The alpha spectrometry measurements of specific activity of 238Pu and 239Pu in urine from bioassay examinations of 1,013 workers employed at the radiochemical and plutonium production facilities of the Mayak Production Association and in autopsy specimens of lung, liver, and skeleton from 85 former nuclear workers who died between 1974-2009, are summarized.The accumulation fraction of 238Pu in the body and excreta has not changed with time in workers involved in production of weapons-grade plutonium production (e.g., the plutonium production facility and the former radiochemical facility). The accumulation fraction of 238Pu in individuals exposed to plutonium isotopes at the newer Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant ranged from 0.13% up to 27.5% based on the autopsy data. No statistically significant differences between 238Pu and 239Pu in distribution by the main organs of plutonium deposition were found in the Mayak workers. Based on the bioassay data,the fraction of 238Pu activity in urine is on average 38-69% of the total activity of 238Pu and 239Pu, which correlates with the isotopic composition in workplace air sampled at the Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant. In view of the higher specific activity of 238Pu, the contribution of 238Pu to the total internal dose, particularly in the skeleton and liver, might be expected to continue to increase, and continued surveillance is recommended.
A method is presented to determine the uncertainties in the reported dose due to incorporated plutonium for the Mayak Worker Cohort. The methodology includes errors generated by both detection methods and modeling methods. To accomplish the task, the method includes classical statistics, Monte Carlo, perturbation, and reliability groupings. Uncertainties are reported in percent of reported dose as a function of total body burden. The cohort was initially sorted into six reliability groups, with "A" being the data set that the investigators are most confident is correct and "G" being the data set with the most ambiguous data. Categories were adjusted based on preliminary calculation of uncertainties using the sorting criteria. Specifically, the impact of transportability (the parameter used to describe the transport of plutonium from the lung to systemic organs) was underestimated, and the structure of the sort was reorganized to reflect the impact of transportability. The finalized categories are designated with Roman numerals I through V, with "I" being the most reliable. Excluding Category V (neither bioassay nor autopsy), the highest uncertainty in lung doses is for individuals from Category IV-which ranged from 90-375% for total body burdens greater than 10 Bq, along with work histories that indicated exposure to more than one transportability class. The smallest estimated uncertainties for lung doses were determined by autopsy. Category I has a 32-38% uncertainty in the lung dose for total body burdens greater than 1 Bq. First, these results provide a further definition and characterization of the cohort and, second, they provide uncertainty estimates for these plutonium exposure categories.