A statement by the Office of Health and Safety regarding the October 30, 2017, National Day of Remembrance for Nuclear Weapons Program Workers
Patricia R. Worthington, PhD
Office of Health and Safety
Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security
Since 2009, October 30th has been observed as the National Day of Remembrance for nuclear weapons workers. The significance of this day is eloquently stated in the United States Senate Resolution that made this special day possible “. . . whereas since World War II, hundreds of thousands of men and women, including uranium miners, millers, and haulers, have served the United States by building nuclear weapons for the defense of the United States; . . . Whereas dedicated workers paid a high price for developing a nuclear weapons program at the service, and for the benefit of, the United States, including by developing disabling or fatal illnesses; . .”
The Nation owes a great debt to thousands of Department of Energy (DOE) Federal and contractor workers engaged in basic science and technology, research and development, renewable energy, and strengthening the national security. The National Day of Remembrance honors the memory, legacy, and contribution of all nuclear weapons program workers.
The responsibility for, and commitment to, the health and well-being of DOE’s current and former workers, both Federal and contractor employees, is the Department’s highest priority and duty. Two major examples of the Department’s ongoing commitment to its former and current workers are the management and implementation of the Former Worker Medical Screening Program and DOE critical support to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP).
In the context of support to EEOICP, DOE’s role is to work on behalf of the program claimants to ensure that all available worker and facility records are provided to DOL, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, or the Department of Justice. These records serve as the basis for DOL and NIOSH to make informed decisions regarding claim adjudication.
There are several DOE web-based information resources to assist former and current DOE workers regarding their rights, responsibilities, and benefits. These include: