About the Veterans’ Advisory Board on Dose Reconstruction
Beginning in 1978 radiation dose reconstructions have been performed for military personnel who participated in the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons from 1945 to 1962 at the Trinity Site in New Mexico, at the Nevada Test Site, and in the Pacific, or who were prisoners of war in Japan or were stationed from September 1945 to July 1946 in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Japan after the atomic bombs were detonated.
Because of concerns about the increased risk of cancer and other illnesses in Veterans who may have been exposed to radiation from nuclear weapons, several laws have been passed by Congress since 1981 that relate to the reconstruction of radiation doses received by Veterans and the compensation of Veterans for adverse health effects associated with radiation exposure. The latest legislation was enacted on December 16, 2003, as the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-183 , referred to below as the Act).
Following the recommendation of a National Academy of Sciences report published in 2003 on the Dose Reconstruction Program1, this Act required the establishment of an independent Advisory Board that will provide oversight of the dose reconstruction and claims settlement programs for Veterans. The Board, which has been named the Veterans’ Advisory Board on Dose Reconstruction (VBDR), is required by the Act to:
- conduct periodic, random audits of dose reconstructions and decisions on claims for radiogenic diseases;
- assist the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in communicating to Veterans information on the mission, procedures, and evidentiary requirements of the Dose Reconstruction Program; and
- carry out such other activities with respect to the review and oversight of the Dose Reconstruction Program as the Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs shall jointly specify.
VBDR may also make recommendations on modifications in the mission or procedures of the Dose Reconstruction Program if it considers these changes to be appropriate as a result of its audits.
The web site www.vbdr.org is dedicated to informing Veterans, their relatives, and other interested members of the public of the meetings and activities of VBDR.
The primary mission and goals of the VBDR are defined in its charter as shown here
Read the Charter for the Board »
Read the History of Dose Reconstruction »
Report: VBDR History, Accomplishments & Future Directions »
1 National Academy of Sciences (2003): A Review of the Dose Reconstruction Program of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. National Academy Press (Washington, DC)