DOE Openness: Human Radiation Experiments: What's New
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S
VOLUME I. INTRODUCTION
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
This volume briefly describes the Epidemiologic Records Inventory Project, HAI's role in the project, and the history of the DOE and Rocky Flats. It provides information on the methodology used to inventory and describe the record series contained in subsequent volumes. In addition, Volume I contains all of the appendices developed for this guide.
Other volumes in the guide pertain to administrative and general subjects, facilities and equipment, waste management, production and materials handling, workplace and environmental monitoring, and employee health. In addition, HAI has produced a subject-specific guide titled The September 1957 Rocky Flats Fire: A Guide to Record Series of the Department of Energy and Its Contractors, which researchers should consult for further information about records related to this incident.
The Epidemiologic Records Inventory Project
In May 1992, the DOE Office of Epidemiology and Health Surveillance (EH-42), responsible for the coordination of health-related activities throughout the DOE complex, directed each DOE and DOE contractor site to prepare an inventory of all records useful for worker or community health-related studies. EH-42 prepared and furnished each site with guidelines that defined epidemiologic records, provided instructions for describing record series, outlined the sites' role in inventorying epidemiologic records, and discussed the relationship of the epidemiologic inventory to DOE's comprehensive records inventory. The epidemiologic inventories should be completed in 1995. It should be noted, however, that some of the information contained in the site records inventories, such as the location of active (still in use) records or the volume of the records, may change over time. The continued usefulness of the inventories and this guide depends on their systematic update.
Role of HAI
As part of its task to verify and conduct inventories of epidemiologic and health-related records at DOE and DOE contractor sites, HAI conducted a pilot study at the DOE Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site. The primary purpose of this project was to help DOE provide information relating to health-related records, as requested by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and other stakeholders in meetings held during October 1993. As part of the project, HAI inventoried pertinent active and inactive records and identified protocols and restrictions governing access to them. HAI's work would not have been possible without DOE's commitment to openness and to facilitating access to these records.
History of the DOE
For nearly three decades, the AEC directed the nation's nuclear program, from the development of nuclear weapons to the production of nuclear power. In 1974, Congress passed the Energy Reorganization Act, which split the AEC into the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). ERDA assumed responsibility for nuclear research and development and oversight of the nuclear weapons program, while the NRC licensed and regulated the industrial and commercial use of radionuclides and nuclear power. ERDA also took charge of the energy research and development programs of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Bureau of Mines and the Office of Coal Research of the Department of Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).(2) The creation of ERDA represented the Nixon Administration's interest in establishing a centrally directed national energy policy. Events such as the 1973 Arab oil embargo and the 1973-1974 price increases instituted by OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] demonstrated the need to identify immediate energy needs and priorities and establish long range goals as a way to lessen the nation's dependency on foreign sources of energy.
A shortage of natural gas during the winter of 1976-1977 further exposed the nation's vulnerability as an energy consumer. In response to the crisis, the Carter Administration urged Congress to reorganize ERDA and establish a cabinet-level organization to direct national energy policy. With the easing of Cold War tensions in the late 1980s, the DOE restructured its priorities around nuclear waste management, environmental restoration, conservation, and the development of new energy sources.(3)
The AEC began operations at Rocky Flats in 1952. One of the plant's main missions was to fabricate plutonium pits, or triggers, which contain fissile plutonium fuel for nuclear weapons. Rocky Flats did the foundry and machine shop work needed to manufacture and assemble the pits into finished products and then shipped them to the DOE Pantex Facility near Amarillo, Texas, for final assembly. In addition, Rocky Flats performed plutonium recovery and waste management activities. Dow Chemical Company (1952-1975), Rockwell International Corporation (1975-December 31, 1989), and EG&G Corporation (January 1, 1990-1995) have operated the plant for DOE.(5)
On June 6, 1989, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the Rocky Flats Plant as part of its investigation of allegations of mismanagement, negligence, and criminal practices. On the first day of the raid, federal agents seized an unknown quantity of official DOE records without allowing photocopies to be made. Afterwards, records management personnel were able to make photocopies of other records being taken by the agents. Rockwell International, the plant operator at the time, eventually pled guilty to ten counts, including violations of the Clean Water Act, and agreed to pay a fine of $18.5 million.(6)
In September 1989, the Rocky Flats Plant was placed on the national priorities list of the EPA's Superfund hazardous waste sites. The plant ceased operations in November 1989 and began its transformation to a cleanup site in February 1992. The plutonium production facilities have been deactivated, and the plant site eventually will be decommissioned. Current principal program activities at Rocky Flats include safety, environmental protection, and environmental restoration.
