Appendix B


Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE) Collection at the National Archives, College Park

Overview: 665 cubic feet of records from the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments have been deposited at the National Archives and made part of Record Group 220, Presidential Committees, Commissions, and Boards. The collection can be accessed through the Archive's Textual Reference Branch located at Archives II, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland. The phone number is (301) 713- 7250.

The collection consists primarily of documents collected from Federal agencies and other sources during the Committee's research process, but also includes the Committee's administrative files, meeting documentation, notes, and other records generated by the staff.

Organization: The ACHRE collection is divided into 12 major series. The series of primary interest to most researchers is the Research Collection Series, which consists of two major components: the Archives file and the Library file. The Archives file represents the primary documents collected from agencies and other sources; the Library file encompasses secondary sources, such as journal articles and published reports. The Archives file is organized by accession number. Each deposit of records to ACHRE was assigned an acces-sion number which consists of an acronym for the document source, the deposit date, and an alpha designator which represents the sequence of deposits from that source on that date; i. e., DOD-062194-C represents the third Defense Department deposit of June 21, 1994. An accession may consist of one document or several boxes of documents.

Finding Aids at the Archives: Paper copy finding aids are found in five binders at the National Archives. The finding aids provide basic access to the 12 records series. The finding aid for the Archives file identifies the current box number for each accession number. Copies of the ACHRE Final Report and supplemental volumes are also available. Supplemental Volume 2A includes a complete listing of all accessions in the Archives collection, of all publications in the Library collection, of all experiments identified by ACHRE, and of individual documents within each accession which were specifically described, including those cited in the Final Report. Volume 2A also includes indexes of this data sorted in several ways, such as by subject. The electronic index to the collection is not available to researchers at NARA.

Other Finding Aids to the ACHRE Collection: The Lotus Notes database created by the Advisory Committee is available to researchers at the National Security Archive, a private nonprofit organization, located in the Gelman Library at George Washington University, (202) 994- 7000. However, some familiarity with Lotus Notes may be necessary for a researcher to search the database.

The National Security Archive also maintains a Web site for ACHRE information ( The site includes information such as transcripts and related materials for Committee meetings, the text of the Final Report, and the complete listing of the research document (archives) collection, publications (library) collection, and experiments. Word searches can be performed using the capabilities of an Internet browser (such as Netscape).

Barriers to Access: The ACHRE collection at the National Archives has material protected by the Privacy Act interspersed throughout. As a result, most boxes of records must be screened by Archives staff to remove this material prior to being provided to researchers. The Archives has indicated that it needs at least 1 week of lead time for any requests which involve more than a few folders, to allow time to review the requested material. In some cases, it can take up to several months. Researchers are asked to be as specific as possible in their requests.

Please note that it may be difficult to locate a specific document within an accession because the documents have not been assigned individual document identifiers (i. e., document numbers). It may be necessary to review an entire accession to locate the desired document.

Other Resources

DOE Office of Human Radiation Experiments (OHRE) Home Page ( OHRE created a Web site in early 1995 to make its human radiation experiment document collection and other important information readily available to the public. The site provides access to the text of OHRE's publications- the Roadmap, the Experiment List, and a series of oral histories conducted by OHRE- as well as other material of interest such as the transcript of a stakeholder's workshop held in February 1996. The text of the Advisory Committee Report is also accessible from this home page. This site also provides links to other relevant sites, including all those referenced in this document.

The major feature of the home page is the Human Radiation Experiments Information Management System (HREX), which was developed by DOE to provide users with the ability to conduct full-text searches of its 250,000 page historical document collection and to retrieve images of those documents. All documents placed on the Web have been screened for Privacy Act material and personal identifiers have been removed (redacted). Each document in the collection has been assigned a unique document number and identified with provenance (source) information. The original copy of the document is maintained by the facility or institution identified in the provenance information. Please note that most, but not all, of the documents provided to the Advisory Committee are in HREX. The exceptions are a small number of documents retrieved by Committee staff directly from DOE sites and not processed through OHRE.

Interagency HREX ( In November 1996, a new version of HREX was made available to the public. This enhanced version of HREX allows access to historical documents collected by other agencies involved in the Interagency Working Group (Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). As above, all documents placed in the Interagency HREX are screened for material protected by the Privacy Act, and personal identifiers are removed (redacted). This interagency system currently has more than 300,000 pages of documents (including the DOE documents) and when completed will contain approximately 500,000 searchable pages.

