1980 Societal Assessment of SPS

On the other hand, Soviet and most East European microwave standards are based on a "no effect" philosophy—all deviations from normal are hazardous. Yet to be determined are definitions of what connotes a "hazard" or an "adequate" safety margin in terms of exposure to microwave radiation. At this time, there is no single agency interface on microwave radiation standards. The lead federal agencies with regulatory responsibilities for microwave radiation are the Department of Health and Human Services (H&HS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Each of these agencies contains specialized research or advisory bureaus to assist in establishing and enforcing microwave regulations. However, the federal regulatory process is now under review by the recently formed Federal Council on Radiation Protection, chaired by the Administrator of EPA. A trend toward stricter microwave radiation standards, particularly those pertaining to public health, has been observed. The need for additional research is central to adopting public and workplace standards. Of particular relevance to SPS is the initiation of programs of long-term, low-level microwave exposure. Coupled with new developments in instrumentation and dosimetry, the results from chronic exposure programs and population exposure studies could be expected within the next five to ten years. . .7 3. Utility Integration An examination of the potential for utility ownership of SPS ground facilities suggests that institutional problems would inhibit utilities from bulk power purchase or ground station ownership at least until the SPS is successfully demonstrated. Ownership of both ground stations and satellites by U.S. utilities or utility consortia would be unlikely until a number of satellite-rectenna pairs are successfully operating and until the risk of system uncertainties (cost, reliability, etc.) are significantly reduced. Also, no regulatory framework currently exists at interstate levels; therefore, regional problems of consortium-owned power plants or utilities serving several states will not be easily resolved. State regulatory, rate, and siting procedures would make it difficult for utilities to own SPS ground stations. Ways to mitigate the lack of interstate coordination are to: (1) form interstate planning compacts; (2) form regional utility corporations with