DOE Openness: Human Radiation Experiments: Roadmap to the Project
(1)the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, predecessor agency to the U.S. Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); established January 1, 1947
(2)atomic species in which the atoms all have the same atomic number but different mass numbers according to the number of neutrons in the nucleus
(3)Nevada Test Site, the location where most nuclear weapon tests within the continental United States were conducted
(4)Operation Buster-Jangle was a series of seven nuclear weapons tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site, in which nuclear explosives were detonated between October 22, 1951 and November 29, 1951. Ranging in yield from 1.2 kilotons to 31 kilotons, the tests included four airdrops and a tower, surface, and crater shot. The last three types of tests generated large quantities of fallout because the explosion sucked up rock, soil, and debris from the crater it created and from the surrounding surface area. During Buster-Jangle, the first three of eight Desert Rock troop exercises were conducted by the Department of Defense to explore nuclear battlefield conditions and tactics. Source: Robert S. Norris, Thomas B. Cochrane, and William M. Arkin; NWD 86-2 Known U.S. Nuclear Tests, July 1945 to 31 December 1985; February 1986; Washington, D.C.; Natural Resources Defense Council, p. 13.
(5)the point on the earth directly below or at which an atomic or hydrogen bomb explodes
(6)"a measure of the absorbed dose to tissue from exposure to radiation
(7)REP (Roentgen Equivalent Physical) was a measure of absorbed dose to tissue after exposure to an external source of x- or gamma rays; it is now called the "rad."
(8)a unit of radiation dosage equal to the amount of ionizing radiation required to produce one electrostatic unit of charge of either sign per cubic centimeter of air; named for Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen, 18451923, German physicist, who discovered x rays in 1895 and received the Nobel Prize in Physics. The Roentgen was a measure of the ionization of air by radiation, not a unit of absorbed dose to tissue.
(9)a technique whereby photographic film is placed over thinly sliced tissue to record, in image form, the radiation tracks from the tissue that pass through the film's emulsion
(10)"multiatom particulates of radioactive material that emit many alpha or beta particles
(11)tendency to produce cancer
(12)a biologist who studies the functions and activities of living organisms and their parts
(13)a highly penetrating photon of high frequency, usually 1019 Hz or more, emitted by an atomic nucleus
(14)elementary particles found in the nucleus of most atoms and having no electrical charge
(15)the fraction of atoms absorbing a thermalized neutron and changing into a heavier isotope of the same element per unit neutron flux
(16)an apparatus that measures radionuclides in man, using shielded detectors and multichannel energy analyzers. The sensitivity and non-invasive nature of this instrument permitted studies at levels 10 to 100 times below established limits of exposure. It opened an entire area of clinical diagnosis and the development of new diagnostic methods.
(17) an apparatus that rotates at high speed and separates substances of different densities
(18)a chamber that simulates the low-atmospheric pressure experienced in aircraft at high altitudes
(19)radiation of high penetrating power originating in outer space and consisting partly of high-energy atomic nuclei
(20)a professor of radiation biology and biophysics at the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
(21)For the transcript of the October 14, 1994 interview with Bair, see DOE/EH-0463, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Health Physicist William J. Bair, Ph.D. (June 1995).
(22)After receiving his Ph.D., Thomas went to Albuquerque, where with Tom Mercer, he initiated the inhalation toxicology program at the Lovelace Foundation and Clinic. He subsequently went to Los Alamos and DOE.
(23)Brookhaven, located on Long Island, is managed and operated by a consortium of universities known as Associated Universities, Inc., under contract with DOE. The Lab conducts basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as selected energy technologies.
(24)a pumping device through which diverted blood is oxygenated and returned to the body during heart surgery, temporarily functioning for the heart and lungs
(25)a type of white blood cell important in the production of antibodies
(26)an organ, located at the cardiac end of the stomach, that helps form mature lymphocytes, destroys worn-out red blood cells, and serves as a reservoir for blood
(27)a steroid used chiefly in the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and certain cancers
(28)being greater than the sum of the parts
(29)site of groundbreaking early research in nuclear science and location of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
(30)Form 189 (Research Proposal), a funding document used by the National Laboratories for preparation of short- form scientific proposals to the Atomic Energy Commission, and later the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Energy
(31)According to the "linear hypothesis," all ionizing radiation is harmful; the harm rises in direct proportion to the dose. Over time, some radiologists and health physicists came to find this assumption simplistic and proposed more complex models, most of them based on a linear quadratic equation.
