Human Radiation Experiments (HRE) publication of 588 pages between 1944-1994. The U.S. Department of Defence was directed by President Clinton.
Pdf pg 13
is the introduction.
We find their definition for Human Radiation Experiments, some extra components accompanying their definition, the quantity of studies submitted and
why it was narrowed to 2389 used in the publication. Further, it mentions a volume 2 that was to be published plus makes special mention that they
will be covering in this publication, the issues that were of public interest at the time: “Green Run” release at the Hanford Reservation, the
six radiation warfare tests at Dugway Proving Ground Utah, 4 atmospheric radiation tracking tests conducted in 1950 at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Also included because of public interest are some that were not considered HRE but involving ionizing radiation:
Total body irradiation studies, nasopharyngeal irradiation, cold weather tests involving radioactive iodine-131, human aspects research involving U.S.
nuclear weapons tests, and food irradiation studies. They include additional reference information.
Pdf pg 14
has an overview of why the HREs were being done after the second World War.
Pdf pg 15-16
cites examples of how well the government responded to public concerns about experiments.
Pdf pg 17-18
discusses the policy development 1953: Human Subjects Protection Policy, written by Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson. The
policy became known as the Wilson Memorandum. Also there is mention of the U.S.’s interest in nuclear powered aircraft in the 1940s and the program
(NEPA) needing research on humans for this:
During the late 1940s, DoD and the United Stares Air Force (USAF) investigated the possibility of developing a nuclear powered aircraft, a program
commonly referred to as the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft (NEPA) project.
In 1949, NEPA officials recommended conducting unclassified research on human volunteers to study the biological effects of radiation on the air crew
of a nuclear powered aircraft.
Pdf pg 19
Has 3 principles that the protection policy committee endorsed:
1.The voluntary consent of the person on whom the experiment is to be performed must be obtained. 2.The danger of each experiment must have been
previously investigated by animal experimentation. 3. The experiment must be performed under proper medical protection and management.
Pdf pg 20-22
has the 1953 Secretary of Defense Memorandum that went out to the Army, Navy and Air Force which detailed the conditions under
which they could use human volunteers in experimental research.
Pdf pg 25
has more detail about NEPA/MAC (Nuclear Energy for Propulsion of Aircraft/Medical Advisory Committee.
I found the following part outrageous:
The panel discussed the problem of human tolerance to radiation and the determination of maximum doses of radiation that the military would find
acceptable. The panel stated that it was desirable and necessary for the national defense to pursue human experiments on the effects of total body
irradiation to psychologically and socially acceptable limits.
Due to the huge size of this document, my review will be done in sections and posted a little at a time. My fellow archivists are welcome to jump in
and review some sections to contribute to the review process I have started.