Los Alamos Historic Document Retrieval & Assesment

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Slide 18

Slide 2 of 2

One of the first environmental dose reconstructions was conducted at Hanford. It was initially run by DOE. There was a public outcry, saying that "the fox was guarding the hen house." Obviously, that dose reconstruction process lacked credibility. As a result, all dose reconstruction work for DOE facilities was transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services, then to CDC, who already had radiation studies in place. CDC still has work ongoing at Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) and the Savannah River Site (SRS). Each is in a further stage than the document retrieval step being completed at Los Alamos.

LANL is currently our number one priority for studies of DOE sites. It is unique in that it has many more records than the other sites. At LANL, we have already gone through over 55,000 cubic feet of records and still have much more to go. At SRS, the total document collection reviewed was 55,000 cubic feet. We also have other unique challenges regarding access and denial of access to certain records. We do not want weapons information getting out (especially after September 11th), but we are still worried openness and public credibility. Today was our first success in the appeals process with review of some of the UK documents. The documents we saw turned out to not be relevant. But the effort proved that if we take the time and follow the process, we can work out the kinks and gain access to those records needed for the study.

This flow chart was developed when we realized that LANL needed to be our number one priority. The chart was generated in March 2002. The completion date for the final report is an ideal date and could change. Currently, we are still on course; however, the box below shows the catch: we have been denied access to some documents, and we do not know to what extent we will continue to face that challenge. We are trying to get arms around the number of documents that we will not have access to. We will be using the appeals process more.

We want to make sure, during this document retrieval phase, that we collect all possible pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. We may be missing some, but if we find enough pieces, we will be able to assemble the picture. If the document retrieval process is successful, we will assemble the information we need. If it is not successful, we determine if we stop or go back to collect more information. This is how we briefed our upper management, who are not familiar with the issues unique to LANL.


 
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