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The Department of Energy's (DOE) Russian Health Studies Program assesses worker and public health risks from radiation exposure resulting from nuclear weapons production activities in the former Soviet Union.

The program fills data gaps by conducting studies of workers and residents exposed to internal and external ionizing radiation and providing data from these studies to national and international standard-setting organizations responsible for revising radiation protection standards and practices.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Russian Health Studies Program

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Russian Health Studies Program assesses worker and public health risks from radiation exposure resulting from nuclear weapons production activities in the former Soviet Union.

Program Goals

Clarify the relationship between health effects and chronic, low-to-medium dose radiation exposures;
Estimate cancer risks from exposure to gamma, neutron, and alpha radiation; and
Provide information to the national and international organizations that determine radiation protection standards and practices.

Research Projects

Presently, DOE supports 2 epidemiologic studies, 2 radiation dose reconstruction studies, and a tissue repository. All research is focused on workers at the Mayak Production Association (Mayak), which is Russia's first nuclear weapons production facility, and on the residents of the communities surrounding this facility. In 2005, researchers resolved important issues related to the doses received by the population living near the Techa River where radioactive wastes were released, and they published more than ten articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In 2006, researchers published 32 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In 2007, researchers published 25 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including 6 articles in the September Issue of Health Physics. The entire issue was devoted to the methodology for reconstructing radiation doses in 18,831 Mayak workers first employed between 1948 and 1972. Researchers published 11 articles in 2019 in peer-reviewed scientific journals for a total of 355.

RELATED DOCUMENTS and LINKS

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT

Joey Y. Zhou
(301) 903-3602