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1 Introduction In 1977, the Center for Disease Control (later named Centers for Disease Control) reported that-a larger than expected number of leukemia case-e had occurred among Camp Desert Rock soldiers present at the Nevada Test Site during Shot SMOKY, a nuclear test event which included military maneuvers during Operation PLUMB BOB in 1957. Meetings were held between Depart- ment of Energy (DOE) and Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) representatives and their contractors to determine if radiation exposure records for military partici- pants in atmospheric nuclear tests were available for epidemiological studies. In December 1977 and January 1978, the Department of Defense (DOD) named DNA as the executive agency to conduct a Nuclear Test Personnel Review FOUR); and DOE established an exposure records centralization project which later was named the Dosimetry Research Project (DRP). Hearings on Health Effects of Ionizing Radiation, were held by the House of Representatives Rodgers Subcommittee in January and February 1978. DNA and DOE representatives testified on radiation exposures of test participants and on efforts to identify military participants. Veterans who participated in PLUMB- BOB and who later became ill with leukemia testified on their requests to the Veterans Administration (VA) for medical treatment and compensation for their illnesses. Veterans Administration representatives testified on claims of these and other "atomic veterans.', A Center for Disease Control representative asked DNA for assistance in identifying all military SMOKY participants. With this stimulus, the NTPR program increased its efforts to identify all DOD-affiliated participants in atmospheric nuclear tests and determine their 4

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1 INTRODUCTION radiation exposure. DOE's DRP increased its activities to locate missing expo- sure records, develop a nuclear testing radiation exposure data base, and provide assistance to the NTPR program. Reynolds Electrical & Engineering Company, Inc., (REECo), DOE's prime operating and support contractor at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), had carried out the NTS radiological safety program since 1955 and also conducted the DRP. Hearings were conducted by the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs in June 1979. Representatives of both DNA and DOE were required to testify on NTPR and on past nuclear testing activities. The VA and Veterans' groups also testified (U.S. Senate 1979~. In 1978, DNA and DOE commissioned the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct an epidemiological study on military participants in atmospheric nuclear testing (NAS 1985a). In studying some 46,000 of an estimated 205,000 military participants, the report concluded that there was no general increase in the incidence of cancer in test participants. Only the incidence of leukemias in military participants at NTS during SMOKY was higher than expected, with the exception of a slight increase in prostate cancers for Operation REDWING participants. Critics pointed out, however, that selection of cancer incidence in the population at large for comparison biased the results because health screening before entering military service assured that soldiers were healthier on average than the population at large. Upon request of DNA, the NRC in 1984 appointed a Committee on Dose Assignment and Reconstruction for Service Personnel at Nuclear Weapons Tests to review methods used by NTPR in determining radiation doses. That committee's purpose was to advise DNA on whether or not the methods used by NTPR to assign doses of radiation were comprehensive and scientifically sound and to recommend improvements if needed. The charge to that committee did not require it to make judgements about the biological significance of the radiation exposures of participants at the atmospheric weapons tests, nor did it direct that committee to conduct audits of dose assignments or reconstructions of specific individuals. The committee, which was chaired by Merril Eisenbud of the Institute of Environmental Medicine of the New York University Medical Center, reported on its study in a 1985 NAS publication (NAS 1985b). The Eisenbud committee found that the principal sources of information on external radiation exposure are film badge records that were compiled into a master file by REECo. This file contains more than 485,000 entries on both military and civilian participants in the atmospheric test series and includes records of about 143,000 of the estimated 205,000 military-affiliated participants in atmospheric testing. The Eisenbud committee found that the design of film badges, methods of film processing, and densitometric techniques and calibration were relatively crude

