RAC has published a paper in Radiation Research describing the methodology for the
dosimetry in the Atomic Veterans Study.
ABSTRACT: Methods were developed to calculate individual estimates of exposure and
dose with associated uncertainties for a subcohort (1,857) of 115,329 military veterans
who participated in at least one of seven series of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests or
the TRINITY shot carried out by the United States. The tests were conducted at the
Pacific Proving Grounds and the Nevada Test Site. Dose estimates to specific organs will
be used in an epidemiological study to investigate leukemia and male breast cancer.
Previous doses had been estimated for the purpose of compensation and were generally
high-sided to favor the veteran’s claim for compensation in accordance with public law.
Recent efforts by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to digitize the historical records
supporting the veterans’ compensation assessments make it possible to calculate doses
and associated uncertainties. Our approach builds upon available film badge dosimetry
and other measurement data recorded at the time of the tests and incorporates detailed
scenarios of exposure for each veteran based on personal, unit, and other available
historical records. Film badge results were available for approximately 25% of the
individuals, and these results assisted greatly in reconstructing doses to unbadged persons
and in developing distributions of dose among military units. This article presents the
methodology developed to estimate doses for selected cancer cases and a 1% random
sample of the total cohort of veterans under study.
Till, J.E., H.L. Beck, J.W. Aanenson, H.A. Grogan, H.J. Mohler, S.S. Mohler, P.G.
Voillequé. 2014. Military Participants at U.S. Atmospheric Nuclear Weapons
Testing-Methodology for Estimating Dose and Uncertainty. Radiat Res. 181, 471 –
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