The Coordination and Information Center (CIC): Paper copies of all DOE documents found in HREX are stored at the CIC in Las Vegas, NV. Paper copies of all DOD's documents have recently been transferred there as well. In addition to its holdings related to human radiation experiments, the CIC possesses a large collection of documents from the era of atmospheric atomic weapons testing. To request documents, contact the CIC in writing at P. O. Box 98521, Las Vegas, NV 89193- 8521 or by phone at (702) 295- 0731. Small numbers of documents can be printed off the Internet, but large volume requests for paper documents are better directed to the CIC. Individuals may access unredacted documents about themselves or about their next-of-kin from the CIC if they provide proof of identity.

The complete index of DOE holdings at the CIC (including the human radiation experiments collection) is available on the Internet via OpenNet ( OpenNet, sponsored by the DOE Office of Declassification, also provides bibliographic information on recently declassified DOE documents and other document collections.

DOE Public Reading Rooms: Redacted paper copies of all documents located by DOE facilities as part of the human radiation experiments search and included in HREX have also been deposited in the public reading room for that facility.

List of Publications

  1. Final Report: Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments was released in October 1995, and includes the text of the report (over 900 pages) plus three supplemental volumes. Copies can be obtained from the U. S. Government Printing Office, (202) 512- 1800. The text of the report is also accessible on the Internet through several sources including the OHRE and ACHRE sites described above.
  2. The Human Radiation Experiments: Final Report of the President's Advisory Committee was also published in one volume by Oxford University Press in 1996. While this book does not include the supplemental volumes, it does contain President Clinton's remarks on accepting the final report of the Committee and a useful index. Copies can be obtained in bookstores or directly from Oxford University Press.
  3. Human Radiation Experiments: The Department of Energy Roadmap to the Story and the Records, released in February 1995 by DOE's Office of Human Radiation Experiments (OHRE), includes project background, site histories, records series descriptions, topical essays, and a preliminary list of experiments. Hard copies of this report (DOE- EH- 0445) are available from DOE's Office of Public Inquiries at (202) 586- 5575. The report is also available on the World Wide Web (
  4. Human Radiation Experiments Associated with the United States Department of Energy and its Predecessors, released in July 1995 by OHRE, contains a listing, description, and selected references for 435 documented human radiation studies dating back to World War II. Hard copies of this report (DOE-EH-0491) are available from DOE's Office of Public Inquiries at (202) 586- 5575. The report is also available on the World Wide Web (
  5. Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years, completed November 1995 by OHRE, consists of a 29-part series of oral histories whose purpose is to enrich the documentary record, provide missing information, and allow an opportunity for the researchers to provide their perspective. A descriptive brochure, which lists all of the subjects of the oral histories and provides brief background on each, as well as copies of the individual oral histories, are available from OHRE at (202) 586- 8439. The oral histories are also available on the World Wide Web (
  6. Radiation Protection and the Human Radiation Experiments, Los Alamos Science, Number 23, 1995, is a special issue of this journal which discusses the work and the findings of the Laboratory's Human Studies Project Team. The team was formed to address questions concerning the ethics and conduct of human radiation experiments that were carried out by Los Alamos researchers from the Manhattan Project days through the 1960s. The report is available from Los Alamos Science, Mail Stop M708, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 or on the World Wide Web (
  7. The Department of Defense Report on the Search for Human Radiation Experiments Records, 1944-1994, March 1997, covers, among other topics, DOD human subjects protection policy, total-body and partial-body irradiation studies, nasopharyngeal irradiation therapy, and radiological warfare. It is published by the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs and is available through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
  8. Central Intelligence Agency Inspector General Report of Investigation, Agency Human Subject Research, April 26, 1995. This report can be obtained from the Information and Privacy Coordinator of the CIA, at (703) 613- 1287. The report is also available on the World Wide Web (
  9. The Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory's Thyroid Function Study: A Radiological Risk and Ethical Analysis, National Academy Press 1996. This report can be ordered from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave., N. W., Box 285, Washington, D. C. 20055 or via telephone at 1-800-624-6242. It can also be found on the National Academy Press Web Site (
  10. S. Hrg. 104-588, Hearing before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, March 12, 1996. Human Radiation Experiments.