Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 139–159 | Cite as

External dose reconstruction for the former village of Metlino (Techa River, Russia) based on environmental surveys, luminescence measurements, and radiation transport modelling

  • M. M. Hiller
  • C. Woda
  • N. G. Bougrov
  • M. O. Degteva
  • O. Ivanov
  • A. Ulanovsky
  • S. Romanov
Original Article


In the first years of its operation, the Mayak Production Association, a facility part of the Soviet nuclear weapons program in the Southern Urals, Russia, discharged large amounts of radioactively contaminated effluent into the nearby Techa River, thus exposing the people living at this river to external and internal radiations. The Techa River Cohort is a cohort intensely studied in epidemiology to investigate the correlation between low-dose radiation and health effects on humans. For the individuals in the cohort, the Techa River Dosimetry System describes the accumulated dose in human organs and tissues. In particular, organ doses from external exposure are derived from estimates of dose rate in air on the Techa River banks which were estimated from measurements and Monte Carlo modelling. Individual doses are calculated in accordance with historical records of individuals’ residence histories, observational data of typical lifestyles for different age groups, and age-dependent conversion factors from air kerma to organ dose. The work here describes an experimentally independent assessment of the key input parameter of the dosimetry system, the integral air kerma, for the former village of Metlino, upper Techa River region. The aim of this work was thus to validate the Techa River Dosimetry System for the location of Metlino in an independent approach. Dose reconstruction based on dose measurements in bricks from a church tower and Monte Carlo calculations was used to model the historic air kerma accumulated in the time from 1949 to 1956 at the shoreline of the Techa River in Metlino. Main issues are caused by a change in the landscape after the evacuation of the village in 1956. Based on measurements and published information and data, two separate models for the historic pre-evacuation geometry and for the current geometry of Metlino were created. Using both models, a value for the air kerma was reconstructed, which agrees with that obtained in the Techa River Dosimetry System within a factor of two.


Techa River Dosimetry System (TRDS) Techa River Cohort (TRC) TL/OSL measurements Radiation transport calculations Retrospective dosimetry Historic dose reconstruction 



This study has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007–2013) under Grant Agreement No. 249675. Financial support for Mauritius Hiller to prepare this manuscript and publish these data was provided by the Russian Health Studies Program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the auspices of the Joint Coordinating Committee for Radiation Effects Research Project 1.1, Techa River Population Dosimetry.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helmholtz Zentrum MünchenGerman Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Radiation ProtectionNeuherbergGermany
  2. 2.Urals Research Center for Radiation MedicineChelyabinskRussia
  3. 3.Kurchatov Institute MoscowMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Southern Urals Biophysics InstituteOzyorskRussia

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