DOSE RECONSTRUCTION SYSTEM FOR THE EXPOSED POPULATION LIVING ALONG THE TECHA RIVER

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Abstract

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.

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