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Uchiyama M.; Nakamura, Y.; Kobayashi, S.
Health Physics: September 1996
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A selected group of about 20 male researchers at the NIRS that reside in Chiba, Japan, was measured for total body content of radiocesium and 40K every 3 mo from February 1986 to May 1991. A whole-body counter at the NIRS was used to measure their radioactivity in a scanning mode of 5 cm min−1 in a shielded iron room with walls 20 cm in thickness. A maximum radiocesium level of 59 Bq was observed in May 1987. The annual change in the body burden decreased with an apparent half-time of 1.8 y after May 1987. The period of five years was sufficient to eliminate the effects of the accident in this group. Even in the most contaminated period, the dose from radiocesium was below 2 μSv y−1. The cumulative dose for 5 y was estimated to be 5.6 μSv, which is nearly equal to the total dose to the Japanese people caused by the artificial radionuclide fallout for the first year following the accident. It is much smaller than the committed dose of 82 μSv for internally deposited137Cs resulting from nuclear explosions in 1961 and 1962 and the annual dose of 170 microSv from internal 40K. No detectable health risk was expected for the present group.

©1996Health Physics Society