The Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident happened on April 26, 1986. We investigated the cause of the striking increase in frequency of thyroid cancer in children who lived within a 150 km radius of Chernobyl and who were born before and after the accident. No thyroid cancer was seen in 9472 children born in 1987-89, whereas one and 31 thyroid cancers were recorded in 2409 children born April 27, 1986, to Dec 31, 1986, and 9720 born Jan 1, 1983, to April 26, 1986, respectively. Short-lived radioactive fallout caused by the Chernobyl accident probably induced thyroid cancer in children living near Chernobyl.
Current doses arising from external and internal pathways have been estimated for the residents of two villages, Muslumovo and Brodokalmak, alongside the Techa River, which was contaminated by radioactive releases from the Mayak production facility. The dose estimates are based on numerous environmental measurements supplemented by further human whole body measurements and studies on occupational and dietary habits of Slavic and Turkish ethnic groups. Estimated doses arise mainly from use of the contaminated floodplains alongside the Techa River. The current average annual effective dose attributable to Cs and Sr in the environment, under conditions where restrictions on some river-related activities are in place, may exceed the Russian national action level of 1 mSv only in the hypothetical critical group of herdsmen in Muslumovo. The dose to this critical group in Brodokalmak is assessed to be 3 times less than that in Muslumovo and 2 fold below the action level. The external and internal exposures give comparable contributions to the total dose in both settlements and population groups: 47% and 53% in Muslumovo and 40% and 60% in Brodokalmak, respectively. About one quarter to one half of the internal dose in adults arises from the intake of Sr. In order to avoid substantial increases in the dose received by Muslumovo residents, it is expedient to prolong the current policy of restriction of some river-related population activities in this village.
After the nuclear accident of Chernobyl, in the population of zones contaminated the malignant renal tumors was increased from 4.7 to 7.5 per 100,000 of total population. Cesium 137 (137Cs) constitutes 80-90% of the internal exposure of these people as well as eliminated through kidneys becomes an important risk factor. We present a case of a patient, residing in radiocontamined area, who consulted for abdominal pain and left flank mass. We review relevant literature and the management of these patients.
Because of their well-documented exposures to repeated low doses of ionizing radiation, nuclear reactor workers offer an opportunity to assess cancer risk from low-dose radiation. A cohort of all 15,619 Finnish nuclear reactor workers was established through dose-monitoring records. A questionnaire survey revealed no substantial differences in consumption of tobacco or alcohol between different exposure groups nor between nuclear power company employees and contract workers. In the follow-up for cancer incidence, no clear excess in cancer incidence was observed overall, nor was any observed in any of the specific cancer types studied. There was little evidence for an association between cancer incidence and cumulative radiation dose, but the statistical power was limited. More precise estimates will be available from an international collaborative study of nuclear industry workers, including our cohort.
One group that has the potential to be exposed to radiation is workers in the nuclear industry. Results of a systematic medical follow-up and dosimetric monitoring of these workers can form the basis for a study of the relationship between cancer incidence and radiation dose. As part of such efforts in Russia, a major institution of the nuclear industry with an established medical care unit, archiving capabilities, and dosimetry department was selected: the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE) in Obninsk. In the study, a comparative analysis of cancer incidence rates for the IPPE workers and for the general population of Russia in 1991-1997 was carried out. The subjects were the IPPE workers hired before 1981. This restriction was imposed to reduce the uncertainty associated with the possible latent period in the development of solid cancers. Thus the possibility of including persons who already had the disease at the time when they were hired was minimized. The analysis is based on information about 158 cancer cases, including 24 cancers in persons under individual dosimetric monitoring. A statistically significant excess in cancer incidence was found among the IPPE workers compared with a comparison population (the general population of Russia) for some types of cancers. The SIR values for all cancers (ICD-9: 140-208) is 0.93 (95% CI 0.76, 1.12) for males and 1.42 (95% CI 1.06, 1.87) for females. A statistically significant excess for all cancers was also observed for residents of Obninsk compared to the control comparison population. The corresponding SIR value was 1.20 (95% CI 1.12, 1.28) for males and 1.58 (95% CI 1.49, 1.69) for females. An important reason for the observed excess in cancer incidence compared to the control population may be the higher level of health care in the so-called nuclear cities of Russia which may have resulted in increased diagnosis and registration of cancers. A statistically significant dependence of the cancer incidence on the dose of ionizing radiation was not established. The excess relative risk per gray for all types of cancer was 0.91 (95% CI -2.75, 4.61) for males and 0.40 (95% CI -6.94, 7.83) for females. These estimates should be considered to be preliminary, as the number of cases considered in the analysis of the dose response is small (17 males and 7 females).