(32)relating to the branch of pharmacology dealing with the effects, antidotes, detection, etc. of poisons
(33)John Gofman, a physician and biophysicist, held that there is no safe level of radiation exposure. His public views and outspoken style brought him into frequent conflict with the AEC. For Gofman's account of these conflicts, see "The Controversy Over Nuclear-Armed Antiballistic Missiles (1969)" in DOE/EH-0457, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Dr. John W. Gofman, M.D. (June 1995). For Gofman's views on "no safe level," see "Concern Over Low-Dosage Harm; Public Acceptance of Nuclear Energy" and "The Controversy Over Low-Dosage Harm" in the Gofman transcript. For a conflicting view, see "Livermore Biomedical Division; Conflicts With John Gofman (196272)" in the John Totter transcript (DOE/EH-0481, September 1995) and "Controversy Over Interpretation of Radiation Effects Data" in the Bair transcript (DOE/EH-0463, June 1995).
(34)the branch of biology that deals with the nature of biological phenomena at the molecular level through the study of DNA and RNA, proteins, and other macromolecules involved in genetic information and cell function; also called new biology
(35)the branch of medicine dealing with the statistics of incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations and with detection of the source and cause of epidemics; also: the factors contributing to the presence of absence of a disease
(36)a broad-scale program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy to map the location of every gene of all 47 human chromosomes
(37)If a conclusion drawn from an epidemiological survey of 10,000 subjects is accurate to within ±2 percent, doubling the conclusion's accuracy to ±1 percent would require a survey of 100,000 subjects.
(38)an apparatus in which a nuclear-fission chain reaction is sustained and controlled
(39)an accelerator in which particles move in spiral paths in a constant magnetic field
(40)Victor P. Bond, M.D. (1919), was a radiation biophysicist with the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (194855) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (starting 1955). He conducted research on the biological effects of radiation. At Brookhaven, he conducted pioneering research in bone marrow transplants and served as an Associate Laboratory Director.
(41) Robert A. Conard, M.D. (born 1913), was a medical scientist with the U.S. Navy and the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (194156) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (195679). He conducted environmental health studies among the Marshallese exposed to radioactive fallout.
(42) Eugene P. Cronkite, M.D. (born 1914), was a physician and hematologist at the Naval Medical Research Institute (194654) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (195479). He conducted research on control of hemopoiesis in health and disease conditions.
(43)portable instruments for detecting ionizing radiation and measuring dose rate
(44)an endocrine gland located at the base of the neck and secreting two hormones that regulate the rates of metabolism, growth, and development
(45)Radioiodine (131I) is widely used to diagnose thyroid function and also is a highly effective therapy for hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease, and thyroid cancer.
(46)a millionth of a curie; a curie is a unit of measure expressing activity of radioactive substances. A curie denotes 37 billion radioactive decays per second.
(47)to have the rate of radiation emissions counted from radionuclides inside one's body, using a Geiger counter
(48)an excess assimilation of radioiodine in the thyroid, indicating abnormality
(49)a medical professional who studies endocrine glands and their secretions, especially in relation to their processes or functions
(50)a radioactive substance that emits electrons or positrons during radioactive decay
(51)accumulation of serous fluid in the peritoneal cavity as the result of ovarian cancer or other cancers
(52)the fluid bathing the intestines and other organs of the peritoneal cavity
(53)a thousandth of a curie; one thousand microcuries. A curie represents 37 billion radioactive decays per second.
