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You are here:  HOME  >  Veterans' Potential Exposure to Ionizing Radiation

Veterans' Potential Exposure to Ionizing Radiation

Jump to: Specific-service records | Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
How to get information  
There are a number of organizations you may contact to get your ionizing radiation exposure history depending on the circumstances of your exposure. Please note that AFRRI does NOT maintain dosimetry information for anyone other than its employees.
Service-related radiation injury  
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the best place to start if you believe you have a military service-related radiation injury. You can contact your local VA office or for assistance please go to either of these sources:
Veterans of atomic testing  
NTPR_sealIf you believe you were exposed to radiation during atomic testing in Nevada or the South Pacific, contact the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Nuclear Test Personnel Review Program (NTPR).

The NTPR is a Department of Defense (DOD) program that works to confirm veteran participation in U.S. atmospheric nuclear tests from 1945 to 1962, and the occupation forces of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Members of this group are sometimes referred to as atomic vets or atomic veterans.
Where to file a claim:

Or via postal mail to this address:
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
8725 John J. Kingman Rd., MSC 6201
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6201
Specific-service records  
Each of the military services also maintains its own exposure records. Below are the addresses for each of the service dosimetry centers to which you may submit a written request.
U.S. Air Force Radiation Dosimetry Lab
2510 5th Street, Area B, Bldg 0840
Wright-Patterson Base, OH 45433-7212
Contact: Mr. Gerald M. Achenbach
Phone: 937-938-3358
Fax: 937-904-6322
E-mail: Gerald.Achenbach@wpafb.af.mil
U.S. Army Dosimetry Center
Attn: AMSAM-TMD-SD, Bldg. 5417
Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898-5000
Contact: Mr. William S. Harris, Jr.
Phone: 256-876-1786
Fax: 256-876-3816
E-mail: william.harris3@us.army.mil
Naval Dosimetry Center
8950 Brown Drive
Bethesda, MD 20889-5614
Contact: CDR Anthony S. Williams
Phone: 301-295-5410
Fax: 301-295-5981
E-mail: anthony.williams@med.navy.mil
Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
Finally, if you have exhausted all other options or if you are a civilian and meet the criteria of the Department of Justice's Radiation Exposure Compensation Program, you may be eligible for compensation according to the program description.

On October 5, 1990, Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act ("RECA" or "the Act"), 42 U.S.C. § 2210 note, providing for compassionate payments to individuals who contracted certain cancers and other serious diseases as a result of their exposure to radiation released during above-ground nuclear weapons tests or as a result of their exposure to radiation during employment in underground uranium mines. The 1990 Act provided fixed payments in the following amounts: $50,000 to individuals residing or working "downwind" of The Nevada Test Site; $75,000 for workers participating in above-ground nuclear weapons tests; and $100,000 for uranium miners.

Update note from Dept. of Justice:

Over the past two years we have processed thousands of claims from individuals filing under the Onsite Participant provisions of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act ("RECA"). Many of those claims were filed by individuals serving in Japan after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Notably, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not covered by RECA. Additionally, the Act does not cover members of the military who occupied those cities or who may have been held in those areas as Prisoners of War. Congress determined that the atmospheric atomic detonations that occurred at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II are not part of RECA and limited the Act's coverage to the atmospheric nuclear testing program conducted by the United States that followed the war. Also, the Act only provides compensation for an individual who has contracted a covered cancer following their exposure. Please note that neither skin cancer or prostate cancer are designated as compensable.

See www.usdoj.gov/civil/torts/const/reca/about.htm for details and contact information.
Related AFRRI content:
What is ionizing radiation?  |  Radiation countermeasures  |  Research articles  |  AFRRI Pocket Guide

Information developed by AFRRI staff, 5/6/09; updated 1/29/14