The White House is calling together officials from four federal agencies to help chart a plan to swiftly uncover the secrets of Cold War government radiation tests on humans.

Monday's meeting at the White House was scheduled as Defense Secretary Les Aspin on Thursday ordered the military to comb its files for information on hundreds of radiation experiments conducted on people in the 1940s and 1950s.The Department of Veterans Affairs also is looking into whether 14 of its facilities injected low-level radioactive isotopes into veterans during those same decades, a spokeswoman said.

Other agencies are investigating their role in radiation testing as well, hoping to determine who was affected and what the lasting implications may be.

As many as 800 people were exposed to radiation in tests during the Cold War, and while some gave their consent, many apparently were not fully informed of the risks, federal officials say.

Meanwhile, new reports emerged Friday in Massachusetts that indicate the testing on unsuspecting individuals was far more widespread than originally believed.

Boston newspapers said Friday a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher took part in federally sponsored experimental radiation tests on retarded teens, pregnant women and elderly patients after World War II.

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Both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald reported that MIT researcher Dr. Constantine Maletskos took part in the tests at several Boston hospitals with radioactive materials provided by the Atomic Energy Commission.

Another report said severely retarded infants and young children, including orphans, at the Fernald State School in Waltham were offered as tests subjects for studies at Beth Israel Hospital in the early 1950s.

In a sign of the importance the Clinton administration attaches to the issue, staff from the departments of Energy, Defense and Veterans Affairs and from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration were summoned for a Monday afternoon session at the White House.

The White House hopes to "coordinate the process of going through the records of these agencies," spokesman Jeff Eller said at Hilton Head Island, S.C., where President Clinton is vacationing.

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