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6 FILM BADGE DOSIMETRY IN ATMOSPHERIC NUCLEAR TESTS during World War II, but improved substantially during the 18-year period during which atmospheric weapons tests were conducted. The committee estimated that fUm badge data on gamma radiation exposure have a positive bias of about 45 percent and a random uncertainty of about + 100 percent between minimum detection levels and 100 mR and about + 40 percent above 100 mR. The committee reported that film badge measurement of beta radiation exposure were nonexistent or of uncertain quality during the period. The committee concluded that the methods used by the NTPR teams to assign external gamma doses were generally reasonable and made appropriate use of available data. Committee members further concluded that the methods employed provide a data base and a system of dose assignment for estimating the external doses received by persons who participated in atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons. NTPR efforts and the above referenced NRC committee review were followed by two General Accounting Office (GAO) investigations and reports on specific segments of the atmospheric weapons testing program. The first was entitled "Operation CROSSROADS - Personnel Radiation Expo sure Estimates Should Be Improved" (GAO 1985~. Regarding CROSSROADS film badges only, this report concluded in part that they were not reliable for measuring external gamma or beta radiation and measured only a limited expo- sure range. This report recommended that DNA assign some gamma exposure to each zero film badge result reported, develop an error range recognizing film and processing inaccuracies for each film badge reading, and reassess the accuracy of film badge beta readings. Also recommended was providing the Veterans Ad- ministration (VA) with error ranges associated with all individual film badge readings reported to the VA (all atmospheric test series). The second report was titled "Nuclear Health and Safety - Radiation Exposures for Some Cloud-Sampling Personnel Need to be Reexamined" (GAO 1987~. This report covered investigation of film badge dosimetry for cloud-sampling, cloud- penetrating, and cloud-tracking air crews, in addition to supporting ground crews, who participated in Operations TUMBLER-SNAPPER, REDWING, and DOM- INIC I. Report conclusions regarding film badges were that badge readings for pilots were sometimes half the readings indicated by radiation monitoring instru- ments installed in cockpits, inaccuracies resulted because measurement ranges of two films in the badges did not sufficiently overlap, and records of film badge exposures and cumulative exposures contained recording mistakes or omissions. Recommendations of this second GAO report were that records of each Air Force participant in any atmospheric nuclear weapons test should be reviewed for similar errors, and cockpit-installed instruments should be used in conjunction with film badge readings to better define exposures received by aircraft crews during all atmospheric tests. As a result of these GAO conclusions and recommendations, DNA commis

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1 INTRODUCTION stoned the National Research Council to organize a committee on Film Badge Dosimetry in Atmospheric Nuclear Tests. The basic charge of the committee was to make an insteps, detailed evaluation of uncertainties in the determination of radiation doses with personnel film badge dosimeters. In addition to its basic charge, the committee made an attempt to address each of the GAO conclusions and recommendations relative to personnel film badge dosimetry. As a useful product of its study, the committee produced most probable doses and dose ranges for use by DNA in interpreting film badge exposures for each test series. It is pointed out that the results of the study are applicable to both military and civilian participants. The following "Statement of Task" was assigned to this project from its inception. STATEMENT OF TASK The Committee's task is to evaluate certainties in the determination of radiation doses with personnelfilm badge dosimeters. This study shallfocus, as follows, on methodologyfor dose determination with specific types of film badges employed at different times and in different environments during atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, based on published data and documentation that are available for analysis: 1. Review kinds of radiation and their energies that personnel film badges were used to monitor during the different testing series. 2. Characterize capabilities and limitations of film badge dosimeters used during the 18-year period of testing (1945-1962) in terms of evolving designs, films, and responses to relevant radiations and energies. 3. Categorize uncertainties in personnelfilm badge dosimetry, as introduced during calibration, storage, and processing of films in the laboratory, and in the use of film badges in the field. Evaluate ranges of uncertainty for specific dosimeter designs, environmental conditions, and procedures employed. 4. Define reasonable and optimum procedures for reporting radiation doses from film badge data, including uncertainty levels, for tile various parameters encountered, e.g., for Pacific and continental environments, anclfor major differ- ences infirm badge construction and components. 5. Develop reasonable and prudent methods for analyzing and reporting radiation doses that may have been experienced during the various series of atmospheric tests but that may have fallen below minimum detectable levels. This Committee's charge does not extend to attempts at dose reconstruction for persons with only partial film badge records, nor does it include internal dose