NARA is responsible for overseeing the management of records by federal agencies and for storing federal records. Headquartered in Washington, DC, NARA operates regional branch offices. NARA and its branches permanently store valuable archival records and also assist patrons in conducting research in historical records. Permanent records, when transferred to NARA's Office of the National Archives, become the property of NARA. Researchers are not required to have the originating agency's prior approval to review unclassified records that are in the permanent custody of NARA.
In addition, NARA's Office of Federal Records Centers operates regional records centers. Federal agencies have the option of storing their inactive records at one or more of the federal records centers. The records stored in these facilities, however, remain the property of the agency. As such, they may be recalled by the custodial agency at any time and may or may not be returned to the center. In addition, permission to review records stored in a federal records center must be granted by the custodial agency.
As part of the DOE site reconfiguration process, some Rocky Flats records are in the process of being transferred to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the Kansas City Plant. Researchers should verify the location of records listed in this guide prior to making access arrangements.
For specific information or permission to access Rocky Flats records, please contact:
U.S. Department of Energy
Records Retention and Disposition Schedules
Records scheduling at all DOE sites are governed by two main sets of guidelines: the General Records Schedules (GRS) and the DOE Records Schedules (DOERS).(8) The GRS provides retention periods for records that are common to all federal offices, such as those pertaining to procurement, civilian personnel, printing, communications, or other routine functions. The GRS does not address the disposition of DOE program records, which are unique to that agency. These records are regulated by the DOERS. The two records schedules should be considered together to gain an understanding of the universe of DOE recordkeeping requirements. For further information, see NARA's Disposition of Federal Records and DOE Order 1324.2A.(9)
NARA Standard Form 135s
Records Storage Receipts
Pit Surveillance Program (PSP) Database
For this project, HAI verified DOE's and EG&G's inventories of active records and inventoried inactive records generated by present and past operators of the Rocky Flats site. Descriptions of the methodology concerning these two activities are discussed separately.
Active Records Inventory
During three site visits, HAI verified the inventory data that DOE and EG&G collected for records in the Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Health, and Waste Management organizations. Planning began with HAI's review of the inventory worksheets prepared by DOE and EG&G records management staff. As a result of this review, HAI targeted certain inventory forms to be checked by HAI staff. While onsite, HAI compared actual records to the completed inventory forms. During the performance of the active records work, HAI verified inventory worksheets for approximately 1,300 cubic feet of records and 204 reels of microfilm and interviewed about one hundred employees about the records in their care.
During the completion of onsite active records verification, HAI also gathered additional information regarding records described in the site inventories, using a supplemental inventory form, titled Active Records Verification Worksheet. Using this method, HAI incorporated active record series descriptions with inactive records whenever possible.
Inactive Records Inventory
HAI planned for the inactive records inventory by reading secondary source materials and discussing the types of records selected for review with several individuals, including staff at Rocky Flats, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and CDPHE. HAI also reviewed the active records inventory sheets prepared by Rocky Flats records management staff to gain further insight into the types of inactive records created by these organizations in the past.
HAI staff members also reviewed organizational charts and finding aids, including Records Storage Receipts and NARA Standard Form 135s. Using these tools, HAI developed selection criteria for the project which outlined HAI's methodology for choosing boxes to review. When the project began, HAI also developed a methodology for sampling records, since the initial number of boxes falling under the selection criteria numbered several thousand. As the project's scope expanded, however, HAI eventually inventoried most epidemiologic records held by the site, excluding administrative files, word processing files, reference materials, schedules of daily activities, time control logs, and routine procurement files. For more information on HAI's selection criteria, see Appendix B.
Using the selection criteria, HAI compiled box lists of inactive Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Health, Production, and Waste Management records to review during its work at Rocky Flats. A small number of storage receipts for classified records, which also proved to be classified, were reviewed in the Building 881 Archives.
HAI inventoried a total of 3,875 cubic feet of records stored at the DFRC and other Rocky Flats repositories during six site visits. HAI staff members examined records contained in each box and recorded the information on more than 1,818 of HAI's Inventory Form-Epidemiologic and Health Records. For a complete list of records reviewed by HAI for this project, see Appendix C. Potential sources of information, reviewed by HAI but not included in the series descriptions, have been compiled in Appendix D.
Once the site visits were complete, HAI staff analyzed and compiled the inventory forms and described the record series. Often the record series descriptions combined information on active and inactive records, stored in a number of locations or maintained in a variety of media, including audiovisual and electronic.
