The Openness Program was initiated with a simple objective in mind: to make the Department of Energy open, responsive and of service to its customers, the citizens of the United States. No less than the future of the department was at stake, for unless the DOE could operate in an environment of trust and fruitful dialogue with its stakeholders, the essential missions of the Department were in jeopardy either of being terminated outright or of being diminished in effectiveness to the point of abandonment.
Much information being requested by stakeholders indeed was sensitive during the cold war. However, the end of the cold war was an opportune time to reevaluate the entire classification policy of the Department and to declassify and to disseminate information where feasible. As discussed later in the guide, the department has conducted a Fundamental Classification Policy Review so that the segregation of classified information from unclassified information would be firmly based on National Security Requirements and clearly understood. Public access to information that is not sensitive such as environment, safety and health has also been greatly improved.
This booklet, then, not only is a guide to Openness in the Department of Energy, but it also cites several instances of declassification which have made available much additional information for release. Without the active support of stakeholders and the contribution of employees of the Department of Energy, this guide would not have been possible.
January 15, 1997
Openness is defined as all efforts to declassify and facilitate public access to DOE information with the goal of greater accountability and increased public trust.
In March 1995 the Secretary initiated a Fundamental Classification Policy Review (FCPR) to determine whether current classification policies and procedures for Restricted Data still were adequate and appropriate in light of the rapidly evolving world situation. The purpose of the review was to determine what really should be classified, with prompt declassification of information no longer requiring protection. A draft summary report of the findings was released for public comment in February 1996; the full report is presently under review within the Government.
Many recommendations have been made by the FCPR review group, some pertaining to specific topical declassifications, and some pertaining to policy or legislation. Thus, once recommendations from the FCPR are accepted, a number of additional significant declassification actions will result. When the recommended changes in DOE policy, including changes in legislation, are implemented, openness in DOE will be assured for generations to come, and the legacy of this administration will be solidified.
Additional information on the FCPR can be obtained by calling the Office of Declassification at (301) 903-3689.
Declassification provides transparency (i.e., provides sufficient information to the other party to instill confidence in a relationship) which is necessary as the basis for developing the mutual trust needed to conduct successfully any meaningful international negotiations. Declassification is important to conducting meaningful bilateral inspections at current or former nuclear facilities under arms control and reduction agreements, such as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. It is also essential for granting inspectors access to facilities as required under the provisions of international safeguards and nonproliferation agreements. That access builds trust and helps to develop mutual confidence among nations, thereby reducing the risk of conflict.
For additional information on DOE's declassification activities, please contact the Office of Declassification at (301) 903-4199.
All declassifications by the Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies have been published in "Drawing Back the Curtain of Secrecy," Restricted Data Declassification Decisions, 1946 to the Present, (RDD-3), January 1, 1996. A copy of this report may be obtained by calling the Office of Declassification at (301) 903-3296.
For declassification to be truly beneficial, the information in documents reviewed for declassification must be that needed by the public. Over the past several years, the Department of Energy has established mechanisms to facilitate public input into the declassification program, including soliciting priorities for the declassification of documents. These mechanisms have enabled the Depart ment to be responsive to the public's requests for review of specific types of information. For example:
For additional information on the Department's openness program, please contact the Openness Hotline at (301) 903- 6727.
For more information on the regulation, please contact the Office of Declassification at (301) 903-1113.
The Panel can be contacted through the SEAB at (202) 586-4303.
For more information about technology and automation support of openness, please contact the Office of Declassification at (301) 903-0521.
The project is a successful example of gaining intellectual control over a segment of records scattered across the DOE complex that was not easily accessible to the public and to other officials who needed this information. It provides a model for future efforts to locate information on specific topics among the 3.2 million cubic feet of DOE records. It makes use of traditional archival and records management techniques as well as the most modern technology to share this information with the public to whom it belongs.
The human radiation experiments project issued a report describing DOE records pertinent to human radiation experiments and one describing human radiation experiments associated with DOE and its predecessor agencies. The project also placed copies of selected radiation experiments documents on the World Wide Web (http://www.ohre.doe.gov/) and in the Coordination and Information Center (CIC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. (See the appendix for a more Additional information on radiation experiments can be obtained by calling the Office Radiation Experiments Records Management at (202) 586-0858.
In response to a recommendation by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, OHRE has been replicating inventories to inactive records from across DOE and placing them in finding aids packages in agency public reading rooms. Making these finding aids available gives the public the means to locate inactive records in departmental custody. These finding aid packages will soon be added to the Office of Human Radiation Experiments site on the World Wide Web. The address for this site is: http: //www.ohre.doe.gov/
OHRE also encourages the transfer of DOE records of permanent historical value to the National Archives and Records Administration, where they will be available to the public. Presently OHRE is working to transfer approximately 2300 cubic feet of Oak Ridge Operations Of fice records, some of which date back to the 1940s, to the National Archives.
To assist researchers and those interested in DOE predecessor agency records further, OHRE has created a workshop on how to find DOE predecessor agency records and key information contained in them.
Anyone interested in attending such a workshop or in further information on OHRE records projects should contact the Office of Human Radiation Experiments Records Management at (202) 586-0858.
The membership of each board reflects a diversity of views, cultures, and demographics from the respective community, with representatives from local governments, Indian Tribes, environmental and civic groups, labor organizations, universities, and citizens.
For additional information on Site-Specific Advisory Boards, please contact the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Accountability at (202) 586-9335.
