Mayak worker dosimetry study: an overview

Health Phys. 2007 Sep;93(3):190-206. doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000266071.43137.0e.


The Mayak Production Association (MPA) was the first plutonium production plant in the former Soviet Union. Workers at the MPA were exposed to relatively large internal radiation intakes and external radiation exposures, particularly in the early years of plant operations. This paper describes the updated dosimetry database, "Doses-2005." Doses-2005 represents a significant improvement in the determination of absorbed organ dose from external radiation and plutonium intake for the original cohort of 18,831 Mayak workers. The methods of dose reconstruction of absorbed organ doses from external radiation uses: 1) archive records of measured dose and worker exposure history, 2) measured energy and directional response characteristics of historical Mayak film dosimeters, and 3) calculated dose conversion factors for Mayak Study-defined exposure scenarios using Monte Carlo techniques. The methods of dose reconstruction for plutonium intake uses two revised models developed from empirical data derived from bioassay and autopsy cases and/or updates from prevailing or emerging International Commission on Radiological Protection models. Other sources of potential significant exposure to workers such as medical diagnostic x-rays, ambient onsite external radiation, neutron radiation, intake of airborne effluent, and intake of nuclides other than plutonium were evaluated to determine their impact on the dose estimates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Body Burden
  • Bone Marrow / radiation effects
  • Bone and Bones / radiation effects
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / radiation effects
  • Lung / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Nuclear Warfare*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Plutonium*
  • Radiometry
  • Russia


  • Plutonium