Case #37: A photographer for the Army who served in Operations TEAPOT (1955) and PLUMBBOB (1957) might not have been given the benefit of the doubt. One uncertainty concerned his date of arrival at the NTS. On the same day (August 21, 2000), the same person at JAYCOR evidently wrote two memoranda to the same analyst at SAIC, one stamped “Received” citing the veteran’s date of arrival at Camp Desert Rock as March 23, 1955, and one not stamped “Received” giving his date of arrival as April 18, 1955. The analyst evidently treated April 18 as the correct date, thereby excluding the possibility that the veteran participated in the several shots in TEAPOT that fell between those dates. Additional uncertainty attends his dates of participation in 1957. The file contains no direct statement from the veteran, but there is a note that he claimed that he was present by special orders (of which he had a numbered record, issued April 19, 1955) in a tank at ground zero within 1 h of a detonation. Evidently, some records related to these special orders have survived, but they are not in the SAIC file. The mission would probably have occurred at Shot APPLE-II, which took place on May 5, 1955. No film badge record remains for estimating the veteran’s dose. There was apparently also a question regarding the veteran’s unit. An initial dose assessment gave him the benefit of the doubt by assuming that he was a member of the most highly exposed unit, but a later assessment reduced his dose by assigning him a weighted average of the doses to the various units participating in the exercise.
Case #87: A number of veterans had a clear potential for skin contamination. One Army veteran operated earth-moving equipment during Operation UPSHOT-KNOTHOLE and later developed skin cancer (see Figure V.A.6). Earth-moving was required in building roadways, setting up target areas, clearing sites after shots, and digging trenches in preparation for new tests. This kind of work was presumably very dusty in the Nevada desert, and there were regular opportunities for both skin dose (through being dirty all day) and inhalation of radioactive dust produced by resuspension of radionuclides in previously deposited fallout. The veteran also was an observer in the trenches during shots. In the dose reconstruction, the veteran seems to have been assigned a generic dose on the basis of averaging the daily person-time that engineering units would have spent in clearing operations and estimating the probability that each member participated. In short, an average dose for the unit was calculated and assigned to the veteran. However, there may have been considerable variation in dose among the participants in this work, and the unavoidable uncertainty about what this particular veteran was assigned to do remains unaccounted for, given that the assigned upper-bound dose is within a factor of 2 of the central estimate.