(54)iodine having an 8-day half-life
(55)(keV) one thousand electron-volts
(56)the spread of disease-producing organisms or of malignant or cancerous cells to other parts of the body by way of the blood or lymphatic vessels or membranous surfaces; or, the condition so produced
(57)an imaging apparatus such as a CAT scanner, PET scanner, or MRI unit
(58)Roslyn SussmanYalow (1921), U.S. medical physicist; received 1977 Nobel Prize for discovery of the technique of in vitro radioimmunoassay
(59)From August 1963 to May 1971, the Pacific Northwest Research Foundation in Seattle, Washington, used inmates at the Oregon State Prison in Salem to determine the effects of ionizing radiation on sperm production and to determine minimum dose levels for initial effect and permanent damage. Sixty-seven healthy volunteers ranging in age from 24 to 52 years were irradiated by x rays one or more times. For details and a list of references, see OT-21, "Testicular Irradiation of Oregon State Prison Inmates," in Human Radiation Experiments Associated with the U.S. Department of Energy and Its Predecessors (213 pages), DOE/EH-0491, July 1995.
(60)From 1963 to 1973, the University of Washington, Seattle conducted studies on the effects of radiation on human testicular function, using inmates at the Washington State Prison in Walla Walla as subjects. Initially, 232 healthy volunteers were accepted into the study program. Sixty were subsequently irradiated with acute doses of x rays, ranging from 7.5 to 400 rads to the testes. The work was supported by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. See OT-14, "Testicular Irradiation of Washington State Prison Inmates," in Human Radiation Experiments Associated with the U.S. Department of Energy and Its Predecessors (ibid.).
(61)Goodman is a research analyst for the Presidential Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments.
(62)In the early to mid-1950s, various radiation-related studies were carried out at the Fernald State School in Waverly, Massachusetts, using mentally deficient students as subjects. In a study addressing calcium metabolism, nine adolescent males, institutionalized for mental inadequacy but otherwise physically normal, ranging in age from 10 to 15 years, and one 21-year-old male participated as subjects. A second study addressed thyroid function in Down's syndrome subjects and their parents. Twenty-one male and female Down's syndrome students ranging in age from 5 to 26 years participated, as did 5 female and 2 male normal parents of these students. These studies were supported in part by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. For details and references, see OT-19, "Radioisotope Studies at the Fernald State School, Massachusetts," in Human Radiation Experiments Associated with the U.S. Department of Energy and Its Predecessors (213 pages), DOE/EH-0491, July 1995. For a perspective on these experiments from a researcher who used data from the Fernald subjects, see the oral-history transcript of Constantine J. Maletskos, Ph.D. (DOE/EH-0473, September 1995). For an outside researcher's perspective on the Fernald experiments, see "Use of Children in Research" in the Merril Eisenbud transcript (DOE/EH-0456, May 1995).
(63)The Fernald adolescents in the first study received two doses of calcium-45, in 0.7 and 0.74 microcurie. The students in the second study received 70 microcuries of iodine-131.
(64)a radioactive isotope of carbon having a half-life of about 5,730 years: widely used in the dating of organic materials; also called radiocarbon
(65)radioactive isotopes incorporated to make a substance traceable
(66)George Charles von Hevesy (18851966), Hungarian-born chemist who won the 1943 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of hafnium and his work on the use of isotopes as tracer elements
(67)a positively charged particle consisting of two protons and two neutrons, emitted in radioactive decay or nuclear fission; the nucleus of a helium atom
(68)a unit of radiation dose equivalent, or "rads times the quality factor, Q." The limits for occupational exposure of workers to radiation range from 2 to 5 rem per year for most countries.
(69)a thousandth of a rem
(70)In the United States, an individual's exposure to background radiation averages about 350 millirem per year; the amount will vary with elevation and other factors. Daily fluctuations in the background occur proportionately with the amount of cosmic radiation striking the earth.
