This work focuses on the direct epidemiological assessment of the risks of radiation-induced leukaemia and thyroid cancer in emergency workers (EW) after the Chernobyl accident. The Russian National Medical Dosimetric Registry (RNMDR) contains data for 168,000 EW as of January 1, 1996. The analysis relates to 48 leukaemias and 47 thyroid cancers, diagnosed and verified. Radiation risks are estimated by comparing the EW data with national data for a male population of the same age distribution. For leukaemia, an excess relative risk per Gy (ERR/Gy) of 4.30 (95% CI: 0.83, 7.75) is obtained, while the excess absolute risk per 10(4) person-years (PY) Gy (EAR/10(4)PY Gy) is found to be 1.31 (95% CI: 0.23, 2.39); for thyroid cancer an ERR/Gy of 5.31 (95% CI: 0.04, 10.58) is obtained, and an EAR/10(4)PY Gy of 1.15 (95% CI: 0.08, 2.22).