Radiation Amount and Job Category Exposures at former Huntington Atomic Energy Facility and others Claimed Deficient

Updated 5 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor

A citizens  oversight advisory board has issued a report concerning contradictory data used in the calculation of radiation doses for some former employees at atomic weapon and nuclear energy plants. One of the locations listed is the Reduction Pilot Plant (also known as Huntington Pilot Plant).

The determinations relate to calculations used for the Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). The October 2000 legislation provides "long-denied justice to Department of Energy’s (DOE) nuclear weapons workers who had contracted occupational diseases through their exposure to the thousands of radioactive and other hazardous materials," according to  the April 2014 DIAB Review (DEEOIC Interim Advisory Board of Citizen Volunteers Providing Transparency and Accountability for EEOICPA Claimants , DIABoard.org ).

A Department of Labor (DOL) database establishes  contaminants to which former workers could likely have been exposed.

Terrie Barrie, founding member Alliance for Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups  , stated: "The report found serious deficiencies between "Process" listings in SEM  (site exposure matrix)  and the corresponding "Labor Categories" for 20 sites. Huntington Pilot Plant was one of the 20 sites," Barrie said. She explained,  "For instance, 70% of the sites where "painting" was listed as a process did not have "painter" listed in the job category."

As a result, exposure calculations for jobs and processes, such as welding, painting, housekeeping, and administrative duties, are missing or non existent in a sample of 20 facilities. For instance, the exposure matrix lists a grounds keeping job but does not explain what toxins the worker would have been exposed.  The "Comparison Between Site Processes and Labor Categories"  does not  link job categories with buildings, labor categories with toxic substances, and toxic substances with health effects.

The Department of Labor’s Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) has the responsibility for approval of employee claims. Due to deficiencies, they contracted with the National Academies of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) ; however legislation has stalled. The interim board (DIAB) is  comprised of volunteers from the advocate community, including former nuclear weapons workers, sick worker family members, and members from various professions who are familiar with the EEOICPA program.

For 39 sites  which do not have a site exposure matrix, some of them operating in the last 20 years, yet so much "information has been lost"  that an applicant is either denied or delayed. DEEOIC training material indicate that few claims have been made at these venues. However, 700 people have filed claims at seven of the 39 sites.

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