DOE Openness: Human Radiation Experiments: Roadmap to the Project
Part II: Agency Information and Services
Part II: Agency Information and ServicesAs part of the Advisory Committee's effort to improve citizen access to information, we asked the agencies providing information to the Committee--chiefly the members of the Interagency Working Group and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission--to respond to a series of questions concerning the handling of private information requests. We asked how citizens should make requests, what services the agencies would provide, what information resources were available, and how agencies would handle requests for information held by agency contractors and grantees. Each agency's response is summarized in its section, below. Those sections also include general information obtained from the U.S. Government Manual,19 including the location of FOIA reading rooms and offices.
Department of Energy
GeneralDOE maintains a Freedom of Information Act Reading Room at its headquarters in Washington. The address is FOIA Reading Room, Forrestal Building, Room 1E-190, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20585; telephone 202-586-6020. The reading room is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. General information on filing FOIA requests may be obtained from the FOIA office, 202-586-5955.
As described both in Sources and Documentation and in Human Radiation Experiments: The Department of Energy Roadmap to the Story and the Records, the History Division at DOE headquarters has custody of many collections of records. The relatively few unclassified and declassified collections that the division maintains can be examined at its office in DOE's Germantown facility: U.S. Department of Energy, History Division, HR-76, Room F031, 19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, Maryland 20874-1290; telephone 301-903-5431. The hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An appointment must be made, as there is limited space to accommodate the public.
In addition, the national laboratories around the nation hold a huge volume of records. Information at those locations is available as follows:
Argonne National Laboratory: There is no reading room at Argonne, but citizens may write: Argonne National Laboratory, Office of Public Affairs, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, Illinois 60439; 708-252-5575.
Brookhaven National Laboratory: There is no reading room at Brookhaven, but citizens may write: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Office of Public Affairs, Building 134, P.O. Box 5000, Upton, New York 22973; 516-282-2345.
Hanford: DOE Public Reading Room, P. O. Box 999 - Mail Stop H2-53, Richland, Washington 99352; 509-376-8583. This facility is in the library at Washington State University - Tri-Cities Campus, 100 Sprout Road, Richland, Washington. The hours are 8:00 a.m.-noon and 1:00-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Los Alamos National Laboratory: Public Reading Room, 1350 Central Avenue - Suite 101, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544; 505-665-2127 or 800-343-2342. The reading room is open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
Idaho National Engineering Laboratory: DOE Idaho Operations Public Reading Room, 1776 Science Center Drive, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415-2300; 208-526-9162. The hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: There is no reading room at Lawrence Livermore, but citizens may write: Area Relations - Mail Stop L404, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, Livermore, California 94550.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Oak Ridge Operations (ORO) Public Reading Room, 55 Jefferson Circle, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831; 615-241-4780. The hours are
8:00 - 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. In addition to the laboratory itself (ORNL), the Oak Ridge complex also encompasses the regional DOE office (ORO) and an independent research institute (ORISE) operated by a consortium of universities. The regional office may be contacted by writing: Oak Ridge Operations Office (ORO), P.O. Box 2001, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831. The research institute may be contacted by writing: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), P.O. Box 117, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-0117.
Information on Human Radiation ExperimentsIn response to the Advisory Committee's request, the Department of Energy has provided the following information about its resources and services for citizens inquiring about human radiation experiments.
General Department of Energy information about human radiation experiments sponsored by DOE and its predecessors, and referrals, may be requested through the Radiation Research Helpline (1-800-493-2998) or by writing to the Department of Energy, Office of Human Radiation Experiments (OHRE), EH-8, 1000 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20585.
The largest body of pertinent records is maintained by the Coordination and Information Center (CIC). All CIC material is declassified, screened, and redacted for public dissemination. The CIC may be contacted by writing to the Coordination and Information Center, 3084 South Highland Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109, or by calling 702-295-0731. Although generally equivalent for DOE-related human radiation experiment records, the ACHRE and CIC collections are not identical: The ACHRE collection contains most but not all of CIC's Human Radiation Experiments records series and has some DOE records not represented in CIC collections. For further information on CIC documentation, see "How to Go From the ACHRE Collection to Agency Records" in part IV, below.
