A paragraph in an article in yesterday's Washington Post about congressional testimony linking nuclear tests to leukemia dropped the name of one witness quoted. The paragraph should have read. In answer to a question (from the subcommittee's ranking Republican, Rep Tim Lee Carter of Kentucky, [Dr. Karl Z.]) Morgan said he had "no doubt whatever" that radiation at Smoky caused the leukemia now found in veterans of the shot.
Three non-government scientists told a House subcommittee yesterday they believe there was a relationship between low level radiation received by GIs at a Nevada nuclear test site 20 years ago and their subsequent development of leukemia.
The testimony came on the first day of hearings by the House Health and Environment subcommittee on Smoky, a 45-kiloton nuclear test explosion in 1957 after which the Army maneuvered troops in the vicinity of ground zero.
To date, six of 2,235 soldiers at Smoky have been discovered to have developed leukemia, a cancer of the blood that has been linked to high radiation exposure.
Dr. Karl Z. Morgan, who at the time of Smoky was director of health physics at the Atomic Energy Commission's Oak Ridge laboratory, told the subcommittee his staff chief at the test described it "as the dirtiest of the tests we covered."
Morgan said his men were unable to retrieve their scientific measuring equipment after Smoky because of the "residual contamination."
"There is no question there was a great deal of fallout from the weapon," Morgan said. "I was frightened and appalled to hear there were troops in the trenches," Morgan added.
In answer to a question from the subcommittee's ranking Republican, Rep. Tim Lee Carter of Kentucky, said he had "no doubt whatever" that radiation at Smoky caused the leukemia now found in veterans of the shot.
To date, the Army has denied claims that radiation from Smoky caused the luekemia now found in veterans of the test.
Another scientist, Dr. Martin Sperling of San Diego, Calif., said he had done studies and reconstructions of the Smoky blast in order - 20 years later - the reconstruct the doses received by the soldiers at the test site.
Sperling told the subcommittee he concluded that a soldier could have inhaled almost 60 times the amount of radiation than was shown on his film badge. At the 1957 test, film badgers were the prime device used to record an individual's radiation exposure.
The third witness, Dr. Arthur Tamplan, worked for many years at the AEC's Livermore Laboratories. He agreed with Morgan that the radiation that stemmed from the tests caused later cancers.