NIOSH Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program
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NIOSH Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program
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  • Description:
    Since World War II, many workers took part in nuclear weapons-related activities for the Department of Energy (DOE), its contractors and subcontractors, and Atomic Weapons Employers. Many jobs at these sites involved work with radiation and radioactive materials. The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), enables current and former workers in the Nation’s nuclear weapons program, or their survivors, to file claims for compensation if they believe they have an illness due to workplace exposures to hazard-ous substances or radiation. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides scientific support for claims involving workers with cancer due to radiation exposure. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Con-trol and Prevention in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). What are our priorities? The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Radiation Dose Re-construction Program works to fulfill the requirements of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). EEOICPA is a workers compensation program for employees involved in the production and testing of nuclear weapons who are claiming illness due to radiation or other toxic exposures on the job. Dose reconstruction is a scientific method for estimating a worker's past exposure to ionizing radiation. What do we do? 1. Complete dose reconstructions to estimate radiation exposures for workers claiming compensation under EEOICPA. 2. Evaluate petitions to add classes of workers to the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC). Members of the SEC qualify for compensation without a dose reconstruction if they worked for specific facilities during a specified period of time and have at least one of 22 types of cancer. 3. Update nuclear weapons site profile documents, using feedback from the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (the Advisory Board), to ensure consistent dose reconstruction methodology across sites. 4. Conduct outreach to claimants about the dose reconstruction and SEC petition process, as well as the scientific methods used to estimate radiation exposure. 5. Coordinate program activities with the Department of Labor, Department of Energy, and the Advisory Board. What we have accomplished? 1. Completed 2300 dose reconstructions and returned the cases to Department of Labor for adjudication. 2. Received 8 SEC petitions, and added 5 classes to the SEC, bringing the total number of classes added to 115. 3. Supported 31 meetings of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, its Subcommittees, and Work Groups. 4. Scheduled and coordinated public meetings for the claimant population in collaboration with the Joint Outreach Task Group. 5. Participated in 11 meetings in 7 locations across the country and routinely notified claimants of upcoming Advisory Board meetings within their area. 6. Updated 17 guidance documents for facilities covered under EEOICPA. Many of these updates were completed in response to reviews by the Advisory Board. The updated documents help ensure that dose reconstruction methodology is consistent across sites. What's next? 1. Complete approximately 2200 dose reconstructions in an average of 220 days each. 2. Complete the evaluation of 80% of SEC petitions within 180 days. 3. Provide support to all Advisory Board meetings conducted in 2016 and beyond. 4.Update the guidance documents for at least 10 of the 40 facilities under discussion by the Advisory Board. The updated documents will resolve all outstanding issues and ensure consistency across sites.
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