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J Radiat Res. 2011;52(1):88-95. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

Current concentration of artificial radionuclides and estimated radiation doses from 137Cs around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Testing Site, and in Nagasaki.

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Department of Radiation Epidemiology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan.


To evaluate current environmental contamination and contributions from internal and external exposure due to the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) and nuclear tests at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Testing Site (SNTS), concentrations of artificial radionuclides in edible mushrooms, soils and stones from each area were analyzed by gamma spectrometry. Annual effective doses were calculated for each area from the cesium contamination. Calculated internal effective doses of (137)Cs due to ingestion of mushrooms were 1.8 × 10(-1) mSv/year (y) in Gomel city (around CNPP), 1.7 × 10(-1) mSv/y in Korosten city (around CNPP), 2.8 × 10(-4) mSv/y in Semipalatinsk city, and 1.3 × 10(-4) mSv/y in Nagasaki. Calculated external effective doses of (137)Cs were 3.4 × 10(-2) mSv/y in Gomel city, 6.2 × 10(-2) mSv/y in Korosten city, 2.0 × 10(-4) mSv/y in Semipalatinsk city, and 1.3 × 10(-4) mSv/y in Nagasaki. Distribution of radionuclides in stones collected beside Lake Balapan (in SNTS) were (241)Am (49.4 ± 1.4 Bq/kg), (137)Cs (406.3 ± 1.7 Bq/kg), (58)Co (3.2 ± 0.5 Bq/kg), and (60)Co (125.9 ± 1.1 and 126.1 ± 1.1 Bq/kg). The present study revealed that dose rates from internal and external exposure around CNPP were not sufficiently low and radiation exposure potency still exists even though current levels are below the public dose limit of 1 mSv/y (ICRP1991). Moreover, parts of the SNTS area may be still contaminated by artificial radionuclides derived from nuclear tests. Long-term follow-up of environmental monitoring around CNPP and SNTS, as well as evaluation of health effects in the population residing around these areas, may contribute to radiation safety with a reduction of unnecessary exposure of residents.

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