(71)a band or zone of the earth's crust raised or depressed as a unit and bounded by faults
(72)Down syndrome, a genetic disorder associated with the presence of an extra chromosome 21, characterized by mental retardation, weak muscle tone, and epicanthic folds at the eyelids
(73)a reddish brown mineral, a phosphate of cerium, lanthanum, and thorium; the principal ore of thorium
(74)the Japanese cities on which U.S. bombers dropped atomic bombs on August 6 and August 9, 1945, respectively, killing and injuring hundreds of thousands and ending World War II
(75)"After exposure to a carcinogen, it takes 5 to 15 years or longer before evidence of cancer is apparent.
(76)"a facetious term for an imaginary optical device that reveals the truth in hindsight
(77)radioactive debris from a nuclear detonation or other source. Fallout is usually deposited from airborne particles.
(79)a tumor arising from any of the cellular elements of lymph nodes
(80)any of several cancers of the bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of white blood cells in the tissues, resulting in anemia, increased susceptibility to infection, and impaired blood clotting
(81)to insert a tube into a hollow anatomical structure, as the larynx, especially for admitting air or a fluid
(82)a muscular tube for the passage of food from the pharynx to the stomach
(83)From 1951 to 1977, Durbin worked as a chemist and radiobiologist at the Crocker Laboratory of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory). For the transcript of the November, 11, 1994 interview with Durbin, see DOE/EH-0458, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Dr. Patricia Wallace Durbin, Ph.D. (June 1995).
(84)radiation, especially braking radiation, gamma rays, or x rays, emitted by decelerating charged particles
(85)a radioactive metallic element, chemically similar to tellurium and bismuth, that emits a helium element to form an isotope of lead; i.e., polonium-210
(86)deoxyribonucleic acida type of nucleic acid, particularly found in cell nuclei, that is the basis for heredity in many organisms. DNA molecules are constructed of a double helix held together by hydrogen bonds.
(87)Francis Harry Compton Crick (1916), an English biophysicist who received a Nobel Prize for his 1953 codiscovery of DNA, together with James Watson, in 1962
(88)Radon is radon-222, a naturally occurring, heavy, radioactive, gaseous element formed by the disintegration of radium-226.
(89)McGraw-Hill National Nuclear Energy seriesthe final scientific report of the Manhattan Project
(90)the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers organization set up to administer the development of the atomic bomb under the top-secret Manhattan Project
(91)a high-level security clearance issued by AEC (and later DOE), comparable to a Top Secret clearance from the U.S. Department of Defense
(92)During World War II, the Manhattan Project had built a vast complex of highly classified facilities in and near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to process uranium for use in atomic bombs. The Atomic Energy Commission took control of these facilities upon its creation and, today, they belong to the Department of Energy. For a history of ORNL, see ORAU From the Beginning, written by William G. Pollard with Gould A. Andrews, Marshall Brucer, et al., and published by Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1980.
(93)the DOE's 570-square-mile former site for plutonium production, located near Richland, Washington
(94)For more than a half-century, Herbert M. Parker was a leading force in radiological physics. He was codeveloper of a systematic dosimetry scheme for implant therapy and the innovative proposer of radiological units with unambiguous physical and biological bases. He made seminal contributions to the development of scientifically based radiation protection standards and helped the Hanford Laboratories achieve prominence in radiation biology, radioactive waste disposal, and characterization of environmental radioactivity. For his inside view of the maturation of medical physics and the birth and evolution of the parallel field of health physics, see R.L. Kathren, R.W. Baalman, and W.J. Bair; Herbert M. Parker: Publications and Other Contributions to Radiological and Health Physics; Columbus, Ohio: Battelle Press; 1986; ISBN 0-935470-36-0; 864 pages.
(96)See Tara O'Toole, et al., Hazards Ahead: Managing Cleanup Worker Health and Safety at the Nuclear Weapons Complex (80 pages), OTA-BP-O-85, Washington, D.C.: Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, February 1993. O'Toole is now DOE's Assistant Secretary for Environment, Secretary, and Health. For DOE's perspective on the need for a cleanup, see Closing the Circle on the Splitting of the Atom: The Environmental Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Production in the United States and What the Department of Energy is Doing About It (106 pages), DOE Office of Environmental Management, January 1995.
