with the National Academy of Sciences for a review of the dose reconstruction program of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

In response to the congressional mandate, the Academy formed a committee in the Board on Radiation Effects Research of the Division on Earth and Life Studies to conduct a review of the DTRA dose reconstruction program. Because dose reconstruction is a multidisciplinary science, the committee consisted of members with expertise in radiation physics, pathway analysis, biomedical ethics, health physics, biostatistics, and epidemiology. The study began in December 2000.

The task set before the committee is described in the following scope of work:

The committee will conduct a review which will consist of the selection of random samples of doses reconstructed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in order to determine: 1) whether or not the reconstruction of the sample doses is accurate; 2) whether or not the reconstructed doses are accurately reported; 3) whether or not the assumptions made regarding radiation exposure based on the sampled doses are credible; and 4) whether or not the data from nuclear tests used by DTRA as part of the reconstruction of the sampled doses are accurate. The committee will produce a report that will include a detailed description of the activities of the committee. If appropriate, the committee will make recommendations regarding a permanent system of review of the dose reconstruction program of DTRA. If after a year the committee has concluded that its findings differ from the previously published and congressionally directed studies or that significant changes are required to the existing dose reconstruction procedures and methodology, it will issue an interim letter report summarizing its findings and will make appropriate recommendations for any changes warranted.

In this report, the committee is transmitting the results of the review of the DTRA dose reconstruction program that the committee conducted in fulfillment of its task.


I.B.1 The US Nuclear-Weapons Testing Program

The US nuclear-weapons testing program began during World War II with Shot TRINITY, the first test of an atomic bomb. TRINITY, a plutonium implosion device, was detonated at 5:30 a.m. on July 16, 1945, from a 100-ft tower in the Journada del Muerto (Journey of Death) Desert, in the Alamogordo bombing range in New Mexico (Malik, 1985). It had a yield equivalent to 21 kilotons of TNT.

Thunderstorms and rain squalls had threatened to postpone the test, but the weather improved and the test was allowed. Radiation monitoring of fallout

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