1947: U.S. Atomic Energy Commission begins radioactive experiments on human subjects

Colonel E.E. Kirkpatrick of the U.S. AEC issues a secret document (07075001, January 8, 1947) stating that the AEC will begin administering intravenous doses of radioactive substances to human subjects. An April 17, 1947, AEC document states: “It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans that might have an adverse reaction on public opinion or result in legal suits,” revealing that the U.S. government was aware of the health risks its nuclear tests posed to military personnel conducting the tests or nearby civilians (Goliszek, 2003).

1947: An April 17, 1947 Col OG Haywood of the Army Corps of Engineers explained why the radiation experiments were classified: “It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans and might have adverse effect on public opinion or result in legal suits” (The Washington Post, Dec. 16, 1994).