(97)the process of passing (fluid) through blood vessels or the lymphatic system to an organ or tissue
(98)study of the biological effects of many small doses of radiation, compared to those from a single exposure of the same total amount; fractionation, over a long period of time, permits cellular repair of radiation damage.
(99)a professor of Radiology at the University of Rochester. Dr. Warren worked on the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge as head of the medical section and headed an Intramedical Advisory Committee. After World War II, Dr. Warren became dean of the University of California, Los Angeles Medical School.
(100)University of California, Los Angeles
(101)"equivalent to a certain activity of strontium-90
(102)Project Sunshine was initiated by the AEC in response to the urgent need for more information about the potential hazards associated with radioactive fallout. The Project began as an evaluation of the hazards associated with nuclear war and grew into a worldwide investigation of radioactive fallout levels in the environment and in human beings.
(103)element number 95
(104)any element of the actinide seriesthe series of mostly synthetic radioactive elements whose atomic numbers range from 89 (actinium) through 103 (lawrencium)
(105)Here, Goldman is referrring to the Lovelace Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico (along one part of the Kirtland Air Force Base), not the Lovelace Hospital.
(106)From 1956 to 1968, Bair managed the Inhalation Toxicology Section of Pacific Northwest Laboratory's (PNL's) Biology Department. His research at Hanford focused on the inhalation of radionuclide aerosols, mostly various forms of plutonium, by various animal species, primarily rats and beagle dogs. Bair's Hanford work is discussed throughout the Bair transcript (DOE/EH-0463, June 1995), particularly in "Radionuclide Inhalation Studies at Hanford."
(107)"General Electric Company. General Electric became the prime contractor in charge of operating the Hanford Laboratories for the AEC in 1946.
(108)the linear energy transfer and relative specific ionization, energy distribution in tissue, the exposure rate, etc., that influenced the biological effectiveness of the radiation
(109)Langham, regarded at the time as "Mr. Plutonium," led the Los Alamos Health Division's Radiobiology Group from 1947 until his death in 1972.
(110)the National Laboratory near Santa Fe, New Mexico, where nuclear bombs were assembled before and during the Cold War; operated by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. Since World War II, Los Alamos has been a research and development center for nuclear weapon designs and other scientific studies.
(111)Brues, a physician, was a professor at the University of Chicago and Senior Biologist, Division of Biological and Medical Research, Argonne National Laboratory.
(112)located outside Chicago; operated by the University of Chicago
(113)In the early '30s at MIT, Evans investigated the bioeffects of radium on dial painters in New Jersey and Connecticut. By 1941, Evans with others had set the first standards for a tolerance level for radium in the human body. The first "tolerance level" for radium was set at 0.1 microgram body burden: Evans judged that there would be no bone cancers below 0.1 microgram 226Ra in the skeleton. Later he served on the AEC's Committee on Isotope Distribution. At a 1967 symposium, he proposed that the AEC establish a National Center for Human Radiobiology so the AEC could follow up and combine all the radium cases being studied at MIT, Argonne National Laboratory, and elsewhere. On September 1, 1969, the center opened at Argonne, headed by Robert E. Rowland; Evans maintained a satellite office at MIT. In the early 1990s, Evans's pioneering basic research earned him the Department of Energy's Fermi Award.
(115)malignant tumor of the bone
(116)Goldman means here that internal alpha-emitting radionuclides present a greater health hazard to man than do beta or gamma emitters in the body per unit dose to sensitive tissues.
(117)These ratios were developed by Professor Charles W. Mays, a radiation biophysicist at the University of Utah.
(118)the process or method of measuring or calculating the dose of ionizing radiation, or energy absorbed per unit mass, using data from bioassay and other radiation measurements
(119)inside the body
(120)a drug, formerly used as a sedative, that in the mid-1950s caused hundreds of British infants to be born with abbreviated limbs after their mothers took it during pregnancy. In the United States, the drug had been prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration.
(121)an enclosed compartment fitted with long gloves, used in a laboratory for handling contents without causing or incurring contamination outside the container
(122)divalent cationa positively charged species, with a valence of +2, needs to be balanced with two negative charges, i.e., Sr++ balanced with (Cl-)2, SrCl2.
