Industry News | CWP Admin

Summary: Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health meeting

December 19, 2019

December 19, 2019

Created with Sketch. CWP Admin

Industry News

Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health receive updates from agencies; approves procedures used to reconstruct dose

The Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health held an in-person meeting on December 11, 2019 in Oakland, CA.  This board advised the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on dose reconstruction methodologies and whether a facility should be included in the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC).

NIOSH reported that they awarded a contract for outreach events to ATL who has held the contract in the past.  They also reported that they have been keeping track of how long dose reconstruction takes and the average is about 6 to 9 months.

The Department of Labor (DOL) reported their statistics on the program as well as outreach events.  Those events, some of which will include NIOSH and the Ombudsmen, will take place,

  • January 9, 2020 –  Kansas City, MO.
  • February 25-27, 2020 –  Santa Fe, NM.
  • March, 2020 –  Petersburg, FL (date to be determined).

Dr. Ziemer asked DOL to provide information on appeals of Recommended Decisions.  He would like to see how many claimants request a hearing and how many successfully overturn a recommended denial.  DOL said that they will provide that information to the Board.

Greg Lewis presented the program update for the Department of Energy.  A board member asked who controls employment records.  Mr. Lewis explained that DOE owns the employment records of their prime contractors but it gets more difficult when it comes to subcontractors.  He said that within the last ten to fifteen years many of the contracts with subcontractors have a clause which allows DOE to access the subcontractors employment records.  He added that if people have difficulty obtaining their employment records to contact his office.

The Board approved two of NIOSH’s dose reconstruction methodologies, ORAUT-OTIB-0088, “External Dose Reconstruction” and ORAUT-OTIB-0026 External Coworker Dosimetry Data for the K-25 Site.  The Board had a few questions about the third procedure, ORAUT-OTIB-0082 Dose Reconstruction Method for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.  NIOSH will provide answers to the questions at the next board meeting.

The Board approved a report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on dose reconstruction review.

SEC Petition update

Lavon Rutherford from NIOSH provided an update on the SEC petitions.

Two petitions are still in the qualification phase:

  1. NIOSH expects to complete the qualification on the Argonne National Lab-East in January 2020.
  2. The determination of qualification for BWXT is also expected to be completed in January 2020.

The extended Huntington Pilot Plant petition has been qualified and will be evaluated.

There are two SEC petitions currently under evaluation:

  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab from 1990-2014-this evaluation is expected to be completed in April 2020.
  2. Y-12 from 1987-1994-this evaluation is expected to be completed in June 2020.

Numerous SEC petitions are currently under the review of the Advisory Board:

  1. Hanford, petition #56
  2. Savannah River Site, petition #103
  3. Los Alamos National Lab, petition #109
  4. Sandia National Lab, petition #188
  5. Idaho National Lab, petition #219
  6. Argonne National Lab-West, petition #224
  7. Area IV Santa Susana, petition #235
  8. De Soto Avenue Facility, petition #246
  9. Superior Steel Company, petition #247
  10. Metals and Controls, petition #236

NIOSH is still evaluating whether an SEC needs to be established for The West Valley Demonstration Project for the years 1966-1968.

Coworker/CoExposure modeling guidelines

Tim Taulbee of NIOSH reported to the board on the progress of the new Co Exposure Modeling Guidelines.  This is a method NIOSH uses to reconstruct dose when there is no exposure data for workers.  This used to be known as the CoWorker Model but has been changed to CoExposure Model as a more exact definition of the term. The board tentatively approved these previously but wanted a report on how they would work in the real world using Savannah River Site as an example.  The board voted to accept the Guidelines.

Lawrence Berkley National Lab Site Profile review

The board is updating the Site Profiles for LBNL. As part of this review the board heard from Dr. Ziemer (chair of the board’s LBNL workgroup) and Dr. Megan Lobaugh on the status of the review and update of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Site Profiles, as well as NIOSH’s response to Sanford Cohen and Associates’ (board contractor) comments .

The Chairs of the Work Group and NIOSH provided updates to the full board.  Documents and reports are expected to be released soon for Hanford, Nevada Test Site and Idaho National Lab.  Other sites, Oak Ridge National Lab, Los Alamos, and Sandia will have reports available closer to May and June.  NIOSH reported that they were able to interview three out of four Rocky Flats workers in a classified setting about neptunium production after 1983.  They submitted the interviews to the workers for review.  Once they have been returned and reviewed by DOE they will be sent to the Rocky Flats Work Group.

The Board agreed to hold their next in-person meeting in Hanford on April 22-23, 2020.  Ted Katz, the Designated Federal Official (DFO), acknowledge that this will be his last in-person meeting.