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Radiation Dose Reconstruction

ORAU Supports National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Dose Reconstruction for Former Energy Employees

Through a contract with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and its partners, MJW Corporation Inc. (MJW) and Dade Moeller & Associates are helping to ensure that all energy employees who deserve compensation for their illnesses are rightfully compensated.

Under a five-year contract awarded in September 2002, and extended several times since, the ORAU team is reconstructing the radiation doses received by workers at various Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE contractor facilities. The information will assist NIOSH in fulfilling its responsibilities under the U.S. Department of Labor's Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).

A team that exceeded 400 employees built a solid infrastructure that allowed quick reconstruction of the doses, cleared a sizable backlog of cases, and moved the dose reconstruction program into a steady-state mode. Components of the process have included:

  • Site profiles for 40 of the major DOE sites, including detailed descriptions of radiation exposure conditions
  • Establishment of a worker outreach program to present information in the site profiles and solicit input from the workers
  • Phone interviews with tens of thousands of workers, coworkers, and family members
  • Individual dose reconstructions

The ORAU team is also responsible for the evaluation of Special Exposure Cohort petitions received by NIOSH. This process may automatically grant compensation to employees with any of 22 types of cancer and who worked at specific sites. These claimants would not have to go through the dose reconstruction process in order to be compensated.

Key Outcomes, NIOSH Program, 2002-2014

  • Completed more than 50,000 preliminary radiation dose assessments for NIOSH review
  • Assembled and indexed 138,000 documents on facilities/processes, medical monitoring, environmental monitoring, external/internal dosimetry and energy employee data from across the DOE complex into a searchable and retrievable database
  • Wrote and managed periodic review for 1,360 documents that collectively reconstruct much of the operational history of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex

Visit the ORAU Team Dose Reconstruction Project for NIOSH site for more details on this program.

Continuing Radiation Dose Assessments for Nuclear Workers

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) awarded ORAU a contract in 2014 to continue reconstructing radiation doses for current and former workers in the nuclear industry. The dose reconstructions provide critical information used by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in adjudicating claims filed under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

This DOL program provides compensation to many of those workers, or their surviving family members, who have developed cancer as a result of the radiation exposure they experienced during their work. ORAU has managed this contract since its inception in 2002.

In that time, ORAU and its partners, Dade Moeller and MJW Technical Services, Inc., have conducted these analyses with a team of health physicists, records specialists and other scientists.