A research programme sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (BMU) was conducted during 1992 and 1993 in the Southern Urals, to provide an initial validation and comparison of results of population exposure arising from the release of radioactive waste from the MAYAK nuclear facility between the years 1948 and 1967. This programme included investigations of the contamination of the soil, of food (milk, drinking-water, potatoes) and whole-body-counter measurements of inhabitants of settlements at the Techa River. The nuclides of interest were plutonium isotopes and the long-lived fission products 137Cs and 90Sr. Results of these investigations, particularly in and around the village of Muslyumovo (78 km downstream from the point of release of the radioactive waste into the Techa River), are shown. These investigations are a first step towards an independent validation of the enormous data base collected by the Russian institutes and of derived values of the doses to the population of the Techa River.