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Occupational Energy Research Program

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

Logo for the Occupational Energy Research Program

The mission of the NIOSH Occupational Energy Research Program is to research and identify health effects among workers exposed to ionizing radiation and other agents. A main focus of the program is to better understand radiation and cancer risks among workers from Department of Energy worksites. The program also works to develop and improve methods to estimate exposures in workers and to contribute scientific information to prevent workplace injury and illness. Based on study findings, researchers suggest better ways to protect current workers from job hazards and encourage former workers to talk with a doctor about medical screenings or any necessary preventative care.

The program is part of an agreement between the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/NIOSH and the Department of Energy (DOE). The program is funded in part by DOE. A portion of the funds are provided to NIOSH researchers to conduct studies. Researchers outside of DHHS/NIOSH also have received funds to conduct research by applying for grants.

Study findings

Map of the United States with locations highlighted, from West to East: Hanford, NTS, INEEL, LANL, Rocky Flats, Pantex, Mallinckrodt, Paducah, Fernald, Mound, Oak Ridge, Portsmouth, Savannah, Linde, PNS

The Occupational Energy Research Program (OERP) has done many studies since the program began in the early 90s. To learn more about studies NIOSH researchers and grantees have completed at each worksite, click on the worksites below to find journal articles and fact sheets.

Fernald Feed Materials Production Center
Hanford Site
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL)
Linde Air Products
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Mallinckrodt Uranium Works
Mound Site
Nevada Test Site
Oak Ridge Facilities (K-25, Y-12, X-10)
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
Pantex Plant
Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS)
Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site
Savannah River National Laboratory
Other NIOSH Studies Related to Radiation Exposure

For information about the health effects of radiation exposure, or how to best protect yourself if you currently work with radiation, visit:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Radiation Protection 

Environmental Protection Agency: Radiation Protection Basics 

Health Physics Society 

More information about OERP can be found here:  Related Information