This paper presents the results of a 4-y investigation of 14C in different waste streams of both boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Due to the potential impact of 14C on human health, minimizing waste and releases from the nuclear power industry is of considerable interest. The experimental data and conclusions may be implemented to select appropriate waste management strategies and practices at reactor units and disposal facilities. Organic and inorganic 14C in spent ion exchange resins, process water systems, ejector off-gas and replaced steam generator tubes were analyzed using a recently developed extraction method. Separate analysis of the chemical species is of importance in order to model and predict the fate of 14C within process systems as well as in dose calculations for disposal facilities. By combining the results of this investigation with newly calculated production rates, mass balance assessments were made of the 14C originating from production in the coolant. Of the 14C formed in the coolant of BWRs, 0.6-0.8% was found to be accumulated in the ion exchange resins (core-specific production rate in the coolant of a 2,500 MWth BWR calculated to be 580 GBq GW(e)(-1) y(-1)). The corresponding value for PWRs was 6-10% (production rate in a 2,775 MWth PWR calculated to be 350 GBq GW(e)(-1) y(-1)). The 14C released with liquid discharges was found to be insignificant, constituting less than 0.5% of the production in the coolant. The stack releases, routinely measured at the power plants, were found to correspond to 60-155% of the calculated coolant production, with large variations between the BWR units.
Following the Chernobyl accident many activities were conducted in Ukraine in order to define the radiological impact. Considered here are gamma spectrometric analyses of soil-depth-profile samples taken in the years 1988-1999, gamma spectrometric measurements of radionuclide concentration in soil samples taken in 1986, and measurements of external gamma-exposure rate in air. These data are analyzed in this paper to derive a "reference" radionuclide composition and an attenuation function for the time-dependent rate of external gamma exposure that changes due to the migration of radiocesium into the soil column. An attenuation function for cesium is derived that consists of two exponential functions with half lives of 1.5 and 50 y. The dependencies of attenuation on direction and distance from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant are also demonstrated. On the basis of these analyses the average individual and collective external gamma doses for the population of Ukraine are derived for 1986, 1986-2000, and 1986-2055. For the 1.4 million persons living in rural areas with 137Cs contamination of >37 kBq m(-2), the collective effective dose from external exposure is estimated to be 7,500 person-Sv by the end of 2000. A critical group of 22,500 persons who received individual doses of >20 mSv is identified for consideration of increased social and medical attention.
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 26, 1986, triggered a chain of devastating events that later included an unexpected increase in childhood thyroid cancer and evidence of iodine deficiency (ID) in Russia. For the Russian people the Chernobyl event had profound psychological impacts, provoking anxiety about nuclear technology and mistrust of governmental control efforts. Frequently in public health a crisis is required to create the political will to manage longstanding problems, and public health officials must rapidly mobilize to take advantage of the opportunity. In this case, ID, previously not seen as a problem in Russia, was recognized to be potentially serious, and the Russian Federation, assisted by the catalytic bi-national effort of the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation (Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission (GCC)) established a model salt iodization policy, developed a planning process, and implemented a program to prevent ID through a systematic approach that included the people, government, and private groups using open communication, dissemination of the findings, and action plans. By 1999, political will had been mobilized and over 20% of the nation's salt was being iodized, up from about 1% in 1996. Universal iodization of salt was not a specific objective of the GCC; however, the increasing availability of iodized salt is leading to the elimination of ID, which is now a political goal in Russia. The full realization of this goal will require more time for education, marketing, and possibly legislative action.
National Cancer Institute, Radiation Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD 20852, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org