The VBDR Helps Military Veterans Exposed to Nuclear Weapons Testing

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VETERANS’ ADVISORY BOARD ON DOSE RECONSTRUCTION (VBDR) Public Meeting & Comment Session

The goal of VBDR is to provide guidance and oversight of the dose reconstruction and claims compensation programs for veterans of U.S.-sponsored atmospheric nuclear weapons tests from 1945-1962; veterans of the 1945-1946 occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; and veterans who were prisoners of war in those regions at the conclusion of World War II.

All interested persons are encouraged to attend. 

If you would like to register in advance to present an oral statement, or for more information on VBDR, please contact the VBDR at 1-866-657-VBDR (8237), or www.VBDR.org. Advance registration is not necessary to attend the meeting or to present an oral statement at the public comment sessions.

November 8-9, 2006

Hampton VA Medical Center
100 Emancipation Drive
Hampton, VA 23667

November 8
Meeting 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 1:30-2-30 p.m. & 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Public comment 2:30-3:30 p.m.

November 9
Meeting 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. & 3:00-3:35 p.m.
Public comment 2:00-3:00 p.m.                                                                          (continued)

     

History of Why Dose Reconstruction For Veterans Was Initiated

United States military personnel were involved in above-ground nuclear weapons tests from 1945 through 1962. In 1977 the radiation exposure these military personnel received as a result of their participation in these tests became a national issue.

In 1977 a front page article was published in the Sunday paper supplement, Parade Magazine, about a report of an increased incidence of leukemia in veterans who had taken part in a nuclear weapons test at the Nevada Test Site. This test, Shot Smoky, was part of the Plumbbob Series conducted at the Nevada Test Site. The Parade Magazine story was an initiating event for the need to assess doses for veterans who participated in nuclear weapons testing.

Each of the military services, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps quickly set up offices under the coordinating direction of the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA), a legacy agency of the current Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to collect information on veterans who participated in weapons tests, information on their radiation exposures, and to respond to the significant number of inquiries that resulted. These offices were called Nuclear Test Personnel Review (NTPR) offices with the service name in front (e.g., Navy Nuclear Test Personnel Review (NNTPR) office). These offices coordinated the initial services’ responses to the individual veterans and assisted DNA in responding to the Veterans Administration (Department of Veterans Affairs as of 1989), Congress, news media and the public.

Early on it was recognized that personnel dosimetry information for the veterans was fragmented between the services, DNA and the Nevada Test Site. DNA was designated the responsible Department of Defense organization to address the radiation exposures of the veterans for all of the services as well as to coordinate the services’ other NTPR activities. Since individual radiation exposure information often was not available, the need for a program of individual veteran’s radiation dose reconstruction became apparent early in the NTPR program and was initiated by and performed under the guidance of DNA.

In 1987 the functions of the individual service NTPR offices were incorporated into a single NTPR office at DTRA, where responsibility for the dose reconstruction program and the NTPR program currently reside.

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