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8 FILM BADGE DOSIMETRY 11V ATMOSPHERIC NUCLEAR TESTS assessments. Results of this study should not be used to infer doses received by individuals to whom film badges were not issued. The legal recourse of veterans who suspect that their health has been adversely affected by radiation exposure received as a result of their involvement in the weapons tests has undergone significant change in recent years. A brief overview of the relevant law follows. Since 1950, when the Supreme Court decided Feres v. United States (340 U.S. 135, 1950), military personnel (including veterans) have been barred from seek- ing compensation from the federal government for injuries "aristing] out of or... in the course of activity incident to service." Instead, veterans have been author- ized to seek compensation for disabilities connected to their service pursuant to a comprehensive claims system operated by the Veterans Administration (See 38 United States Code Sections 310-314~. In 1988, Congress adopted and President Reagan signed into law the Radia- tion-Exposed Veterans Compensation Act of 1988 (Pub. Law 100-321~. The law amends Section 312 of Title 38 of the United States Code by establishing that veterans who, while serving on active duty, participated onsite in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device (or in the occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Japan, between August 6, 1945, and July 1, 1946, or were interred as prisoners of war in Japan) and who develop within forty years any of a specific list of radiogenic cancers, will be presumptively entitled to disability compensa- tion from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Act thus enables veterans who manifest one of the listed diseases within the requisite time period to obtain compensation without proving that radiation exposure caused the cancer in ques- tion. In proposing this legislation to the Senate, Senator Cranston, its sponsor, noted that compensation had been awarded in less than 40 of the over 6,000 radiation claims filed with the VA (Cong. Rec. S4638, April 25, 1988~. Veterans who develop a cancer not on the list set forth in the Radiation- Exposed Veterans Compensation Act of 1988 must still prove that their cancer was caused by exposure to ionizing radiation from atmospheric tests if they are to win disability benefits. Civilians exposed to radiation Mom atmospheric tests have recourse only through the Federal Tort Claims Act.2 Such claims were upheld at the trial court level in Allen v. United States (588 F. Supp. 247, D.Utah 1984), where Judge ~ In the case of leukemia, the cancer must manifest within a thirty year period freon the last date of exposure. 2 Civilian employees of the United States generally may not obtain compensation for work-related injuries pursuant to the Federal Tort Maims Act. Instead, they may seek compensation pursuant to the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U.S.C. 8101-8193, which authorizes recovery of lost wages and medical costs for "personal injury sustained while in the performance of...duty."

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1 INTRODUCTION 9 Bruce Jenkins ruled in favor of nine plaintiffs alleging injury or death from fallout from atmospheric tests in Nevada in the 1950s and 1960s. On April 20, 1987, however, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed the lower court decision in Allen v. United States on the grounds that the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in planning and conducting its monitoring and infor- mation programs concerning the testing was making the kind of policy judge- ments which are immune from liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act (816 F.2d 1417, 10th Cir. 1987~. The Supreme Court in January of 1988 declined to hear an appeal in the case (108 S.Ct. 694), thereby letting stand the ruling of the Tenth Circuit Court. Civilians are thus unlikely to succeed in suits brought against the government for exposure to radiation from atmospheric tests unless Congress changes the relevant law. In 198B, Congress adopted legislation that turned the Veterans Administration into the fourteenth Cabinet department of the United States in March, 1989 (Department of Veterans Affairs Act, Pub. Law 100-527~. Of more significance for those seeking disability claims, Congress also authorized veterans to appeal denials of benefits to a new United States Court of Veterans Appeals, and from there to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Veterans Judicial Review Action, Pub. Law 100-687~. Previously, benefit denials were not appealable beyond the Veterans Administration.