Last Updated: April 17, 2011



Federal Compensation Program Too Late for Many Atomic Workers

Burden of Proof Placed on Victims/Survivors

Access to Essential Records Hampered

Text of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. This federal entitlement program, jointly administered by the federal Department of Labor, Department of Energy, and Health and Human Services' NIOSH (National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health) is intended to provide medical benefits and lump sum payments to sick/deceased atomic workers.

The program has been heavily criticized by many, including an advisory committee set up by DOE; click here for their comments. Independent analyst Marvin Resnikoff issued a critique of the regulations that were devised to implement the Act. The Government Accountability Project addressed the problem of claim filing and government records destruction. NIOSH got an earful from the public at its hearing on July 23, 2002 in Buffalo, NY; see hearing transcript.

David Dooley's MJW Corporation, selected by NIOSH to do dose reconstructions for the claimants, has been exposed as a federal lackey by the FACTS public interest group. See "Enough Already!" and a brief chronology of Dooley's involvement at the Tonawanda, NY FUSRAP Site.

Former workers and family members of deceased workers should contact the Department of Labor which is administering the program along with the Department of Energy's Office of Worker Advocacy and Health and Human Services' NIOSH (National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health). NIOSH has been tasked with performing the radiation dose reconstruction studies necessary to assess individual claims. See for more information on claim filing, and toll-free (888) helpline numbers.

Claimants need to supply as much information about employment histories and medical records as possible. Government information on exposures at several area facilities should be available at:

There are 13 facilities in the Buffalo area covered by the program, including the former Bliss and Laughlin plant on Hopkins Street, the Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, the former Linde Air Products plant in Tonawanda (now Praxair), Simmonds Saw and Steel in Lockport, and Titanium Alloys Manufacturing, Carborundum Company, Hooker Electrochemical and Union Carbide's Electro Metallurgical all in Niagara Falls (See for full list.)

A good starting place for Linde claimants is a February 1984 ORAU Technical Report (published 1-88); this report attempts to bracket worker exposures by job type from scant, unreferenced workplace monitoring and medical records obtained from Union Carbide/Linde and DOE.

Simmonds Saw and Steel and Electro Metallurgical (Electromet) claimants are advised to review an independent dose assessment contracted by USA Today and performed by Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D., of the non-profit Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. A summary of this study is also available on the IEER website.

Newspaper stories/information releases:

Back to Current Updates

Back to Homepage