Plutonium is a key ingredient for nuclear weapons and a very hazardous substance. Declassification of plutonium inventory by site allowed nearby residents to use this information to assess what hazard, if any, existed in their vicinity. DOE also has prepared and released a report, "Plutonium: The First 50 Years," that disclosed the amounts of plutonium produced in the U.S., acquired from and transferred to foreign countries, and expended in nuclear tests, consumed in reactors, discarded in waste, etc. Both the U.S. and Russia are proceeding to dispose of excess plutonium recovered from dismantled nuclear weapons.
For further information on materials please call the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition at (202) 586-2695.
Similarly, all information concerning Pacific nuclear test yields was made public, allowing definitive estimates of the amount of radioactivity injected into the atmosphere. In addition, the sum of the estimated masses, by isotope, of unfissioned fissile materials and radio nuclides created or left in the detonation cavities of NTS events through 1993, with an effective date of 1/1194, was declassified and released.
Additional information on material production and use can be obtained by calling the Office of Nuclear Weapons Management at (301) 903-2402.
Selected additional information on the nuclear weapons stockpile can be obtained by calling the Office of Defense Programs at (202) 586-2177.
The most notable evidence of growing openness and reciprocity to the United States has come from the former Soviet Union. In 1994, Russian President Yeltsin established a commission to declassify documents of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and its the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In February 1995, Yeltsin ordered the preparation and publication of archived documents on the early history of the Soviet nuclear weapons program. These initiatives have resulted in: 1) the publication to date of 1300 transcripts of Central Committee meetings; 2) the delivery of 2500 microfilm reels containing Central Committee records and the archives of the OGPU and NKVD to the U.S. Library of Congress; and 3) the declassification of much material relating to the development of nuclear weapons and the origins of the Soviet strategic missile forces.
In 1996, V.N. Mikhailov, Russian Federation Minister of Atomic Energy, issued USSR Nuclear Weapons Tests and Peaceful Nuclear Explosions, 1949 through 1990. This 62-page document lists chronologically all 715 Soviet nuclear tests and PNEs carried out through October 24, 1990. In a foreword, Minister Mikhailov notes the similarity to the DOE publication, United States Nuclear Tests July 1945 through September 1992, DOE/NV-209 Rev 14, issued in December 1994. Mikhailov refers to these two publications as "symmetric," and indeed they are nearly identical in form and content, presenting test identifiers, dates, locations, purposes, types, and yields or yield ranges. In addition, the Russians have released the approximate sizes of their weapons grade uranium and plutonium stockpiles.
Other nuclear powers have followed suit. In March 1994, French President Mitterand, in a major address on the subject "Dissuasion" (we would say "deterrence"), released much specific detail concerning French nuclear forces. And even neutral Sweden chose to reveal that it is keeping its nuclear options open by maintaining the Agesta reactor in condition for rapid startup, and keeping a team of theoreticians researching nuclear weapons technology.
The move toward openness has not been limited to nuclear matters and major powers. In 1996, prompted by democratization and pressure from society, Taiwan moved to declassify the personal archives of former leader Chiang Kai-shek. Also in 1996, Norway released a lengthy report detailing government surveillance of leftist individuals and organizations from the 1940s through the 1980s. In both of these cases, information potentially embarrassing to the government released, largely because in the present day openness is simply the right thing to do.
For additional information on how declassification relates to international policies on Arms Control and Nonproliferation, please contact the Office of Arms Control and Nonproliferation at (202) 586-2102.
Additional information on DOE's technology transfer program may be obtained from the Office of Development and Technology Transfer at (202) 586-5782.
"...lt is extremely important not only to declassify nuclear matters, but to make them understood . . . Misinformation about subjects such as radiation experiments could prove more detrimental than the earlier secrecy . . . "
In letter to the Secretary of Defense --
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 accession 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 non-profit 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 databases.
The National Security Archive also maintains a Web site for ACHRE information (www.seas.gwu.edu/nsarchive/radiation/). 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. 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 and redacted by Archives staff to remove private material prior to being provided to researchers. The Archives has indicated that it needs at least I 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., a document number). It may be necessary to review an entire accession to locate the desired document.
In addition to the historical document collection, the site also provides access to the text of OHRE's publications - the Roadmap, the Experiment List, and a series of oral histories conducted by OHRE (See List of Publications, below) -- 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. 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 (http://www.hrex.dis.anl.gov). 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) are currently being processed for inclusion with the DOE collection in an enhanced version of the HREX system on the Internet, This site also provides links to other relevant sites, such as the OHRE Home Page. As above, all documents placed in the Interagency HREX are screened for material protected by the Privacy Act and personal identifiers are removed (redacted). Interagency HREX is now available to the public although not all documents have been processed for inclusion. It currently has approximately 300,000 pages of documents and when completed will have approximately 500,000 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 (apollo.osti.gov/html/opennet/opennet.html). OpenNet, sponsored by the DOE Office of Declassification, also provides bibliographic information on recently declassified DOE documents.
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.
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. 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 Of fice 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 Of fice of Public Inquiries at (202) 586-5575. The report is also available on the World Wide Web (www.ohre.doe.gov).
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 Public Inquiries at (202) 586- 5575. The report is also available on the World Wide Web (www.ohre.doe.gov).
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- 0858. The oral histories are also available on the World Wide Web (www.ohre.doe.gov).
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 M708s, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545.
7. The Department of Defense Report on the Search for Human Radiation Experiment Records, 1944-1994, has a planned release date of late January l 1997. It will be published by the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs.