42 CFR 82.10 - Overview of the dose reconstruction process.
(a) Upon receipt of a claims package from the Department of Labor, as provided under 20 CFR part 30, NIOSH will request from DOE records on radiation dose monitoring and radiation exposures associated with the employment history of the covered employee. Additionally, NIOSH may compile data, and information from NIOSH records that may contribute to the dose reconstruction. For each dose reconstruction, NIOSH will include records relevant to internal and external exposures to ionizing radiation, including exposures from medical screening x rays that were required as a condition of employment.
(b) NIOSH will evaluate the initial radiation exposure record compiled to: Reconcile the exposure record with the reported employment history, as necessary; complete preliminary calculations of dose, based upon this initial record, and prepare to consult with the claimant. Any discrepancies in the employment history information will be reconciled with the assistance of DOE, as necessary.
(c) NIOSH will interview the claimant. The interview may be conducted in one or more sessions. The purpose of the interview is to:
(1) Explain the dose reconstruction process;
(2) Confirm elements of the employment history transmitted to NIOSH by DOL;
(3) Identify any relevant information on employment history that may have been omitted;
(4) Confirm or supplement monitoring information included in the initial radiation exposure record;
(5) Develop detailed information on work tasks, production processes, radiologic protection and monitoring practices, and incidents that may have resulted in undocumented radiation exposures, as necessary;
(6) Identify co-workers and other witnesses with information relevant to the radiation exposures of the covered worker to supplement or confirm information on work experiences, as necessary.
(d) NIOSH will provide a report to the claimant summarizing the findings of the interview, titled: “NIOSH Claimant Interview under EEOICPA.” The report will also notify the claimant of the opportunity to contact NIOSH if necessary, by a specified date, to make any written corrections or additions to information provided by the claimant during the interview process.
(e) Information provided by the claimant will be accepted and used for dose reconstruction, providing it is reasonable, supported by substantial evidence, and is not refuted by other evidence. In assessing whether the information provided by the claimant is supported by substantial evidence, NIOSH will consider:
(1) Consistency of the information with other information in the possession of NIOSH, from radiation safety programs, research, medical screening programs, labor union documents, worksite investigations, dose reconstructions conducted by NIOSH under EEOICPA, or other reports relating to the circumstances at issue;
(2) Consistency of the information with medical records provided by the claimant;
(3) Consistency of the information with practices or exposures demonstrated by the dose reconstruction record developed for the claimant; and,
(4) Confirmation of information by co-workers or other witnesses.
(f) NIOSH will seek to confirm information provided by the claimant through review of available records and records requested from DOE.
(g) As necessary, NIOSH will request additional records from DOE to characterize processes and tasks potentially involving radiation exposure for which dose and exposure monitoring data is incomplete or insufficient for dose reconstruction.
(h) NIOSH will review the adequacy of monitoring data and completeness of records provided by DOE. NIOSH will request certification from DOE that record searches requested by NIOSH have been completed.
(i) As necessary, NIOSH will characterize the internal and external exposure environments for parameters known to influence the dose. For internal exposures, examples of these parameters include the mode of intake, the composition of the source term (i.e., the radionuclide type and quantity), the particle size distribution and the absorption type. When it is not possible to characterize these parameters, NIOSH may use default values, when they can be established reasonably, fairly, and based on relevant science. For external exposures, the radiation type (gamma, x-ray, neutron, beta, or other charged particle) and radiation energy spectrum will be evaluated. When possible, the effect of non-uniformity and geometry of the radiation exposure will be assessed.
(j) For individual monitoring records that are incomplete, NIOSH may assign doses using techniques discussed in § 82.16. Once the resulting data set is complete, NIOSH will construct an occupational exposure matrix, using the general hierarchical approach discussed in § 82.2. This matrix will contain the estimated annual equivalent dose(s) to the relevant organ(s) or tissue(s), for the period from the initial date of potential exposure at a covered facility until the date the cancer was diagnosed. The equivalent dose(s) will be calculated using the current, standard radiation weighting factors from the International Commission on Radiological Protection. 1
1 The current weighting factors of the International Commission on Radiological Protection are provided in ICRP 60: “1990 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection.” Ann. ICRP 21 (1-3):6.
(k) At any point during steps of dose reconstruction described in paragraphs (f) through (j) of this section, NIOSH may determine that sufficient research and analysis has been conducted to complete the dose reconstruction. Research and analysis will be determined sufficient if one of the following three conditions is met:
(1) From acquired experience, it is evident the estimated cumulative dose is sufficient to qualify the claimant for compensation (i.e., the dose produces a probability of causation of 50% or greater);
(2) Dose is determined using worst-case assumptions related to radiation exposure and intake, to substitute for further research and analyses; or,
(3) Research and analysis indicated under steps described in paragraphs (f)-(j) of this section have been completed. Worst-case assumptions will be employed under condition 2 to limit further research and analysis only for claims for which it is evident that further research and analysis will not produce a compensable level of radiation dose (a dose producing a probability of causation of 50% or greater), because using worst-case assumptions it can be determined that the employee could not have incurred a compensable level of radiation dose. For all claims in which worst-case assumptions are employed under condition 2, the reasoning that resulted in the determination to limit further research and analysis will be clearly described in the draft of the dose reconstruction results reported to the claimant under § 82.25 and in the dose reconstruction results reported to the claimant under § 82.26.
(l) After providing the claimant with a copy of a draft of the dose reconstruction report to be provided to DOL, NIOSH will conduct a closing interview with the claimant to review the dose reconstruction results and the basis upon which the results were calculated. This will be the final opportunity during the dose reconstruction process for the claimant to provide additional relevant information that may affect the dose reconstruction. The closing interview may require multiple sessions, if the claimant requires time to obtain and provide additional information, and to allow NIOSH time to integrate the new information into a new draft of the dose reconstruction report. NIOSH will determine whether to grant requests for time to provide additional information, based on whether the requests are reasonable and the claimant is actively seeking the information specified.
(m) Subject to any additional information provided by the claimant and revision of the draft dose reconstruction report under § 82.10(l), the claimant is required to return form OCAS-1 to NIOSH, certifying that the claimant has completed providing information and that the record for dose reconstruction should be closed. Upon receipt of the form, NIOSH will forward a final dose reconstruction report to DOL, DOE, and to the claimant.
(n) NIOSH will not forward the dose reconstruction report to DOL for adjudication without receipt of form OCAS-1 signed by the claimant or a representative of the claimant authorized pursuant to 20 CFR 30.600. If the claimant or the authorized representative of the claimant fails to sign and return form OCAS-1 within 60 days, or 60 days following the claimant's final provision of additional information and receipt of a revised draft dose reconstruction report under § 82.10 (l), whichever occurs last, after notifying the claimant or the authorized representative, NIOSH may administratively close the dose reconstruction and notify DOL of this action. Upon receiving this notification by NIOSH, DOL may administratively close the claim.
(o) Once actions under § 82.10 (m) are completed, the record for dose reconstruction shall be closed unless reopened at the request of DOL under 20 CFR part 30.