(123)polycythemia vera, a disease characterized by overproduction of red blood cells
(124)produced in the bone marrow
(125)The leukemia in survivors of Hiroshima or Nagasaki was caused by acute (instantaneous) irradiation. However, some theories hold that the effects of radiation at low dose and low dose rate are less than for those from a single acute exposure of the same total dose.
(126)of the epiphysis, either of the ends of a long bone separated from the shaft by cartilage but later ossifying with it
(127) a large, flat, circular crystal of thallium-activated sodium iodide, backed with photomultiplier tubes arranged in honeycomb geometry, for obtaining an image of gamma emitting pharmaceutical in the patient; named for its inventor, Hal Anger, of the University of California at Berkeley. The camera is still widely used in modern nuclear medicine clinics to image gamma-emitting radiopharmaceuticals used in the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases.
(128)the process of reciprocal transfer of ions between a solution and a resin or other suitable solid
(129)affecting somatic cellsany cells of the body that are not sexually reproductive cells
(130)any of numerous similar yellowish flies of the family Drosophilidae, which feed on the yeasts of fermenting fruit, used in laboratory studies because of its large chromosomes and short life cycle
(131)the use of a spectrometer, an optical device for measuring wavelengths, deviation of refracted rays, and angles between faces of a prism
(132)an instrument for measuring fluorescence, often as a means of determining the nature of the substance emitting the fluorescence
(133)"Bragg's Rule defines an empirical relationship whereby the mass stopping power of an element for alpha particles is inversely proportional to the one-half power of the atomic weight. The rule applies to other charged particles.
(134)The patent on the transistor, a solid-state semiconductor, went on to be quite profitable for its inventor, which was not the case with Goldman's patent.
(135)becoming luminescent when heated
(136)dosimeters worn routinely to measure accumulated personal exposure to radiation on photographic film
(137)the likelihood of inducing cancer in the live animal, as well as the aggressiveness or severity
(138)the study of the nature, function, and diseases of the blood and of blood-forming organs
(139)the branch of medicine dealing with the statistics of incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations and with detection of the source and cause of epidemics
(140)Dr. Saenger, a medical doctor, is an expert on radiation effects, actute radiation syndrome, and the proper response to radiation emergencies. Presently, he is a professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati. His participation in NASA-sponsored studies of low-exposure-rate total-body irradiation (LETBI) led to charges that his therapeutic doses, like those administered by Oak Ridge's LETBI facility, were dictated by NASA's needs rather than by the needs of his patients.
(141)10 CFR 20 provides the Federal regulations dealing with protection of workers from radiation; CFR specifically stands for the Code of Federal Regulations.
(142)In 1988, Congress changed the name and mission of the National Bureau of Standards to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
(143)International Commission on Radiological Protection
(144)National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(145)Operated by the U.S. Army, Dugway Proving Grounds is the field test site for U.S. chemical warfare agents.
(146)developed or maintained in a controlled, nonliving environment, such as a test tube
(147)any of several rod-shaped bacteria that enter the digestive tract in contaminated food, causing food poisoning
(148)a shallow, circular, glass or plastic dish with a loose-fitting cover over the top and sides, used for culturing microorganisms
(149)In response to the United States' military and political support for Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, member states of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Nations) refused to ship crude oil to America. The acute oil shortages that resulted led to the first gasoline rationing since World War II and public demands that the nation diversify its energy base.
(150)tendency to interfere with central nervous system function, or to paralyze the central nervous system
(151)a scientist who studies pharmacology, examining the effects, antidotes, detection, etc., of poisons
(152)a physician at AEC. As the head of the Medical Branch of AEC's Division of Biology and Medicine, Bruner was involved with reviewing research programs at the National Labs.
(153)Evans has moved to Scottsdale, Arizona for health reasons.
