The rate of cortical bone resorption was assessed from long-term in vivo measurements of (90)Sr content in the skeleton for men aged 50-80 years and for women 0-30 years after menopause. Measurements of (90)Sr were conducted with a whole body counter (WBC) for residents of the Techa Riverside communities (Southern Urals, Russia), who ingested large amounts of (90)Sr as a result of releases of liquid radioactive wastes into the river from the Mayak plutonium facility in early 1950s. The results of this study showed an increase in the rate of cortical bone resorption in both men and women, as based on the use of accidentally ingested (90)Sr as a tracer for bone metabolism. In men there was a continuous gradual increase in the rate of cortical bone resorption after 55 years from 2.8 to 4.5%/year by the age of 75 years. In women, there was a doubled increase in the rate of cortical bone resorption after menopause of up to 6%/year; then the rate remained unchanged for 10-12 years with a subsequent gradual decline down to 5-5.5%/year. Comparison of the rate of cortical bone resorption in men and women older than 55 years showed that women expressed significantly higher levels of cortical bone resorption.
The Techa River Dosimetry System (TRDS) has been developed to provide estimates of dose received by approximately 30,000 members of the Extended Techa River Cohort (ETRC). Members of the ETRC were exposed beginning in 1949 to significant levels of external and internal (mainly from (90)Sr) dose but at low to moderate dose rates. Members of this cohort are being studied in an effort to test the hypothesis that exposure at low to moderate dose rates has the same ability to produce stochastic health effects as exposure at high dose rates. The current version of the TRDS is known as TRDS-2000 and is the subject of this paper. The estimated doses from (90)Sr are supported strongly by approximately 30,000 measurements made with a tooth beta-particle counter, measurements of bones collected at autopsy, and approximately 38,000 measurements made with a special whole-body counter that detects the bremsstrahlung from (90)Y. The median doses to the red bone marrow and the bone surface are 0.21 and 0.37 Gy, respectively. The maximum doses to the red bone marrow and bone surface are 2.0 and 5.2 Gy, respectively. Distributions of dose to other organs are provided and are lower than the values given above. Directions for future work are discussed.
The Mayak Production Association, which began operation in 1948, was the first facility in the former Soviet Union for the production of plutonium. Significant worker and population exposure occurred as a result of failures in the technological processes in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Members of the public were exposed via discharge of about 1017 Bq of liquid wastes into the Techa River during 1949-1956, an explosion in the radioactive waste-storage facility in 1957, and gaseous aerosol releases within the first decades of the facility's operation. Residents of many villages downstream on the Techa River were exposed via a variety of pathways; the more significant included drinking of water from the river and external gamma exposure due to proximity to sediments and shoreline. The specific aim of this project is to enhance the reconstruction of external and internal radiation doses for individuals in the Extended Techa River Cohort. The purpose of this paper is to present the details of the methods that are being used in this enhanced dose-reconstruction effort and to provide example and representative results of the calculations. The methods of dose assessment currently being developed for the exposed population [termed the Techa River Dosimetry System-2000 (TRDS-2000)], which are a significant improvement on past methods (TRDS-1996), are presented. The new TRDS-2000 doses from the ingestion of radionuclides are substantially higher for the gastrointestinal tract, due to consideration of short-lived radionuclides. The TRDS-2000 doses from external exposure are substantially lower due to improvements in several factors. Assessment of uncertainty and validation of the "new" doses are significant issues currently under investigation.
In this article we discuss examples of challenging problems in retrospective dosimetry and describe some promising solutions. The ability to make measurements by accelerator mass spectrometry and luminescence techniques promises to provide improved dosimetry for regions of Belarus, Ukraine and Russian Federation contaminated by radionuclides from the Chernobyl accident. In addition, it may soon be possible to resolve the large neutron discrepancy in the dosimetry system for Hiroshima through novel measurement techniques that can be used to reconstruct the fast-neutron fluence emitted by the bomb some 51 years ago. Important advances in molecular cytogenetics and electron paramagnetic resonance measurements have produced biodosimeters that show potential in retrospective dosimetry. The most promising of these are the frequency of reciprocal translocations measured in chromosomes of blood lymphocytes using fluorescence in situ hybridization and the electron paramagnetic resonance signal in tooth enamel.
Radioiodine released to the atmosphere from the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the spring of 1986 resulted in large-scale thyroid-gland exposure of populations in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Because of the short half life of 131I (8.04 d), adequate data on the intensities and patterns of iodine deposition were not collected, especially in the regions where the incidence of childhood-thyroid cancer is now increasing. Results are presented from a feasibility study that show that accelerator-mass-spectrometry measurements of 129I (half life 16 x 106 y) in soil can be used to reconstruct 131I-deposition density and thus help in the thyroid-dosimetry effort that is now urgently needed to support epidemiologic studies of childhood-thyroid cancer in the affected regions.
Radioactive material was deposited throughout the Northern Hemisphere as a result of the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station on 26 April 1986. On the basis of a large amount of environmental data and new integrated dose assessment and risk models, the collective dose commitment to the approximately 3 billion inhabitants is calculated to be 930,000 person-gray, with 97% in the western Soviet Union and Europe. The best estimates for the lifetime expectation of fatal radiogenic cancer would increase the risk from 0 to 0.02% in Europe and 0 to 0.003% in the Northern Hemisphere. By means of an integration of the environmental data, it is estimated that approximately 100 petabecquerels of cesium-137 (1 PBq = 10(15) Bq) were released during and subsequent to the accident.
The paper considers the radiation doses of the thyroid gland in the inhabitants from the Ukrainian SSR areas (Kiev, Zhitomir, Chernigov, and Vinnitsa Regions), which have been obtained by instrumental studies of thyroidal radioactivity in May-June, 1986, and calculated by the most conservative single-dose administration model. A hygienic evaluation has been made of the findings, taking into account the age and residence. The cumulative irradiation doses of the thyroid have been estimated for children and adults. Possible late sequelae for the areas in question may account for 1060 and 300 thyroid carcinoma cases during the whole life for children and adults, respectively.
The data on the assessment of the radiobiological situation and the results of clinical and epidemiological studies into the population health status, exposed to radiation because of the Chernobyl NPP accident are summarized. Appropriate regularities in soil contamination with 137Cs are ascertained. It has been shown that the disease incidence among the children's and adult population of the controlled areas is associated not only with improvement of the disease revealing but with the influence of the accident consequences.
The Mayak Production Association was the first site for the production of weapons-grade plutonium in Russia. Early operations led to the waterborne release of radioactive materials into the small Techa River. Residents living downstream used river water for drinking and other purposes. The releases and subsequent flooding resulted in deposition of sediments along the shoreline and on floodplain soil. Primary routes of exposure were external dose from the deposited sediments and ingestion of 90Sr and other radionuclides. Study of the Techa River Cohort has revealed an increased incidence of leukemia and solid cancers. Epidemiologic studies are supported by extensive dose-reconstruction activities that have led to various versions of a Techa River Dosimetry System (TRDS). The correctness of the TRDS has been challenged by the allegation that releases of short-lived radionuclides were much larger than those used in the TRDS. Although the dosimetry system depends more upon measurements of 90Sr in humans and additional measurements of radionuclides and of exposure rates in the environment, a major activity has been undertaken to define more precisely the time-dependent rates of release and their radionuclide composition. The major releases occurred during 1950-1951 in the form of routine releases and major accidental releases. The reevaluated amount of total release is 114 PBq, about half of which was from accidents that occurred in late 1951. The time-dependent composition of the radionuclides released has also been reevaluated. The improved understanding presented in this paper is possible because of access to many documents not previously available.