[ RadSafe ] Relative Radiation Dose chart

Douglas Minnema DouglasM at DNFSB.GOV
Fri Apr 8 16:58:58 CDT 2011

Every few years this comes up, and every few years I feel the need to address these allegations.
During my last few years at DOE, I worked for the manager who had chartered and funded this project at Naval Reactors (NR).  When I asked him about why it was never published, he gave me the simple answers - (1) at the time the study was done, the "excess benefit" results were not considered to be significant - NR's reason for doing the study was to be sure that nobody was being unduly harmed and the study verified that to be the case; and (2) since it was an internal study for NR purposes, publication was not in the original scope of the project - when it was recognized that they should publish, NR was willing to put more money in but the researcher had already gone on to other projects and was not interested in working on the publications.
Case closed; no suppression, no conspiracy.
Besides, although I am not an epidemiologist I do understand the scientific method quite well.  The statistical tests one uses are based on the hypothesis one is testing.  In this study they were trying to determine if there was "excess risk" with exposure.  I suspect that many things would be done differently if they were testing for "absence of risk" or "excess benefit."  Consequently, it is not clear that one could jump to the conclusion that the study's results are valid for any purpose other than what the study was designed to detect.
I have a copy of the report in my basement, and I know there are other copies circulating around.  But since it is a full 3" (oops, 7.62 cm) 3-ring binder full of paper, I'm reluctant to offer to scan it for everybody.  If you really need it and can't find it, I'll find out what it would cost to scan it at FedEx/Kinko's if somebody wants to make a donation.
Doug Minnema, PhD, CHP
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board

>>> shima <shima at piments.com> 3/29/2011 5:13 AM >>>
On 03/29/11 03:16, Doug Huffman wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Genevieve Matanowski's Naval Shipyard Workers Study, 'Health Effects of
> Low Level Radiation Exposure in Naval Shipyard Workers'
> This is the most thoroughly disappeared technical literature that I know.
> On 3/28/2011 20:00, Ed Hiserodt wrote:
>> Sandy,
>> You may recall in the Johns-Hopkins study of nuclear vs. non-nuclear
>> shipyard workers that the cohort of some 70,000 participants were paired at
>> random.  "You there, go to the nuclear ships, and you there to the
>> non-nuclear."  How could a "healthy worker affect" be possible under these
>> circumstances?  But the nuclear workers had a Standard Mortality Ratio of
>> 0.74 when compared to the non-nuclear cohort.  Not what the study was
>> expected to show.  (And probably why it was not published for almost 20
>> years after analysis of the data.)
> Version: GnuPG v2.0.14 (MingW32)
> Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/ 

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