The seven volumes in this guide reflect information collected from research conducted during site visits from March 1994 through January 1995. Users of this guide should note that omissions are likely due to the nature of the records targeted for research. For example, the June 6, 1989, seizure of records by the Federal Bureau of Investigation rendered an unknown quantity of records unavailable for review by HAI staff. Moreover, HAI team members did not inventory records stored in radiation-controlled areas.
HAI relied on existing finding aids prepared for Rocky Flats records. HAI was unable to verify that
these research tools include all records that may exist. In addition, researchers should note that records
at all of the repositories listed in this guide may be moved, reviewed for changes in disposition authority,
transferred to a different location, and changed to a different format (i.e., from paper to microfilm).
HAI grouped the record series descriptions into seven volumes to facilitate research. A brief explanation of each volume is as follows:
II. Administrative and General
III. Facilities and Equipment
IV. Production and Materials Handling
V. Waste Management
VI. Workplace and Environmental Monitoring
VII. Employee Occupational Exposure and Health
Due to the differences between paper and electronic records, HAI collected different data for each of these record formats. Below are listed the data items, with corresponding explanations, included in record series descriptions. A similar list for electronic file descriptions is also provided.
Record Series Descriptions
Data items are listed alphabetically and further explained below:
Access restrictions apply to some of the record series found within the guide. Record series containing documents that are classified for national security reasons require a DOE Q clearance and a need-to-know for access. Need-to-know applies to classified records only; individuals holding clearances must be granted need-to-know by the office responsible for granting access to the records.
Personnel and other employee files may contain personal information which is protected in a Privacy Act System of Records and may not be available for public inspection. HAI has indicated which records may be protected under the terms of the Privacy Act.(12)
Certain DOE records, though unclassified, are considered sensitive. These records may include designations such as Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI) and Official Use Only (OUO). Researchers interested in gaining access to unclassified sensitive records should consult the DOE Records Management Department for further guidance.
To assist researchers and others in understanding the types of classified information, and the
restrictions that govern access, the following excerpts from the DOE's Understanding Classification
(June 1987) are provided(13)
Categories of Classified Information
1. RESTRICTED DATA (RD) is a special category of classified information with which the DOE is principally concerned. The Restricted Data category is defined in the Atomic Energy Act as follows:
The term RESTRICTED DATA means all data concerning (1) the design, manufacture, or utilization of atomic weapons; (2) the production of special nuclear material; or (3) the use of special nuclear material in the production of energy, but shall not include data declassified or removed from the Restricted Data category pursuant to section 142.
2. FORMERLY RESTRICTED DATA (FRD) is information which has been removed from the Restricted Data category after the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense (DOD) have jointly determined that the information relates primarily to the military utilization of atomic weapons and can be adequately safeguarded in the same manner as National Security Information in the United States. This is known as transclassification. Such data may not be given to any other nation except under specially approved agreements.
3. NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION (NSI) is information which requires protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interest of the national defense or foreign relations of the United States and has been determined to be classified in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12356 or a prior Executive order.(14)
Levels of Classified Information
1. TOP SECRET is the level assigned to information of utmost importance to the national defense and security. Its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security.
2. SECRET is the level for information which, in the event of an unauthorized disclosure, could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to national security.
3. CONFIDENTIAL is the level for information which, in the event of unauthorized disclosure, could reasonably be expected to cause damage to national security.
For further information, see DOE Order 5635.4 and DOE Office of Security Affairs, Headquarters, Security Education Overview Handbook (DOE/SA-0004).(15)
Accession/Other Identification Number
Container Numbers and Disposition Authorities that correspond to these accession/ identification numbers also are listed sequentially and are inclusive. For example, accession number 1) 326-72E-994 corresponds to container number 1) SB203990; accession number 2) 326-75A-256 corresponds to container numbers 2) 791881-791883, etc. In the case of disposition authority, accession number 1) 326-72E-994 corresponds to disposition authority 1) DOE (1988) 1.8b; accession number 2) 326-75A-256 corresponds to disposition authority 2) DOE (1980) C25.9g, etc.
Most inactive records are stored in standard containers that hold one cubic foot of documents. HAI recorded the container number as part of the record description. Other types of record containers, such as binders and file cabinets are described as completely as possible.
In accordance with the guidelines in Information Required by the Department of Energy for Epidemiologic and Health Studies, DOE developed a list of 123 data elements to assign to record series descriptions. In general, the data elements consist of terms pertaining to contractor organizations, individual employees, industrial hygiene activities, and facility characteristics that help describe the major information contained in a record series.
