The Purpose of DOE Low Level Exposure Research Contracts

by nuclearhistory

The full text of the following US Department of Energy publication is available at:

Environ Health Perspect. 1998 February; 106(Suppl 1): 383–385.

PMCID: PMC1533294
Copyright notice
Research Article
Low-level exposures: some implications for the U.S. Department of Energy.
J R Beall

Office of Health and Environmental Research, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC, USA.
The U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) maintains several programs to study and understand the health and environmental effects of exposure to low levels of energy-related agents. These programs include research to understand the mechanisms of action of agents of concern and to assess the risks associated with exposures of people and ecological systems to these agents. They also include implementing appropriate occupational safety and health standards and remediating waste sites to environmental standards. These programs require that the U.S. DOE pursue a realistic understanding of the effects of exposures to small amounts of energy-related agents. The largest of these programs involves hazardous waste remediation and includes potentially harmful exposures to low levels of numerous agents. The U.S. DOE conducts research to establish the scientific bases for the realistic assessment of risks of exposure to such wastes. As part of the U.S. DOE efforts to understand the risks of low-level exposures to hazardous waste, the Office of Health and Environmental Research and the Office of Environmental Management recently launched a broad cooperative program. It is comprised of research projects in nine general scientific areas and includes research on the health impacts and risk estimation of exposure to low levels of hazardous wastes. Projects for this new cooperative research program were selected from 610 applications and totaled approximately $47 million in fiscal year 1996.

This program marks a new approach by using basic research to reduce cleanup costs

and to develop scientific foundations for advances in environmental technologies. The research will also examine the effects of exposure to low levels of chemical and radiological wastes.

end quote.

“Since the Department of Interior will retain the ultimate land management for all
of the public lands encompassing the Range, they, as well as the Air Force should be
consulted concerning the proposal to potentially disperse more than 1.5 tons of Depleted
Uranium (DU) and up to 100 pounds of Beryllium on the public lands encompassing the
Range.” (Source: Paul J. Liebendorfer, P.E. Bureau of Federal Facilities, State of Nevada,
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Division of Environmental Protection
333 W. Nye Lane, Room 138 Carson City, Nevada 89706-0851, Letter dated July 12 1999 to
Mr. George Laskar Assistant Area Manager Department of Energy, Albuquerque Operations
office P. O. Box 5400 Albuquerque, NM 87185

Soils Project
Soils Project analyzes contaminated surface and shallow subsurface soils
on the Nevada Test Site and the Nellis Test and Training Range, including
the Tonopah Test Range.

Contamination at these sites is the result of historic nuclear detonations,
weapons safety experiments, rocket engine development, and hydronuclear tests.

The contaminants of concern are primarily
depleted uranium, and
other man-made radioactive materials.

In addition, there are sites where metals may be present above regulatory limits.
The U.S. Department of Energy Nevada Site Office is working closely with the
U.S. Air Force and the State of Nevada to determine what corrective
actions may be necessary.” (Source: US Department of Energy,
National Nuclear Security
Administration, U.S. DOE/NNSA – Nevada Site Office Environment Management
end quote.

In my local context, the US DOE contractors down here call people who challenge their view “radiophobic” or sufferers of a “melt down in reason”. In actual fact they would have a little bit of trouble saying such things if they used the terms to describe the Nevada legislature or the DOE Office of Land Management or the EPA. The fact is but for the conflicting military and civil requirements present in the USA as outlined above, in addition to the ongoing cleanup of legacy ‘Superfund’ sites such as Hanford and other sites, the US DOE would have had far less need to tender off shore.

I wonder at why it is that Federal agencies in the USA negotiate with the US Air Force in regard to the amount of declared contaminants of concern should be permitted to be dispersed on the Fallon Naval Air Gunnery Range. The Air Force disperses it, with taxpayer funding. The DOE Office of Land Management is mandated to clean it up, again with taxpayer funds.

If only it really were “like vitamins”. But it is not.

I wonder how long it will be before Thorium toothpaste is re released.

Google Fallon Cancer Cluster CDC.

The US DOE Office of Land Management confirms that contaminants of concern do exist. The emissions of these contaminants of concern are not similar to those emitted by a CT scan. The use of a CT scanner without valid medical need is a breach of medical ethics.

The exposure of individuals and populations to “contaminant of concern” a breach of the findings of the ACHRE Final Report.