Worker alienation and compensation at the Savannah River Site

Loka Ashwood, Steve Wing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Corporations operating U.S. nuclear weapons plants for the federal government began tracking occupational exposures to ionizing radiation in 1943. However, workers, scholars, and policy makers have questioned the accuracy and completeness of radiation monitoring and its capacity to provide a basis for workers’ compensation. We use interviews to explore the limitations of broad-scale, corporate epidemio-logical surveillance through worker accounts from the Savannah River Site nuclear weapons plant. Interviewees report inadequate monitoring, overbearing surveillance, limited venues to access medical support and exposure records, and administrative failure to report radiation and other exposures at the plant. The alienation of workers from their records and toil is relevant to worker compensation programs and the accuracy of radiation dose measurements used in epidemiologic studies of occupational radiation exposures at the Savannah River Site and other weapons plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-71
Number of pages17
JournalNew Solutions
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.


  • Ionizing radiation
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Occupational health
  • Savannah river site

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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