Amchitka Independent Science Assessment

CRESP Amchitka Project Chronology

  • July 2000: The Governor of Alaska requested the U.S. Secretary of Energy to approve an independent assessment of the marine environment at Amchitka. The 2000 letter specified his preference that a CRESP team conduct the Assessment.
  • June 2002: A Letter of Intent was signed between the State of Alaska, and the Department of Energy specifiying CRESP, and the process for an independent science assessment.
  • June 2003: CRESP Amchitka Science Plan was completed and approved.
  • June-August 2004: CRESP Amchitka Expedition was completed.
  • August 2005: The final report of the Amchitka assessment results is completed, and a public briefing is held in Anchorage, Alaska.
  • January 13, 2006: The CRESP Report Biomonitoring for Ecosystem and Human Health Protection at Amchitka Island is completed.
  • February 8, 2006: CRESP gives a public briefing on the CRESP reports.

The CRESP Amchitka Project was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, under Award No. DE-FG26-00NT40938 to the Institute for Responsible Management, Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation II. However, any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the DOE.

CRESP Amchitka Project Summary

Alaska Forum Presentation February 2006

Alaska Forum on the Environment, Anchorage, Alaska
February 8, 2006
CRESP Presentation: Amchitka Independent Assessment A Public Briefing on the CRESP Reports

CRESP was asked by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) to present the results of its work on Amchitka to the Amchitka Nuclear Test Sites Update session of the 2006 Alaska Forum on the Environment held in Anchorage on February 8, 2006. This presentation provides the single best graphic summary of CRESP’s total Amchitka work product and its implications. View Presentation (Large file size 7.93MB)


Amchitka Independent Assessment Science Plan

The Amchitka Independent Assessment Science Plan has been completed in accordance with the Letter of Intent (LOI) for Amchitka Island signed in June of 2002 between the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Department of Energy. That LOI required approval by four entities of the assessment science plan. This June 24, 2003 version is the approved version of that plan.

Cover Sheet View

Amchitka Independent Assessment Science Plan, June 24, 2003 View Plan

REVIEW OF THE AMCHITKA INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT SCIENCE PLAN By A Subcommittee of the CRESP Peer Review Committee, Submitted to CRESP, February 2004

View Report

Amchikta Assessment Results

On August 1 2005 CRESP, an independent consortium of university-based environmental scientists, announced the results from three 2004 expeditions to Amchitka Island in the western Aleutians to assess radionuclides in that marine environment. Three nuclear test shots were set off under Amchitka by the U.S. Government during a six-year period beginning in 1965.

View Complete Report

Peer Review of the Amchitka Report

Before releasing the report, CRESP did, as it typically does with important studies, ask its distinguished peer review committee to review its draft report so it could improve the final version. Arthur Upton, former director of the National Cancer Institute and chair of the CRESP Review Committee on behalf of its sub-committee (John F. Ahearne, Melvin W. Carter, Charles Fairhurst, Ph.D., Morton Lippmann) on Amchitka said of that draft: “The methods were well conceived, expertly applied and have produced results that are definitive and thereby enable conclusions that should be meaningful to all concerned…. In view of the high quality of the studies reported, and their failure to find evidence of the release of radioactivity from the shot cavities into the surrounding environment, the results that are presented should be reassuring to concerned stakeholders.” View Peer Review Committee Report

Charles Powers, Michael Gochfeld, Joanna Burger, David Kosson, and David Barnes (L-R)

Amchitka Independent Assessment: A Press and Public Briefing on the CRESP Report, August 1, Anchorage, Alaska

Briefing on CRESP Amchitka Report August 1, 2005

CRESP Answers to Questions from Stakeholders

CRESP held public meetings in Anchorage, Alaska to present the results of its Amchitka independent assessment study on the evening of August 1 and the morning of August 2, 2005. The CRESP presentation was followed that evening by an hour and a half of questions from participants; and, as planned, a second and more informal open session for additional questions was held for about four hours the next morning.