(154)a Ukrainian city in which a Soviet-designed graphite-moderated nuclear reactor in April 1986 sustained the world's worst radiation accident to date. At the reactor site, 31 workers and firefighters were killed. According to contemporary Soviet assessments, 1,000 square kilometers (370 square miles) of land were contaminated, 135,000 people and 86,000 head of cattle had to be evacuated, and fallout spread to 20 countries. An international effort to aid the victims and contain radioactivity at the site ensued, including sharing of technology and research.
(155)a nuclear power generating station 10 miles from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, owned and operated by General Public Utilities, Incorporated. On March 28, 1979, a combination of system failure and human error led to a partial meltdown in one of the station's two 1,000-megawatt pressurized water reactors. As one consequence, radioactivity was vented into the air. The event at Three Mile Island is the largest nuclear power plant accident to have occurred in the United States to date.
(156)The SL-1 (Stationary Low-Power Reactor) was a 3-megawatt prototype military reactor that was being developed at the National Reactor Test Site in Idaho Falls, Idaho, as a power source for remote bases. On January 3, 1961, while a military crew of three was reconnecting control rods for a scheduled restart of the reactor, a steam explosion occurred that killed all three crew members. These were the first deaths caused by such a reactor accident in the United States. For an extended discussion of the SL-1 reactor accident, see "Fatal Worker Accident at Idaho's SL-1 Reactor (1961)" in DOE/EH-0454, Remembering the Early Years: Interview With Dr. George Voelz, M.D. (May 1995). For a discussion of the recovery of the bodies, see "Investigations of Radiological Accidents" in the Lushbaugh transcript (DOE/EH-0453).
(157)Radiation obeys the inverse-square law: through dissipation, its magnitude abates with the square of the distance from its source. It was known how much dose would cause the near-term deaths of 2,000 in a city the size of Kiev. By knowing how much dose reached the city, located 80 miles southeast of the accident, and considering a few other variables, Goldman's students could extrapolate the dose at the source and calculate how much radiation had been released.
(158)A WASH number paper was an official AEC research report widely distributed to libraries, usually dealing with nuclear health and safety.
(159)modeling of biological effects that do not show up until months or years later
(160)Sternglass had performed some calculations and was cited in Esquire in a article entitled "The Death of All Babies." His estimate was that 400,000 children would be hurt with genetic disease as a result of the weapons program. For a discussion of that article and AEC's response, see "The Nuclear-Armed Antiballistic Missile Controversy" in the John Gofman transcript (DOE/EH-0457, June 1995).
(161)Dr. Bair managed the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Environment, Health, and Safety Research Program at Hanford from 1975 to 1990.
(162)International Atomic Energy Agency, an organization of the United Nations headquartered in Vienna, Austria
(163)United Nations' Scientific Committee on the Effects of Ionizing Radiation; it has prepared several compendiums of information on the biological effects of radiation, called UNSCEAR reports.
(164)the Soviet agency responsible for hostingand watching overforeign visitors
(165)the declared public policy within the Soviet Union of openly and frankly discussing economic and political realities: initiated under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985
(166)the program of economic and political reform in the Soviet Union initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986
(167) Feed Materials Production Center, a uranium processing facility near Cincinnati, Ohio, that was part of the defense nuclear fuel cycle. Former workers have filed a class-action suit, claiming they had not been informed of the dangers of working with uranium; for a detailed discussion of the Fernald suit, see DOE/EH-0456, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Merril Eisenbud (May 1995).
(168)Pantex is a DOE weapons final assembly plant in Amarillo, Texas where nuclear weapons used to be assembled but now are taken apart as required by current arms reduction treaties.
(169)an event covered up by the Soviets for many years, apparently a chemical explosion involving a large tank of uranium solution
(170)In comparison, the limits for occupational exposure of workers to radiation range from 2 to 5 rem per year for most countries.
(171)residents of the Marshall Islands, a group of 34 atolls in the west central Pacific where the United States performed atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons in the 1950s. Since 1986 the Marshall Islands have been a self-governing area associated with the United States. For a discussion of follow-up studies of the Marshallese Islanders by Brookhaven National Laboratory, see "Castle Bravo Atomic Weapon Test (March 1, 1954)" and "Studies on Marshallese at Brookhaven" in DOE/EH-0478, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Physician James S. Robertson, M.D., Ph.D. (September 1995).
