[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Volume 30, Number 3 (Monday, January 24, 1994)]
[Pages 118-120]
[Online from the Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

Executive Order 12891--Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments

January 15, 1994

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and 
the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as 
    Section 1. Establishment. (a) There shall be established an Advisory 
Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (the ``Advisory Committee'' or 
``Committee''). The Advisory Committee shall be composed of not more 
than 15 members to be appointed or designated by the President. The 
Advisory Committee shall comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 
as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2.
    (b) The President shall designate a Chairperson from among the 
members of the Advisory Committee.
    Sec. 2. Functions. (a) There has been established a Human Radiation 
Interagency Working Group, the members of which include the Secretary of 
Energy, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Attorney General, the 
Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the 
Director of Central Intelligence, and the Director of the Office of 
Management and Budget. As set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, 
the Advisory Committee shall provide to the Human Radiation Interagency 
Working Group advice and recommendations on the ethical and scientific 
standards applicable to human radiation experiments carried out or 
sponsored by the United States Government. As used herein, ``human 
radiation experiments'' means:
    (1) experiments on individuals involving intentional exposure to 
      ionizing radiation. This category does not include common and 
      routine clinical practices, such as established diagnosis and 
      treatment methods, involving incidental exposures to ionizing 
    (2) experiments involving intentional environmental releases of 
      radiation that (A) were designed to test human health effects of 
      ionizing radiation; or (B) were designed to test the extent of 
      human exposure to ionizing radiation.
    Consistent with the provisions set forth in paragraph (b) of this 
section, the Advisory Committee shall also provide advice, information, 
and recommendations on the following experiments:
    (1) the experiment into the atmospheric diffusion of radioactive 
      gases and test of detectability, commonly referred to as ``the 
      Green Run test,'' by the former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and 
      the Air Force in December 1949 at the

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      Hanford Reservation in Richland, Washington;
    (2) two radiation warfare field experiments conducted at the AEC's 
      Oak Ridge office in 1948 involving gamma radiation released from 
      non-bomb point sources at or near ground level;
    (3) six tests conducted during 1949-1952 of radiation warfare 
      ballistic dispersal devices containing radioactive agents at the 
      U.S. Army's Dugway, Utah, site;
    (4) four atmospheric radiation-tracking tests in 1950 at Los Alamos, 
      New Mexico; and
    (5) any other similar experiment that may later be identified by the 
      Human Radiation Interagency Working Group.
    The Advisory Committee shall review experiments conducted from 1944 
to May 30, 1974. Human radiation experiments undertaken after May 30, 
1974, the date of issuance of the Department of Health, Education, and 
Welfare (``DHEW'') Regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects (45 
C.F.R. 46), may be sampled to determine whether further inquiry into 
experiments is warranted. Further inquiry into experiments conducted 
after May 30, 1974, may be pursued if the Advisory Committee determines, 
with the concurrence of the Human Radiation Interagency Working Group, 
that such inquiry is warranted.
    (b)(1) The Advisory Committee shall determine the ethical and 
scientific standards and criteria by which it shall evaluate human 
radiation experiments, as set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. 
The Advisory Committee shall consider whether (A) there was a clear 
medical or scientific purpose for the experiments; (B) appropriate 
medical follow-up was conducted; and (C) the experiments' design and 
administration adequately met the ethical and scientific standards, 
including standards of informed consent, that prevailed at the time of 
the experiments and that exist today.
    (2) The Advisory Committee shall evaluate the extent to which human 
radiation experiments were consistent with applicable ethical and 
scientific standards as determined by the Committee pursuant to 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section. If deemed necessary for such an 
assessment, the Committee may carry out a detailed review of experiments 
and associated records to the extent permitted by law.
    (3) If required to protect the health of individuals who were 
subjects of a human radiation experiment, or their descendants, the 
Advisory Committee may recommend to the Human Radiation Interagency 
Working Group that an agency notify particular subjects of an 
experiment, or their descendants, of any potential health risk or the 
need for medical follow-up.
    (4) The Advisory Committee may recommend further policies, as 
needed, to ensure compliance with recommended ethical and scientific 
standards for human radiation experiments.
    (5) The Advisory Committee may carry out such additional functions 
as the Human Radiation Interagency Working Group may from time to time 
    Sec. 3. Administration. (a) The heads of executive departments and 
agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, provide the Advisory 
Committee with such information as it may require for purposes of 
carrying out its functions.
    (b) Members of the Advisory Committee shall be compensated in 
accordance with Federal law. Committee members may be allowed travel 
expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, to the extent 
permitted by law for persons serving intermittently in the government 
service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707).
    (c) To the extent permitted by law, and subject to the availability 
of appropriations, the Department of Energy shall provide the Advisory 
Committee with such funds as may be necessary for the performance of its 
    Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of 
any other Executive order, the functions of the President under the 
Federal Advisory Committee Act that are applicable to the Advisory 
Committee, except that of reporting annually to the Congress, shall be 
performed by the Human Radiation Interagency Working Group, in 
accordance with the guidelines and procedures established by the 
Administrator of General Services.
    (b) The Advisory Committee shall terminate 30 days after submitting 
its final report

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to the Human Radiation Interagency Working Group.
    (c) This order is intended only to improve the internal management 
of the executive branch and it is not intended to create any right, 
benefit, trust, or responsibility, substantive or procedural, 
enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its 
agencies, its officers, or any person.
                                            William J. Clinton
The White House,
January 15, 1994.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:37 p.m., January 18, 

Note: This Executive order was released by the office of the press 
secretary on January 18, and it was published in the Federal Register on 
January 20.