Buried documents at center of debate

Buried documents at center of debate – cleveland.com

Monday, August 06, 2007
Associated Press 

Dayton- Contaminated documents buried in a radioactive waste landfill in New Mexico won’t be needed to determine if cancer-stricken workers from a former nuclear weapons plant in central Ohio are eligible for federal compensation, government occupational health officials said.

But advocates for the workers maintain the buried logbooks and safety reports could help prove workers were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

The Department of Energy had estimated it would take 18 months and $9 million to unearth the documents – including a dozen pallets of cardboard boxes, six 55-gallon drums and 11 safes containing classified records.

In 2005, the records were buried as radioactively contaminated waste.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is using records to create “dose reconstructions” estimating atomic workers’ exposures to harmful radiation and chemicals. If the study finds a 50 percent probability that a worker’s cancer was caused by exposure at the Mound plant, the employee qualifies for benefits.

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