk of his career providing radiation safety training and consulting services to a variety of commercial and public sector clients. He is a senior health physicist with NV5 Dade Moeller and a member of the Dade Moeller Training Academy faculty. Dr. Fellman’s consulting experience includes preparation of radioactive materials license applications and written radiation safety programs for numerous NRC and Agreement State licensees, design of final status surveys in support of decommissioning, and conduct of comprehensive radiation safety program compliance audits. He has also provided litigation support to several clients, serving as an expert witness in law suits which included allegations related to radiation-induced health effects.


  • Ph.D. Radiation Sciences/Environmental Sciences, New York University, 1989
  • M.P.H., Environmental Health, University of Michigan, 1983
  • B.A., English, Emory University, 1980


  • Fellman, A. 2016. “LNT and ALARA – An Invitation to Frivolous Litigation.” Health Physics, Volume 111, Supplement 1, p. S26, Abstract MPM-D.3.
  • Fellman, A. 2015. “What is Radiation Safety If Safety Left Town?” Health Physics, Volume 109, Supplement 1, pp. S40-41, Abstract MPM-F.2.
  • Fellman, A. 2015. “Do We Really Need a Program to Compensate Aviation Crewmembers for Radiation-induced Cancer?” Health Physics, Volume 108, Number 6, p. 631.
  • Fellman, A. 2011. “Fostering Communication Between Physicians and Patients.” Operational Radiation Safety, Supplement to Health Physics, Volume 100, Number 2, pp. S41-S42.
  • Fellman, A. 2006. “A Dysfunctional Radiation Safety Program.” Proceedings of the 39th Midyear Topical Meeting, Health Physics Society, pp. 68–72.
  • Fellman, A. 2006. “Struggling with Radiation When the Subject Is Your Child.” Health Physics, Volume 90, Number 6, Abstract WAM-B.3.
  • Fellman, A. 2005. “Responding to a Radiological Incident in a Major City – A Field Guide for Health and Safety Officers.” Presented at the 38th Midyear Topical Meeting, Health Physics Society.
  • Fellman, A., 2004. “MARSSIM Decommissioning for Non-Conforming Buildings.” Health Physics, Volume 86, Number 6, Abstract TAM-C.7.
  • Fellman, A., 2003. “How Individuals Can Contribute to Homeland Security.” Proceedings of the 36th Midyear Topical Meeting, Health Physics Society, pp. 13–16.
  • Fellman, A., 2002. “Decommissioning Challenges in Residential Neighborhoods.” Proceedings of the 35th Midyear Topical Meeting, Health Physics Society, pp. 133–136.
  • Johnson, R. and Fellman, A., 2002. “Risk Perceptions and Decommissioning.” Proceedings of the 35th Midyear Topical Meeting, Health Physics Society, pp. 120–127.
  • Fellman, A., 2001. “Training the Decommissioning Health Physicist.” Health Physics, Volume 80, Number 6, Abstract WAM-A1.
  • Fellman, A., Mercer, T. 2001. “Avoidable Radiation Exposure in Biomedical Research Laboratories.” Proceedings of the 34th Midyear Topical Meeting, Health Physics Society, pp. 195–198.
  • Fellman, A., McNulty, S., 2000. “Radiological Measurements at Superfund Sites.” Proceedings of the 33rd Midyear Topical Meeting, Health Physics Society, pp. 73–77.
  • Fellman, A., 1999. “Radioactivity in the Groundwater! Or Not.” Health Physics, Volume 76, Number 6, Abstract WPM-C.6.
  • Fellman, A., 1997. “A Long Journey: Preparing a Superfund Site for Remediation.” Health Physics, Volume 72, Number 6, Abstract THAM-A.1.
  • Fellman, A., Ralston, L., Hickman, D., Ayres, L., Cohen, N., 1994. “Polonium metabolism in adult female baboons.” Rad. Res., Volume 137, pp. 238–250.
  • Hickman, D.P., Spitz, H.B., Cohen, N., Fellman, A., 1991. A new model for evaluating internal dose from the intake of polonium-210. UCRL-CR-108132.
  • Fellman, A., Kerbe1, R. 1991. “Superfund activities at the U.S. Radium site in Orange, N.J.” Health Physics, Volume 60, Supplement 2, p. S77, Abstract THPM-B9.
  • Fellman, A., Ralston, L., Hickman, D., Ayers, L., Cohen, N., Spitz, H., Robinson, B., 1989. “The importance of acid digestion of urine prior to spontaneous deposition of 210Po.” Health Physics, Volume 57, pp. 615–621. 
  • Fellman, A., 1989. Primate polonium metabolic models and their use in estimation of systemic radiation doses from bioassay data. New York University; Dissertation.



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