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VIII Recommendations The committee offers a number of recommendations that it believes would, if implemented, improve the dose reconstruction process and the atomic-veterans compensation program in general. Some have been mentioned previously; they are summarized here to provide a complete list. There should be continuing external review and oversight of the atomic-veterans dose reconstruction and compensation programs. An independent advisory board could be established to implement this recommendation. There should be a comprehensive re-evaluation of the methods being used to estimate doses and their uncertainties to establish more credible upper bounds of doses to atomic veterans. A comprehensive manual of standard operating procedures should be developed and maintained. A state-of-the-art program of quality assurance and quality control should be developed and implemented. The principle of benefit of the doubt should be consistently applied in accordance with applicable regulations. Interaction and communication with the atomic veterans should be improved. For example, veterans should be allowed to review the scenario assumptions used in their dose reconstructions before the dose assessments are sent to the Department of Veterans Affairs for claim adjudication. More effective approaches should be established to communicate the meaning of information on radiation risk to the veterans. In addition to presenting general information on radiation risk, information should be communicated to
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veterans who file claims regarding the significance of their doses in relation to their diseases. The community of atomic veterans and their survivors should be advised when methods for calculating doses have changed so that they can ask for updated dose assessments.
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