data were already recorded in the veterans’ medical records, and often they were reported to the veterans in previous NTPR program reports, so the practice of replacing them with lower reconstructed values does not give the veterans the benefit of the doubt as required by law; it also detracts from the credibility of the dose reconstruction process by giving the appearance that the tendency of DTRA is to reduce previously reported doses whenever possible.2 The committee notes, however, that in most of the REDWING cases examined, the impact on the estimate of total external dose would have been minor.

Instances of uncertainty regarding when a badge was issued and turned in were common (see cases #10, 35, 47, 54, 74, and 97). In many cases, original film-badge records were available, but the fields for date of issue and return had never been filled in. Because reconstructed doses were calculated to account for periods when a person was not badged, incorrect assumptions regarding the period covered by a film-badge dose could have resulted in underestimation of a total dose.

The committee found one case (#32) in which previously reported badge results were in the file but were not used in the dose assessment. Cases in which suspicious data indicated possibly incorrect doses also were found. For example, in case #35, the veteran’s film-badge reading was considerably lower than the unit average.

A mission badge was usually assumed to have been worn concurrently with a permanent badge if a permanent badge had been issued, although there is some indication that this was not always true (see discussion of case #47 in Section V.A.2). If the mission-badge dose was lower than the permanent-badge dose, the mission-badge dose was assumed to be included in the permanent-badge dose, and only the dose from the permanent badge was used. If the total dose determined from mission badges exceeded that from the permanent badge, the higher dose was used. It is possible that veterans did not wear mission badges continuously between the time they were issued and the time they were turned in, so in many instances a veteran should have been given the benefit of the doubt and the mission-badge and permanent-badge readings should have been summed.

In many cases, a participant was issued a mission badge but not a permanent badge. His dose for the period not covered by the mission badge was based on a unit dose reconstruction. For example, in case #11, mission badges were issued to a participant who serviced cloud-sampling aircraft; he was not issued a permanent badge. It was assumed that his mission badges accounted for his dose from fallout on the island during the period when the badges were assigned and his reconstructed dose from fallout was modified (on the basis of his unit dose reconstruction) to reflect this, even though he may not have worn the mission badges for the entire period. Therefore, his total dose may well have been underestimated. The committee identified at least eight cases in its sample of 99 in

2  

Note that the rationale given by DTRA for accepting the film-badge reading as an estimate of deep equivalent dose, rather than applying a bias factor as recommended by NRC (1989), was supposedly to avoid the appearance of reducing previously reported doses.



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