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Krahenbuhl, M P.*; Bess, J D.*; Wilde, J L.*; Vostrotin, V V.; Suslova, K G.; Khokhryakov, V F.; Slaughter, D M.*; Miller, S C.*

doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000154027.92466.97

A method is presented to determine the uncertainties in the reported dose due to incorporated plutonium for the Mayak Worker Cohort. The methodology includes errors generated by both detection methods and modeling methods. To accomplish the task, the method includes classical statistics, Monte Carlo, perturbation, and reliability groupings. Uncertainties are reported in percent of reported dose as a function of total body burden. The cohort was initially sorted into six reliability groups, with “A” being the data set that the investigators are most confident is correct and “G” being the data set with the most ambiguous data. Categories were adjusted based on preliminary calculation of uncertainties using the sorting criteria. Specifically, the impact of transportability (the parameter used to describe the transport of plutonium from the lung to systemic organs) was underestimated, and the structure of the sort was reorganized to reflect the impact of transportability. The finalized categories are designated with Roman numerals I through V, with “I” being the most reliable. Excluding Category V (neither bioassay nor autopsy), the highest uncertainty in lung doses is for individuals from Category IV—which ranged from 90–375% for total body burdens greater than 10 Bq, along with work histories that indicated exposure to more than one transportability class. The smallest estimated uncertainties for lung doses were determined by autopsy. Category I has a 32–38% uncertainty in the lung dose for total body burdens greater than 1 Bq. First, these results provide a further definition and characterization of the cohort and, second, they provide uncertainty estimates for these plutonium exposure categories.

* University of Utah, 50 So. Central Campus Drive, Rm 1206, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; † Southern Urals Biophysics Institute, Ozyorsk, Russia.

For correspondence or reprints contact: M. Krahenbuhl, University of Utah, 50 So. Central Campus Drive, Rm 1206, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, or email at

(Manuscript received 17 February 2004; revised manuscript received 12 October 2004, accepted 12 January 2005)

©2005Health Physics Society