Medical records should be requested from the facility where the medical services were performed. Current or former DOE employees may obtain their medical records from the site where they worked or from the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis, Missouri, which may be contacted directly (314-538-3882). Dosimetry records documenting occupational radiation exposures are maintained for both government and contractor personnel; they should be requested from the DOE manager at the site where exposure may have occurred. DOE also maintains a consolidated collection of dosimetry records related to weapons testing, including both civilian and military information. Information may be requested by writing to the Dosimetry Research Program (DRP), P.O. Box 98521, Las Vegas, Nevada 89193-8521, or by calling 702-295-0731. DOE will also help to identify and locate records that are not in the custody of the department, although citizens must contact those institutions or individuals themselves.
Several DOE departments have created finding aids that may be useful in finding HRE records: (1) As mentioned above, the report Human Radiation Experiments: The Department of Energy Roadmap to the Story and the Records, prepared by the Office on Human Radiation Experiments, provides summaries of that office's findings and descriptions of some relevant record collections. (2) An electronic index to pertinent CIC holdings is available at the CIC and OHRE offices and at DOE's reading rooms. Citizens may request searches or do their own at those locations. (3) For those with Internet access, recently declassified documents are available from DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information through its World Wide Webinformation sources. presence, Opennet (http://www.doe.gov/html/osti/opennet/opennet1.html). And another group of databases on the Internet, created by OHRE, provide full access to the documents in the CIC collection. (Further information about OHRE and this complex of databases [called HREX] may be obtained from its World Wide Web site, http://www.hss.energy.gov/healthsafety/ohre.) Finally, OHRE issued a supplement to its February 1995 report in July 1995 entitled Human Radiation Experiments Associated with the U.S. Department of Energy and Its Predecessors. This volume adds to the information reported in the February 1995 volume, and also includes summaries of the nearly 150 HREs reported by DOE.
Department of Defense
GeneralThe Department of Defense's Freedom of Information Act offices may be contacted as follows: DOD, 703-697-1180; Army, 703-607-3452; Navy, 703-697-1459; Air Force, 703-697-3467.
Information on Human Radiation ExperimentsIn response to the Advisory Committee's request, the Department of Defense has provided the following information about its resources and services for citizens inquiring about human radiation experiments.
Information concerning human radiation experiments sponsored or conducted by the Department of Defense is available chiefly through the Radiation Experiments Command Center (RECC), the DOD equivalent of DOE's Office of Human Radiation Experiments. RECC is operated under contract by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). The primary method of contacting RECC is by referral from the DOE Radiation Research Helpline (1-800-493-2998)--RECC does not provide direct telephone assistance. Citizens may also write directly to RECC: Radiation Experiments Command Center, 6801 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22310-3398. Individuals contacting RECC will be requested to fill out a survey form to facilitate the search for records responsive to their requests. The RECC collection and the ACHRE collection of DOD materials are generally equivalent. For further information on RECC documentation, see "How to Go From the ACHRE Collection to Agency Records" in part IV, below.
RECC does not keep medical records but will assist those who request them by contacting the appropriate facility and referring the individual there. Active duty military personnel will find their complete medical records at their current duty stations; upon retirement or discharge, their files are transferred to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Former military personnel may contact the center directly (314-538-3882).
RECC maintains a database of information on human radiation experiment documents identified during DOD's search and a database of secondary information concerning the history and policy behind the activities. Case files on individuals exposed to radiation are being created and categorized by exposure. RECC will also help citizens contact private institutions involved in DOD-sponsored programs, within the limits of the Privacy Act.
