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Saint Petersburg, Russia

Drozdovitch V.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Khrouch V.,Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center formerly Institute of Biophysics | Maceika E.,Lithuanian Academy of Sciences | Zvonova I.,Institute of Radiation Hygiene | And 10 more authors.
Health Physics

A population-based case-control study of thyroid cancer was carried out in contaminated regions of Belarus and Russia among persons who were exposed during childhood and adolescence to fallout from the Chernobyl accident. For each study subject, individual thyroid doses were reconstructed for the following pathways of exposure: (1) intake of I via inhalation and ingestion; (2) intake of short-lived radioiodines (I, I, and I) and radiotelluriums (Te, Te) via inhalation and ingestion; (3) external dose from radionuclides deposited on the ground; and (4) ingestion of Cs and Cs. A series of intercomparison exercises validated the models used for reconstruction of average doses to populations of specific age groups as well as of individual doses. Median thyroid doses from all factors for study subjects were estimated to be 0.37 and 0.034 Gy in Belarus and Russia, respectively. The highest individual thyroid doses among the subjects were 10.2 Gy in Belarus and 5.3 Gy in Russia. Iodine-131 intake was the main pathway for thyroid exposure. Estimated doses from short-lived radioiodines and radiotelluriums ranged up to 0.53 Gy. Reconstructed individual thyroid doses from external exposure ranged up to 0.1 Gy, while those from internal exposure due to ingested cesium did not exceed 0.05 Gy. The uncertainty of the reconstructed individual thyroid doses, characterized by the geometric standard deviation, varies from 1.7 to 4.0 with a median of 2.2. Copyright © 2010 Health Physics Society. Source

The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine in 1986 caused a huge release of radionuclides over large areas of Europe. During large scale activities focused on overcoming of its negative consequences for public health, various research programmes in radioecology, dosimetry and radiation medicine were conducted. New knowledge was applied internationally in substantial updating of radiation protection systems for emergency and existing situations of human exposure, for improvement of emergency preparedness and response. Radioecological and dosimetry models were significantly improved and validated with numerous measurement data, guidance on environmental countermeasures and monitoring elaborated and tested. New radiological knowledge can be of use in the planning and implementation of rehabilitation programmes in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear accident. In particular, the following activity areas would benefit from application of the Chernobyl experience: strategy of rehabilitation, and technology of settlement decontamination and of countermeasures applied in agriculture and forestry. The Chernobyl experience could be very helpful in planning research activities initiated by the Fukushima radionuclide fallout, i.e. environmental transfer of radionuclides, effectiveness of site-specific countermeasures, nationwide dose assessment, health effect studies, etc. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

Balonov M.I.,Institute of Radiation Hygiene | Shrimpton P.C.,Public Health England
Annals of the ICRP

The radiation risks from a range of medical x-ray examinations (radiography, fluoroscopy, and computed tomography) were assessed as a function of the age and sex of the patient using risk models described in Publication 103 (ICRP, 2007) and UNSCEAR (2006, Annex A). Such estimates of risk based on typical organ doses were compared with those derived from effective doses using the International Commission on Radiological Protection's nominal risk coefficients. Methodologically similar but not identical dose and risk calculations were performed independently at the Institute of Radiation Hygiene (Russia) and the Health Protection Agency (UK), and led to similar conclusions. The radiogenic risk of stochastic health effects following various x-ray procedures varied significantly with the patient's age and sex, but to differing degrees depending on which body organs were irradiated. In general, the risks of radiation-induced stochastic health effects in children are estimated to be higher (by a factor of ≤4) than in adults, and risks in senior patients are lower by a factor of ≥10 relative to younger people. If risks are assessed on the basis of effective dose, they are underestimated for children of both sexes by a factor of ≤4. This approach overestimates risks by a factor of ≤3 for adults and about an order of magnitude for senior patients. The significant sex and age dependence of radiogenic risk for different cancer types is an important consideration for radiologists when planning x-ray examinations. Whereas effective dose was not intended to provide a measure of risk associated with such examinations, it may be sufficient to make simple adjustments to the nominal risk per unit effective dose to account for age and sex differences. © 2012 . Source