About 70 persons including members of the press attended one or the other of these meetings. For those who could not attend the meetings, we provide some of the key questions CRESP was asked and the answers provided in these meetings.

ADDENDUM TO: Final Report of the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation Amchitka Independent Science Assessment: Biological and Geophysical Aspects of Potential Radionuclide Exposure in the Amchitka Marine Environment Selecting Radiological Data for Bioindicator Selection

January 11, 2006

In this addendum we report on the following additional analyses performed by CRESP after preparation of the Report (July 2005): 1) Additional actinide analyses of Ulva and kelp (including Laminaria), 2) Actinide analyses for additional Rock Jingles, Blue Mussels and Horse Mussels, and 3) Cesium-137, Co-60 and I-129 analyses of additional fish (Atka Mackerel, Rock Sole, Ocean Perch, Rock Greenling). These analyses were performed to aid in discrimination for bioindicator selection and provide additional clarification of differences in radionuclide content measured at Amchitka in comparison to Kiska. The overall conclusion of the Amchitka Independent Science Assessment: Biological and Geophysical Aspects of Potential Radionuclide Exposure in the Amchitka Marine Environment remains the same: 1) the foods tested are safe to eat, with radionuclide levels below published human health guidance levels, 2) our data do not suggest that radionuclides in biota collected from Amchitka are attributable to the Amchitka test shots, and 3) a combination of sedentary and mobile organisms at different trophic levels is ideal for a continued biomonitoring program at Amchitka. The addendum was reviewed by the CRESP Peer Review Committee. View Addendum to Final Amchitka Report

CRESP Peer Review Committee Review of Addendum Report

Biomonitoring report

Biomonitoring for Ecosystem and Human Health Protection at Amchitka Island

The purpose of the biomonitoring report is to provide CRESP’s recommendations for a biomonitoring plan at Amchitka, particularly with respect to what radionuclides to examine, what species should serve as bioindicators, where to monitor, and when to monitor. The CRESP conclusions are based on the data presented in the full CRESP report (Powers et al. 2005) and addendum (Powers et al. 2006). This report was reviewed by the CRESP Peer Review Committee.

View Biomonitoring Report

View Peer Review Committee Report

Amchitka Radionuclide Data Set

CRESP is pleased to make available the raw analytic results for radionuclides in biota from its Independent Scientific Assessment of the Amchitka marine environment, including the reference site at Kiska Island. View Data Set and Note on wet to dry weight conversions. (GPS Locations)

Amchitka Expedition Photographs

CRESP Expedition Team

View photographs from the Amchitka Expedition during the summer of 2004. Photographs include images from Adak and the preparation to leave for Amchitka on the Ocean Explorer, Amchitka Island during Phase I, the Physical Sampling, and from Phase II, the Biological Sampling, the Biological Diving Team, and other images from the expedition.

Amchitka Independent Assessment Implementation Summary and Plan

CRESP Amchitka Implementation Summary

In the documents found on this page of the CRESP website, the reader will find an extensive discussion of how CRESP II plans to implement its Amchitka Scientific Assessment Plan. View Summary

Implementation Plan Documents

The implementation plan documents include: (I) The expedition: How CRESP planned to collect diverse types of data during the summer of 2004 including gathering the physical snf biological data; (II) Radionuclide analysis and data management; and (III) the Health and Safety Plan for the expedition. View Plan documents

CRESP Amchitka Project: Updates during the Expedition and Laboratory Analysis (2004-2005)

CRESP updates during the expedition and the laboratory analysis phase of the project are available including (I) June 28, 2004 at the start of the expedition; (II) June 21, 2004: CRESP researchers successfully collected biological and physical samples; (III) August 7, 2004: Phase 3 of Amchitka Expedition Completed; (IV) October 2007: Initial Specimen Screening and Future Laboratory Testing; and (V) April 2005: Final Phase of Laboratory Analysis, Magnetotellurics Data Results and Preparation of the Final Report. View Updates

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