Another DOD resource is the Nuclear Test Personnel Review Program (NTPRP) operated by the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA), which has obtained a considerable volume of records and information related to military and civilian participants in atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962. Unclassified and declassified records that do not contain privacy information can be reviewed by the public at a special library at DNA headquarters. The program also provides certain informational and referral services to participants. The address is Defense Nuclear Agency, Nuclear Test Personnel Review Program, 6801 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22310; telephone 1-800-462-3683. Additional services may be available through the VA's Ionizing Radiation Registry Examination Program (see VA section, below).
Department of Health and Human Services
GeneralThere is no general reading room for the Department of Health and Human Services, nor for its research divisions, the Public Health Service and the National Institutes of Health. Each institute of NIH maintains its own information facilities, including its own office of public affairs. For help in identifying the sort of information needed and how to obtain it, a good place to start is the National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland. The general information line for NIH is 301-496-4000.
Information on Human Radiation ExperimentsIn response to the Advisory Committee's request, the Department of Health and Human Services has provided the following information about its resources and services for citizens inquiring about human radiation experiments.
DHHS sponsors two types of research--intramural ("within the walls"), research conducted by DHHS staff members, and extramural ("outside the walls"), research conducted outside DHHS by contractors or grantees. DHHS keeps medical records only for individuals who participated in intramural research. Inquiries concerning such records should be directed in writing to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health/Communications, Department of Health and Human Services, Hubert Humphrey Building - Room 701H, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201.
There are four DHHS databases that may help identify potential human radiation experiments. The first is the Clinical Center intramural protocol database (also called the Protocols by Institute database), which was created at the Advisory Committee's request to index information about NIH intramural research. This database was completed in February 1995 and contains more than 5,000 entries for the period 1953 through November 1994. More recent information on extramural research is included in the CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects) database, which contains records for all PHS extramural projects and for NIH and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intramural projects. The most comprehensive database is called IMPAC and includes information on awards as far back as 1944, although not all programs are included for their entire tenure and the information on early awards is limited. Finally, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is creating a database with entries for all articles written by investigators whose human radiation experiments were supported by NIH. (Thus the database will contain citations for both radiation and nonradiation research.) NLM expects the database will eventually contain approximately 100,000 entries.
DHHS has a contractual relationship with its contractors and grantees that limits its access to the records they create to those occasions required by agency functions. Consequently, although DHHS will help citizens identify the independent researchers and institutions that hold their medical records, it asks that the initial contact be made by the citizen. If that approach is unsuccessful, DHHS will attempt to obtain the records. Citizens are encouraged to contact DHHS to make a precise determination of whom to contact and what information to include in their inquiries.
Department of Veterans Affairs
GeneralThe VA maintains a reading room at its central office in Washington, D.C., where citizens may inspect or copy VA records available to the public. The address is Room 170, 810 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20420; telephone 202-233-2356. For further information, contact the Office of Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20420; telephone 202-273-5700.
Information on Human Radiation ExperimentsIn response to the Advisory Committee's request, the Department of Veterans Affairs has provided the following information about its resources and services for citizens inquiring about human radiation experiments.
The VA is continuing to look for information on human radiation experiments in its own records and will assist citizens in identifying nongovernment records related to their case histories. It has also published a fact sheet, "Information for Veterans Exposed to Radiation" (November 1994). Requests for information about participation in experiments may be made directly to the director of the appropriate VA medical center or to the director of the regional VA office (toll-free 1-800-827-1000). The VA maintains an Ionizing Radiation Registry Examination Program for veterans who may have been exposed to the ionizing radiation while on active duty in the period 1945-1962. Information about the program may be requested in writing from: Director, Environmental Epidemiology Service (103E), Department of Veterans Affairs, 1120 20th Street, Suite 950, Washington, D.C. 20036-3406, telephone 202-606-5420. Additional information may be requested from DOD's Nuclear Test Personnel Review Program (see DOD section, above).
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
GeneralThe NASA Headquarters Information Center is in Room 1H23, 300 E Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20546, and is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. For information about holdings, telephone 202-358-1000.
