Veterans' Advisory Board On Dose Reconstruction Met in Austin Texas
June 23 , 2006
BETHESDA, MD -- The third public meeting of the Veterans’ Advisory Board on Dose Reconstruction (VBDR) was held in Austin, Texas, June 8-9, 2006. The meeting included briefings on epidemiology models for estimating cancer risks, and a summary of findings on beta dosimetry from the National Research Council’s report on dose reconstructions for Atomic Veterans. Presentations were also given on the current status and activities of the Nuclear Test Personnel Review (NTPR) dose reconstruction program and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) compensation program. The activities and accomplishments of the four VBDR subcommittees (Dose Reconstruction, VA Claims, Quality Management, and Communications and Outreach) were also discussed.
During the meeting, 11 Veterans gave public testimony regarding cancers and other debilitating illnesses they believe resulted from their participation in atmospheric nuclear testing and other radiation-related occupational exposures. Veterans expressed concerns about problems with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) dose reconstruction procedures and some claims decisions made by the VA.
Afterward, the Board offered recommendations that they believe would, if implemented, improve the NTPR dose reconstruction process and the VA compensation program for Veterans. The Board's findings and recommendations represent its efforts to distill 12 months of audits and assessments of NTPR radiation dose assessments and VA claim procedures. These dose reconstructions are used by the VA to evaluate and decide claims by Veterans of the 1945-1946 occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, Veterans who were prisoners of war in those regions when the atomic bombs were detonated, and Veterans of U.S.-sponsored atmospheric nuclear weapons tests from 1945-1962. The Board recommended the VA should improve interaction and communication with Veterans regarding the significance of their doses in relation to their diseases.
The Board plans to hold its fourth meeting in Hampton, VA., in November 2006, and a fifth meeting is scheduled for March 2007. Meeting locations and dates will be announced when details are finalized.
For more information, please visit the VBDR website at http://www.vbdr.org.
For more information on the NTPR Program, go to: http://www.dtra.mil/SpecialFocus/NTPR/NTPRHome.aspx.
VA offers a wide variety of links and information for Veterans and their families at: http://www.va.gov/