Balonov M.I.,Institute of Radiation Hygiene
Journal of Radiological Protection

The health and environmental consequences of the Chernobyl accident continue to attract the attention of experts, decision-makers and the general public, and now these consequences have been given added relevance by the similar accident in 2011 at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant (NPP) in Japan. Expert analysis of radiation levels and effects has been conducted by international bodies - UNSCEAR in 2008 and the Chernobyl Forum during 2003-5. At the same time, three Russian and Belarusian scientists, Yablokov, Nesterenko and Nesterenko (2009 Chernobyl. Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment (New York: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences)) published both in Russian and English a substantial review of the consequences of Chernobyl based mostly on Russian-language papers. In this book, they suggested a departure from analytical epidemiological studies in favour of ecological ones. This erroneous approach resulted in the overestimation of the number of accident victims by more than 800 000 deaths during 1987-2004. This paper investigates the mistakes in methodology made by Yablokov et al and concludes that these errors led to a clear exaggeration of radiation-induced health effects. Should similar mistakes be made following the 2011 accident at Fukushima-1 NPP this could lead quite unnecessarily to a panic reaction by the public about possible health effects and to erroneous decisions by the authorities in Japan. © IOP 2012 Publishing Ltd. Source

Ramzaev V.,Institute of Radiation Hygiene | Barkovsky A.,Institute of Radiation Hygiene | Goncharova Y.,Institute of Radiation Hygiene | Gromov A.,Institute of Radiation Hygiene | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity

The accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant has resulted in radioactive contamination of environmental media and food in the Far East of Russia, particularly in the Sakhalin Region. To obtain the knowledge about the 134Cs and 137Cs spatial distribution in the Sakhalin Region, soil samples were collected at 31 representative grassland sites on Sakhalin, Kunashir and Shikotan islands (43.80°-46.40° N and 142.73°-146.84° E) in the middle of May and around the end of September to early October 2011. In the autumn, vegetation samples (mixed grass/forb crop and bamboo, Sasa sp.) were collected together with soil samples. Maximum measured activity concentrations (on dry weight) of 134Cs and 137Cs in soil were 30 Bq kg-1 and 210 Bq kg-1, respectively. Within soil profile, 134Cs activity concentrations declined rapidly with depth. Although for both sampling occasions (in the spring and autumn) the radionuclide was completely retained in the upper 3-4 cm of soil, a deeper penetration of the contaminant into the ground was observed in the autumn. In contrast with 134Cs, activity concentrations of 137Cs demonstrated a broad range of the vertical distribution in soil; at most sites, the radionuclide was found down to a depth of 20 cm. This resulted from interfering the aged pre-accidental 137Cs and the new Fukushima-borne 137Cs. To calculate contribution of these sources to the inventory of 137Cs, the 134Cs:137Cs activity ratio of 1:1 in Fukushima fallout (the reference date 15 March 2011) was used. The maximum deposition density of Fukushima-derived 137Cs was found on Shikotan and Kunashir Islands with average density of 0.124 ± 0.018 kBq m-2 and 0.086 ± 0.026 kBq m-2, respectively. Sakhalin Island was less contaminated by Fukushima-derived 137Cs of 0.021 ± 0.018 kBq m-2. For the south of Sakhalin Island, the reference inventory of pre-Fukushima 137Cs was calculated as 1.93 ± 0.25 kBq m-2 (reference date 15 March 2011). For Shikotan and Kunashir Islands, the pre-Fukushima reference levels of 137Cs ground contamination appeared to be higher: on average, 2.81 ± 0.35 kBq m-2. Maximum measured activity concentrations (on wet weight) of 134Cs and 137Cs in the vegetation were 5 Bq kg-1 and 18 Bq kg-1, respectively. Soil-to-plant aggregated transfer factors, Tags, for 134Cs were more than an order of magnitude higher than those for 137Cs. For the above-ground biomass density of 1 kg per m2 (wet weight), plant contamination may contribute approximately 2% and 0.1% to the ground deposition of Fukushima-derived and pre-accidental 137Cs, respectively. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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