Information on Human Radiation ExperimentsIn response to the Advisory Committee's request, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has provided the following information about its resources and services for citizens inquiring about human radiation experiments.
NASA's records concerning human radiation experiments are generally limited to summary reports from principal investigators and do not contain medical information on individuals, apart from the records of astronauts. Information about individual participation may be requested in writing under the Privacy Act using FOIA procedures and NASA's standard Human Radiation Exposure Log form. Inquiries should be directed to: NASA Johnson Space Center, Freedom of Information Coordinator, Public Affairs Office, Mail Code AP2, Houston, Texas 77058, Attn.: Director, Space and Life Sciences Directorate. NASA's information retrieval systems in this area are limited, and success will largely depend on the quality and detail of the information provided to NASA. NASA will refer requests for information requiring access to non-NASA records to the appropriate individual or institution.
Central Intelligence Agency
GeneralThe CIA does not maintain a public reading room but does issue several publications that may be of interest. For information, write: Central Intelligence Agency, Public Affairs Office, Washington, D.C. 20505, or telephone 703-351-2053.
Information on Human Radiation ExperimentsIn response to the Advisory Committee's request, the Central Intelligence Agency has provided the following information about its resources and services for citizens inquiring about human radiation experiments.
The CIA has no special facilities for handling requests concerning human radiation experiments nor any information resources specifically concerned with them. Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act requests should be filed in the usual ways. The CIA is not prepared to facilitate the identification or the retrieval of nongovernment records that may be associated with government activities. Requests should be addressed in writing to: Information and Privacy Coordinator, CIA, Washington, D.C. 20505.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
GeneralThe Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Headquarters Public Document Room maintains an extensive collection of documents related to NRC licensing proceedings and other significant decisions and actions, and documents from the regulatory activities of the former Atomic Energy Commission. The reading room is located at 2120 L Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.; telephone 202-634-3273, toll-free 800-397-4209 or fax 202-634-3343. The Public Document Room is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., except on federal holidays. Reference librarians are available to assist users with information requests. A bibliographic database is available for on-line searching twenty-four hours a day. For additional information call the above telephone number or write: Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Public Document Room, Washington, D.C. 20555.
The commission also maintains eighty-eight local public document rooms in libraries in cities and towns near commercially operated nuclear power reactors and certain nonpower reactor facilities. A list of local public document rooms is available from the Director, Division of Freedom of Information and Publications Services, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001. To obtain specific information about the availability of documents at the local public document rooms, NRC's Local Public Document Room Program staff may be contacted directly by calling, toll-free, 800-638-8081. Citizens may also request the publication Users' Guide for the NRC Public Document Room (NUREG/BR-0004, Rev. 2).
Freedom of Information Act inquiries should be directed in writing to the Director, Division of Freedom of Information and Publications Services, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001. For further information, call 301-415-7175.
For general information, contact the Office of Public Affairs, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001; telephone 301-415-8200. Citizens may request the publication Citizen's Guide to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Information (NUREG/BR-0100, Rev. 2).
Information on Human Radiation ExperimentsIn response to the Advisory Committee's request, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has provided the following information about its resources and services for citizens inquiring about human radiation experiments.
Although the NRC and its predecessor, the regulatory division of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), have not conducted or sponsored human radiation experiments, their license files do contain some relevant information about the radioactive materials that were distributed and the purposes to which they were put, human radiation experiments among them. AEC and NRC records do not contain names or other identifying information about the subjects of such experiments and only rarely contain detailed information about the experiments themselves. The NRC also collects information about occupational exposures, medical misadministrations, and other cases of overexposure. This information is available to the public, subject to the restrictions of the Privacy Act and FOIA. Citizens may request agency documents under the Freedom of Information Act and/or the Privacy Act by writing to: Director, Division of Freedom of Information and Publication Services, Office of Administration, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001.
The agency will search all agency records, if requested to do so, and can search license files by institution.