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Mortality and Career Radiation Doses for Workers at a Commercial Nuclear Power Plant: Feasibility Study.

Goldsmith, Robert; Boice, John D. Jr; Hrubec, Zdenek; Hurwitz, Paul E.; Goff, Thomas E.; Wilson, Jerome
Health Physics: February 1989
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Career radiation doses for 8,961 male workers at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant (CCNPP) were determined for both utility (n = 4,960) and contractor (n = 4,001) employees. Workers were followed from the time of first employment at CCNPP (including plant construction) to the end of 1984 (mean follow-up = 5.4 y). Plant operation began in 1975. The mean duration of employment was 1.9 y at CCNPP and 3.1 y in the nuclear industry. Career radiation doses were determined from dosimetry records kept by the utility company and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). For all exposed workers, the average career dose was 21 mSv and was higher for contractor (30 mSv) than utility (13 mSv) workers. Career doses were also higher among those employed in the nuclear industry for >=15 y (111 mSv) and among workers classified as health physicists (56 mSv). Cumulative doses of >=50 mSv were received by 12% of the workers; the maximum career dose reported was 470 mSv. The availability of social security numbers for practically all employees facilitated record-linkage methods to determine mortality; 161 deaths were identified. On average the workers experienced mortality from all causes that was 15% less than that of the general population of the U.S., probably due to healthier members of the population being selected for employment. Our investigation demonstrates that historical information is available from which career doses could be constructed and that, in principle, it is feasible to conduct epidemiologic studies of nuclear power plant workers in the U.S. Although difficult, the approach taken could prove useful until such time as a comprehensive registry of U.S. radiation workers is established.

(C)1989Health Physics Society