(172)Operation Green Run is discussed in Human Radiation Experiments: The Department of Energy Roadmap to the Story and the Records (310+ pages), (DOE/EH-0445, February 1995). For more on the Green Run, with an emphasis on its military purpose and the involvement of the U.S. Air Force, see DOE/EH-0455, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of John W. Healy (May 1995).
(173)a weekly television series on science produced in the United States by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS)
(174)radioactive tags on biomolecules, used to study a biological, chemical, or physical system
(175)a site in New York State, near Niagara Falls, that, in the '70s, was believed to be so laden with toxic industrial waste as to make neighboring communities uninhabitable
(176)a former state in central India, now part of Madhya Pradesh, where in mid-1980 an accident at a chemical plant owned by Union Carbide released methyl isocyanate (MIC) fumes, killing thousands. The company settled out of court, and the Indian government has not pursued the case on behalf of the victims.
(177)Nuclear waste from Swedish commercial nuclear reactors is encased in special copper-clad glass capsules, which in turn are stored underground in stable granite formations.
(178)The first stipulation of protecting experimental subjects officially was announced in 1948 in Nuremberg, Germany, the city where former Nazis had been tried in an international court in 1945 and '46.
(179)Marie Curie and her husband Pierre, codiscoverers of radium, who died from the radiation exposure they received in the course of their pioneering experiments
(180)Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen, 18451923, German physicist, who discovered x rays in 1895 and received the Nobel Prize in Physics
(181)a level below which a dose is statistically insignificant
(182)National Research Council Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR)
(183)Leo D. Marinelli, a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory; developer of Marinelli-type crystal counters
(184)G. Failla, who also conducted research at the Neurological Institute in New York. The G. Failla award and lecture is conferred anually by the Radiation Research Society;
(185)the U.S. Government's secret project, launched December 28, 1942 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Manhattan Engineer District, to develop the atomic bomb. Headquartered in Washington, the Manhattan Project was the Office of Scientific Research and Development Section on Uranium and was codenamed S-1 (Section One of the Office of Scientific Research and Development).
(186)the radiation dose to skin capable of causing an abnormal reddening due to inflammation
(187)drugs approved for human use
(188)a former DOE weapons site in Colorado where plutonium metal was shaped and machined into sizes required for the U.S. atomic weapons program prior to final assembly as atomic bombs. Now, it faces one of the costliest, longest-term environmental cleanup in the DOE's former weapons complex.
(189)turn it into airborne particles dispersed in a gas, as smoke or fog
(190)For a firsthand, AEC perspective on the harbor project, which was code-named Project Chariot, see "Suspension of Proposed Plowshare Projects (Circa 1963)" in DOE/EH-0481, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Biochemist John Randolph Totter, Ph.D. (September 1995).
(191)O'Toole has an M.D. and an M.S. in Public Health. Her report on the hazards facing DOE cleanup workers is footnoted earlier, under "Relationship With Newell Stannard and Stafford Warren (195257)."
(192)The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. OTA was created in 1972 as an analytical arm of Congress. OTA's basic function was to help legislative policymakers anticipate and plan for the consequences of technological changes and to examine the many ways, expected and unexpected, in which technology affects people's lives. Located in Washington, D.C., OTA staffed some 140 full-time analysts and a like number of rotating consultants, whose reports were widely respected for their rigor, soundness, and political neutrality. Some 65 reports were completed in 1995. In September 1995, months after a new Congress revoked its charter, OTA closed its doors. The OTA's reports were slated to be put on a set of CD-ROM disks and on a World Wide Web page that would be maintained by the National Academy of Sciences and by universities.
(193)an organization of scientific society presidents, representing most of the scientific societies in the U.S.
(194)In 1994, Americans elected a Congress that was predominantly Republican in both houses. Led by House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, the two houses soon issued a succinct set of goals to reform government in a conservative fashion. These goals were called the Contract With America.