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NIOSH Radiation Dose Reconstruction Project

Since its inception in 2002, the NIOSH Radiation Dose Reconstruction Project has become one of the most important workers’ compensation programs in the United States. From the beginning, NIOSH has tasked the ORAU Team—led by ORAU and including NV5/Dade Moeller and MJW Technical Services, Inc.—with reconstructing radiation doses for current and former workers of DOE and atomic weapons employers.

The radiation dose reconstructions provide critical information used in adjudicating claims filed under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the program helps ensure that energy workers who developed cancers from occupational radiation exposures—or surviving family members—are rightfully compensated for their illnesses.

Health physicists, records specialists, and other scientists from the ORAU Team have interviewed thousands of claimants, researched records and historical documents, and generated searchable databases to reconstruct the dose history to provide more than 66,000 preliminary radiation dose assessments.

In addition, the ORAU Team evaluates Special Exposure Cohort petitions received by NIOSH, which may automatically grant compensation to employees who have any of 22 types of cancer and who worked at specific sites. Of the 260 SEC petitions received, 153 have qualified for evaluation resulting in the addition of more than 118 SEC classes.

Since starting work on the original contract in 2002, ORAU and its partners have assisted NIOSH in:

Completed and submitted more than 66,000 dose assessments (preliminary and revised) for NIOSH review
Conducted more than 192,000 interviews with claimants or their survivors throughout all stages of the dose reconstruction process (to gather information or explain dose reconstruction results)
Conducted more than 730 trips to identify and secure relevant data and records
Assembled and indexed more than 182,500 documents relevant to DOE facilities into a searchable and retrievable database
Performed 15.3M entries into a searchable database for documents containing energy employee-specific information
Matched and linked more than 1.3M documents with an energy employee’s identifying information to their respective claim
Completed reviews of more than 15,700 previous claims based on new data found for energy employees, new site information or newer technical methods for assessment
Published more than 990 technical (initial and revisions) documents that collectively reconstruct much of the operational history of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex
Supported NIOSH at 600 meetings (board, subcommittee, work group) of the Advisory Board for Radiation and Worker Health

Impact Areas

What is dose reconstruction?

For some occupational settings, it is possible to determine how much exposure or dose an individual had to potentially hazardous agents. Data from air and surface sampling, dosimeter readings, and historical process records all are used to perform a dose reconstruction.

A worker holds a hard hat in a warehouse setting

Jennifer Hoff named deputy project manager of the ORAU Team Dose Reconstruction Project for NIOSH

Jennifer Hoff, Ph.D, has been named deputy project manager of the ORAU Team Dose Reconstruction Project for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Hoff has served as associate director on the project since 2021, and has worked on this project in different capacities since 2003. In her new position, Hoff will work with the project manager in both strategic and operational leadership of her team. She will also guide her team to exceed expectations in their duties of continuing the key missions of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

Jennifer Hoff, deputy project manager of the ORAU Team Dose Reconstruction Project for NIOSH

Contact us

For more information about ORAU's epidemiology and exposure science programs, contact us at (865) 576-3115 or .

If you have questions about contracting vehicles, contact the ORAU Contracts Administration Office at (865) 576-7618 or