Human Radiation Experiments: The Department of Energy Roadmap to the Story and the Records   [open pdf - 58MB]

"On December 7, 1993, U.S. Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O 'Leary announced her Openness Initiative; the scope of its ramifications has only begun to become fully apparent in the succeeding year. The determination to conduct the public's business in an open and fully accountable manner has required profound change in an agency whose institutional birth was in the most secret of wartime programs, the Manhattan Project. Over the past several decades, the American people's trust in our institutions of government has greatly eroded. […] Without judging the historical necessity of secrecy, and in recognition that even today some activities require national security classification, it is a fact that the ability of the Government to perform its post-Cold War missions is greatly impeded by pervasive public distrust of its motives and competence. The commitment to openness, of which this project is a very visible element, is a deliberate effort to rebuild that basic level of trust between the American people and their government that is necessary for a democracy to function. Well over 200 people in Washington, D.C. and around the country have devoted all or most of their time during the past year to the effort to find, declassify if necessary, evaluate, and make publicly accessible and usable the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) records related to human experimentation with radiation. […] It would be unrealistic to imagine that we will ever find every document that bears on the story of human radiation experimentation in which the Manhattan Project, the Atomic Energy Commission, and DOE have been involved, considering that 3.2 million cubic feet of records still survive in dozens of locations from coast to coast, many of which are poorly catalogued, if at all. The goal of this publication is not to have the final word, but to leave behind a roadmap that will enable the public, historians, and policy makers, as well as those who participated in experiments as subject or researcher, to come to a better understanding of this aspect of the history of the atomic age." This document also contains various photographs.

Report Number:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information: http://www.osti.gov/
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