NTPR program is to provide participation data and radiation-dose information to VA and to the veterans.
As described on its Web site (http://www.dtra.mil/press_resources/fact_sheets/display.cfm?fs=ntpr), the NTPR program has four primary objectives, which are summarized below:
Providing participant and radiation-dose information to support medical and compensation programs administered by VA and the Department of Justice. The NTPR program also ensures that veterans can obtain access to relevant documents and records about their involvement in US atmospheric nuclear tests or in the occupation forces of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Conducting historical-records research. Over 100 archives nationwide have been researched for relevant information. More than 40 historical volumes and 25 analytical reports have been developed to provide details on each test and operation. The program has located, retrieved, declassified as necessary, and preserved records pertaining to US atmospheric nuclear tests. The documentation includes service and medical records, film-badge records, pocket-dosimeter logs, special orders, muster rolls, unit memoranda, ship logs, morning reports, flight logs, personal accounts, diaries, and papers.
Performing outreach service to veterans and their families and appointed representatives. The outreach includes personal contact with veterans and mass-media announcements to find veterans and publicize the availability of services and of VA’s health-care and entitlement programs.
Supporting independent scientific studies to determine whether US atmospheric nuclear-test participants have adverse health effects as a result of their participation. Some of the studies are described in the next section.
The National Research Council has conducted studies related to exposures of participants in atmospheric nuclear-weapons tests. The first report, Mortality of Nuclear Weapons Test Participants (NRC, 1985a), selected participants in five nuclear test series. Numbers of actual test participants were not well known during that study with the result that thousands of test participants were inadvertently omitted and thousands more military personnel who were not participants were included. An additional problem was the illness occurrences in the general populations as a comparison cohort, causing a “healthy soldier effect” that may have obscured illness in atomic veterans. As a consequence, the results of that study were later questioned and a second five-series study of atomic veterans was conducted (IOM, 2000).
The second report, Review of the Methods Used to Assign Radiation Doses to Service Personnel at Nuclear Weapons Tests (NRC, 1985b), was prepared to