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FILM BADGE DOSIMETRY IN ATMOSPHERIC NUCLEAR TESTS Committee on Film Badge Dosimet~y in Atmospheric Nuclear Tests Energy Engineering Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council Francis X. Masse, Chairman George Lalos, Editor NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1989
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members ate drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Scicnces, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institutc of Medicine. Thc members of the committee responsible for the ~ port were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropn&tc balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Scicnces, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institutc of Medicine. Thc National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-pe~petu&ting society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and coginccring research, dedicated to the futhcrancc of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences ~espcnsibility for advising the federal govemment. The National Academy of Engineering alto sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achicvemcnts of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Enginecr~,. The Institutc of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Scicnces to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the culmination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the Nations Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samud O. Thier is president of the Institutc of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies detennined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Scicnces and the National Academy of Engineenng in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert White are chairman and Ace chairman, rcspectivdy, of the National Research Council. This report and the study on which it is based were supposed by Contract No. DNA 0001-87-C-0067 from the Defense Nuclear Agency to the National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 89-62820 International Standard Book Number () 309-04079-5 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20418 S003 Photo caption Shot DOG was detonated over the Nevada Proving Ground at 0730 hours on 1 November 1951 during Operation BUST~-JANGLE. The nuclear device was dropped from an aircraft and detonated 1,417 feet above Yucca Flat with a yield of 21 kilotons. Thc mushroom cloud top reached an altitude of 46,000 feet (MSL). Soldiers in the foreground were part of 3,700 observers and troops taking part in military exercises. Printed in the United States of America First Printing, December 1989 Second Printing, November 1990
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COMMITTEE ON FILM BADGE DOSIMETRY IN ATMOSPHERIC NUCLEAR TESTS FRANCIS X. MASSE (Chairman), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambndge, Massachusetts WALTER L. BROWN, (Vice-Chairman), AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey JUDITH AREEN, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM J. BRADY, Reynolds Electrical & Engineenng Company, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada JOHN R. FRAZIER, International Technology Corporation, Knoxville, Tennessee ETHEL S. GILBERT, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, Washington ROBERT O. GORSON, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NATHANIEL A. GREENHOUSE, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, California (12/1/87 to 6/24/88) RONALD L. KATHREN, Hanford Environmental Health Foundation, Richland, Washington NORMAN C. RASMUSSEN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts R. CRAIG YODER, Tech/Ops Landauer, Inc., Glenwood, Illinois Liaison with Energy Engineering Board ADEL F. SAROFIM, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts Committee Staff GEORGE LALOS, Study Director DOROTHY R. MAJEWSKI, Study Assistant ANN M. STARK,* Study Assistant *Until February, 1989 . . . 111
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ENERGY ENGINEERING BOARD JOHN A. TILLINGHAST (Chairman), Tiltec Corporation, Portsmouth, New Hampshire DONALD B. ANTHONY, BP Exploration, Houston, Texas RALPH C. CAVANAGH, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco, California CHARLES F. GAY, Arc o Solar, Camarillo, California WILLIAM R. GOULD, Southern California Edison Company, Rosemead, California JOSEPH M. HENDRIE, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York WILLIAM W. HOGAN, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts ARIXUR E. HUMPHREY, Center for Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania BAINE P. KERR, Pennzoil Company, Houston, Texas HENRY R. LINDEN, Gas Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois THOMAS H. PIGFORD, University of California, Berkeley, California MAXINE L. SAVITZ, Garrett Ceramic Component Division, Torrance, California GLENN A. SCHURMAN, Chevron, San Francisco, California WESTON M. STACEY, JR., Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia LEON STOCK, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois GEORGE S. TOLLEY, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois DAVID C. WHITE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts RICHARD WILSON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts BERTRAM WOLFE, General Electric Corporation, San Jose, California Technical Advisory Panel HAROLD M. AGNEW, GA Technologies, Solana Beach, California FLOYD L. CULLER, JR., Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California KENT F. HANSEN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts CHAUNCEY STARR, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California HERBERT H. WOODSON, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 1V
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Energy Engineering Board Staff ARCHIE L. WOOD, Director MAHADEVAN MANI, Associate Director JUDITH AMRI, Administrative Associate KAMAL ARAJ, Senior Program Officer ROBERT COHEN, Senior Program Officer GEORGE LALOS, Consultant DOROTHY MAJEWSKI, Administrative Assistant MARY PECHACEK, Administrative Assistant CARLITA M. PERRY,* Administrative Associate ANN M. STARK,* Administrative Assistant MICHELLE SMITH, Administrative Assistant JAMES J. ZUCCHETTO, Senior Program Officer * Until February, 1989 v
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Preface During the 18-year period when the U.S. government tested nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, radiation exposure monitoring of military and civilian person- nel associated with that testing was performed primarily with film badges. The accuracy and reliability of the film badge for monitoring radiation exposures during those early days of weapons testing and the availability and accuracy of the data have been questioned in recent years as veterans seek to gain compensation for health effects that might have been related to their radiation exposure during these tests. To provide an independent assessment of this issue, the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) commissioned the National Research Council (NRC) on Septem- ber 28, 1987, to organize a Committee on Film Badge Dosimetry in Atmospheric Nuclear Tests. The basic mandate of the Committee was to make an in-depth, detailed evaluation of film badge practices used during the period, the recording and record-keeping processes utilized to maintain exposure data, and the overall uncertainties in recorded radiation exposure of participants based on film badge dosimeter results. Members appointed to the Committee include recognized experts in photo- graphic film processing, development, and interpretation, film badge dosimetry and applications, statistical treatment of uncertainties, radiation characteristics of nuclear weapons, and legal implications of study results. One member of the Committee was present at many weapons tests and has had continuous involve- ment in the nuclear weapons testing program since the early test series. .. V11
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V111 PREFACE The Committee held a series of 10 two-day meetings over 18 months to address this issue. In addition, individual members took on specific study assign- ments. Two meetings were held in Nevada to access the extensive film badge dosimetry files maintained for the Deparunent of Energy (DOE) by the Reynolds Electrical ~ Engineering Company (REECo). The study was facilitated by the extent and quality of data available as long as four decades after the initial tests. Briefings were presented to the Committee by the DNA, the General Account- ing Office, the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, the Federation of American Scientists, Science Applications International Corporation, JAYCOR, and REECo personnel. The REECo briefing included a detailed introduction to the above mentioned DOE files on the weapons test participants. That briefing was con- ducted by health physicists Cathryn Teasdale and Martha DeMarre, who have been extensively involved in the management and analysis of these records for many years. In addition, the Committee was briefed on study-related subjects by Dr. Edward Webster, Dr. Ralph E. Lapp, Dr. C. Dennis Robinette, and Dr. Barton C. Hacker. Finally, individual members held informal discussions with key personnel directly involved wig the nuclear weapons testing program. The Committee acknowledges the cooperation and assistance it received from all parties. Arrangements to conduct the study were facilitated by Dennis F. Miller, director of the Energy Engineering Board until November 1987. He was suc- ceeded by Arc hie L. Wood in December 1987. George Lalos served as study director and as editor of this report. FRANCIS X. MASSE, Chairman, Committee on Film Badge Dosimetry in Atmospheric Nuclear Tests