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Averting cumulative lifetime attributable risk (LAR) of cancer by decontamination of residential areas affected by a large-scale nuclear power plant fallout: Time aspects of radiological benefits for newborns and adults

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Christopher Rääf
Robert Finck
Johan Martinsson
Yvonne Hinrichsen
Mats Isaksson
Publicerad i Journal of Radiological Protection
ISSN 0952-4746
Publiceringsår 2020
Publicerad vid Institutionen för kliniska vetenskaper, Avdelningen för radiofysik
Språk en
Ämnesord decontamination, life-time attributable risk, residual dose, averted cumulative life-time attributable risk, nuclear power plant release, restoration
Ämneskategorier Radiofysik


The averted cumulative lifetime attributable risk (LAR), the residual dose and highest ground deposition of 137Cs complying with a reference dose level of 20 mSv y-1 to an individual returning after one year to an area contaminated by nuclear power plant (NPP) fallout were evaluated by applying an existing exposure model designed to compute age- and gender-dependent time integrated LAR. The model was applied to four types of nuclear fallout scenarios, partly based on data from the Chernobyl and Fukushima releases and from theoretical source terms from Swedish NPPs. For rapid decontamination measures that achieve a 50% relative reduction in external dose rate within 1 y, compliance with the reference level 20 mSv y-1 can be attained for an initial 137Cs ground deposition of up to 2 MBq m-2 with relaxed food restrictions. This compliance can be attained at even higher ground deposition (up to 3.5 MBq m-2) if using the strict food restrictions employed in Japan after 2011. Considering longer than 1 year return times it was also found that the benefit of implementing decontamination decreases rapidly with time (2-3 y half-time), especially if the fallout has a high initial 134Cs to 137Cs activity ratio and if the ecological half-time of the external dose rate is short (<5 y). Depending on fallout scenario the averted cumulative LAR for newborn girls by decontamination that is achieved after 5 y is only between 6% and 11% of that obtained by evacuation alone during the same time, indicating a rather limited radiological benefit of decontamination if delayed more than a few years. We conclude that decision makers and emergency response planners need to consider that protracted decontamination measures may have limited radiological benefit compared with evacuation in terms of averted future cancer cases, albeit it may have other societal benefits.

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