Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

National Cancer Institute’s Management of Radiation Studies

Date: September 16, 1998
Time: 10:00am
Location: Senate Dirksen Building, SD-342

The September 16, 1998 hearing was held at the request of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ Minority and concerned a National Cancer Institute (NCI) study, “Estimated Exposures and Thyroid Doses Received By The American People From Iodine-131 in Fallout Following Nevada Atomospheric Nuclear Bomb Tests,” published in October 1997. While the report was requested by Congress in January 1983 (pursuant to P.L. 97-414), and was essentially completed as early as 1990, it was not issued until 1997. Even when the report was issued, it did not comply with the goals set forth by Congress. PSI-Minority believes this was due to NCI mismanagement and the lack of appropriate guidelines by the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal agencies tasked by Congress to conduct this study. The hearing set out to show how the NCI mismanaged an important health study and to inform the American public about both the history of nuclear weapons tests and this particular study, including how the population may have been affected by the fallout from the nuclear weapons tests. Additionally, the hearing was held to review NCI’s management of two similar ongoing studies, including a study of the effects of the Chernobyl accident in the 1980s.