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Technogenic Risk for Population in Nuclear Environment


Technogenic Radiation Risk Assessment for Population Residing Nearby Atomic Facilities

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology
  • MED-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Medicine
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Svetlova A V

Leading Institute
VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk

Supporting institutes

  • NPO Mayak, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Oziorsk\nState Research Center – Institute of Biophysics / Chelyabinsk Branch, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Oziorsk\nState Research Center – Institute of Biophysics, Russia, Moscow


  • Radiobiological Institute of the University of Munich, Germany, Munich

Project summary

Project Objective

The main objective of the project is to assess technogenic radiation risk of population residing nearby atomic facilities.

Since 01.02.95 within the scope of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) the research has been conducted under the Project 060-95 titled “Evaluation of the Potential Health Risk Resulting from Worker and Public Exposures to Radioactive and Toxic Substances in the Chelyabinsk Region”. The work resulted in formation of the unique cohorts of children who was born in Ozyorsk and Snezhinsk in 1974-1988 to study health effects of radiation in members of general public residing nearby PA MAYAK - operating facility of the atomic industry. In the course of the study conducted under the project 060-95 vital status was ascertained as of 31.12.96 for more than 96% of inpiduals included in the selected cohorts.

Undoubtedly, it is of great interest to analyze the public health rates over a long period of time. Given the facts that since 1963 regular environmental monitoring has been established at PA MAYAK and in Snezhinsk intended for control by the beginning of 1960 infrastructure has been already completely formed, it seems quite appropriate to perform an epidemiological study for population cohorts of children born in 1963-1984 and finish the follow-up in 1999. Data on health status will cover all the period of childhood (age of 0-15) and data on environmental monitoring together with mathematical models for retrospective dosimetry will allow to assess rather properly the effective doses of technogenic radiation.

The key difference between the new project and project 060-95 is that epidemiological research will be conducted in cohorts with wider range of doses and extended set of health criteria which is proposed to involve not only mortality rates, but incidence rates as well, especially nosologic forms responding to radiation most adequately. Specifically, analysis on cancer incidence rates will be taken including first of all occurrence of leukemia and thyroid neoplasm because of their higher informativeness, as compared with mortality rates.

We plan to analyze occurrence of congenital malformations including the cases when they did not cause death.

Incidence rates will be analyzed for the entire basic and control cohorts and for a sub-cohort consisting of children whose parents and grandparents have been subjected to occupational exposure during their work at PA MAYAK or at the radiation hazardous area of RFNC-VNIITF.

To gain the main goal of the new project it is necessary to solve the following tasks:

· Form a basic critical group of the Ozyorsk residents and appropriate control group of the Snezhinsk residents. It is supposed these public cohorts will comprise the children who was born in Ozyorsk (in Snezhinsk for control cohort) in the period of 1963-1988 or came to the town in childhood (at age of 0-14) after 1963 and has lived there one year at least. Create basic and control registries for selected cohorts.

· Ascertain vital status of persons included into the basic and control groups as of 01.01.1999 so that the follow-up period for the whole cohort would cover the entire childhood, i.e. 15 years at least. For inpiduals died in 1963-1998, verify and code (by ICD-9) causes of death.

· Verify data on incidence of cancer and congenital malformations among children - members of the cohorts on the basis of medical documents (clinical cards, case records, archives of the surgery, autopsy, oncology services).

· Evaluate historically the radiation environment in the towns of Ozyorsk and Snezhinsk over the period of 1963-1998 (on archives).

· Assess the technogenic radiation doses to inpiduals included in the basic and control groups resulted from residence in Ozyorsk and Snezhinsk.

· Assess the doses of occupational exposures received by parents and grandparents of the inpiduals included in the basic and control cohorts with the use of historical data on inpidual radiation monitoring at PA MAYAK and RFNC-VNIITF.

· Select and improve software, develop and maintain the computer databases containing the health and dosimetry information, and conduct epidemiological study with these databases.

· Select radiation risk model.

· Assess child mortality level.

· Assess infant mortality level and effects of non-radiation factors.

· Assess rates of cancer mortality and cancer incidence (including leukemia among children).

· Assess the level of congenial malformations.

· Quantify risk (first of all, cancer risk) for the public of concern on the basis of epidemiological study carried out.

Expected Results

Age-specific Health & Dosimetry registries will be created for the residents of the towns of Ozyorsk and Snezhinsk. Epidemiological studies will be conducted for the basic and control cohorts of population.

Epidemiological study will result in obtaining quantitative values for radiation risk of determinate and stochastic effects of protracted exposure to technogenic radiation in childhood. The effects of parents and grandparents exposures will be evaluated.

The results obtained will serve as a scientific basis for developing the hygienic standards and criteria of safe residence nearby operating atomic facilities.


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