During the course of HAI's inventory work at Rocky Flats, the DOE and HAI jointly developed a revised list which contains 86 data elements. The list has been reorganized in a topical manner in order to facilitate inventory work. In addition, the revised list includes a new data element (124) for onsite sampling. The HAI team, as part of its inventory and description of records, determined which data elements were pertinent to each record series for both active and inactive records. Both lists of data elements are included as part of this guide in Appendix F. Please note that the revised list is arranged topically, not numerically.
The data elements that HAI considered pertinent to the record series are listed in numerical order at the end of the records series descriptions. The numbers correspond to the revised data elements list.
For records scheduled according to DOERS, the schedule number and item number are provided (e.g., DOE (1988) 7.9b, refers to schedule 7, item 9b). HAI has also indicated when the citation corresponds to DOERS version dated 1980 (DOE Order 1324.2) or 1988 (DOE Order 1324.2A). Before a record series is assigned a disposition authority under the DOERS, NARA assigns an interim schedule number which begins with the internal classification "N1." Researchers should note that disposition authorities beginning with "N1" are pending approval by NARA. Disposition authorities prefaced by the letter "C," such as DOE (1980) C16.5b, correspond to the DOE Contractor Records Schedules, found under DOE Order 1324.2
At other times, HAI has made note of records with disposition authorities different from the GRS or DOERS. Often these correspond to records schedules maintained by contracting organizations. Examples are: "75 years," "until dismantlement of facility," or "6 months after removal from stockpile." For other records, HAI found it necessary to indicate "unscheduled" or "records schedule under revision."
Title and Inclusive Dates
Electronic System Descriptions
Data items are listed alphabetically and further explained below:
1. Richard G. Hewlett and Oscar E. Anderson, A History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Vol. 1, The New World, 1939-1946 (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1962); Richard G. Hewlett and Francis Duncan, A History of the Atomic Energy Commission, Vol. 2, Atomic Shield, 1947-1952 (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1969); Charles W. Johnson and Charles O. Jackson, City Behind a Fence: Oak Ridge Tennessee, 1942-1946 (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1981); Vincent C. Jones, Manhattan: The Army and the Atomic Bomb (Washington, DC: U.S. Army, Center for Military History, 1984); James W. Kunetka, City of Fire: Los Alamos and the Atomic Age, 1943-1945 (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1979); Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1986).
2. Richard G. Hewlett and Jack M. Holl, A History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Vol. 3, Atoms for Peace and War: Eisenhower and the Atomic Energy Commission, 1953-1961 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1989); Richard G. Hewlett and B.J. Dierenfield, The Federal Role and Activities in Energy Research and Development, 1946-1980: An Historical Summary (Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1983).
3. Terrence R. Fehner and Jack M. Holl, The United States Department of Energy: An Historical Summary, 1977-1994 (Washington, DC: United States Department of Energy, History Division, 1994).
4. Michelle A. Hanson, "Site History of Rocky Flats" (United States Department of Energy, History Division, January 1993), 1-7.
5. Ibid., 1-7.
6. Clean Water Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-500), as amended by the Water Quality Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-4).
7. National Archives and Records Administration, NARA and the Disposition of Federal Records: Laws and Authorities and Their Implementation (Washington, DC: NARA, 1989), D-7.
8. National Archives and Records Administration, Office of Records Administration, General Records Schedules (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1992) (To obtain a copy, contact National Archives and Records Administration, Office of Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408); United States Department of Energy, DOE Order 1324.2, Records Disposition: May 28, 1980, as amended by DOE Order 1324.2A, September 13, 1988. DOE Order 1324.2A was rescinded in January 1995.
9. NARA and the Disposition of Federal Records: Laws and Authorities and Their Implementation; DOE Order 1324.2A.
10. Records Transmittal and Receipt (NARA Standard Form 135) [FPMR (41 CFR) 101-11.4], June 1961, revised June 1976.
11. Privacy Act of 1974 [Public Law 93-579 (Title 5 USC 552a)], as amended.
13. United States Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs, Office of Classification, Understanding Classification (DOE/DP-0007/1), June 1987.
14. "Executive Order 12356," Federal Register 47, No. 64 (April 2, 1982): 14874.
15. United States Department of Energy, Office of Security Affairs, Headquarters, Security Education Overview Handbook [Washington, DC: United States Department of Energy (DOE/SA-0004), undated].