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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Fallout Studies

Recent and Current Studies of Radioactive Fallout

Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB) investigators are conducting studies related to regions affected by radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing.

Study of Radiation Doses and Cancer Risks Resulting from the 1945 Trinity Atomic Weapon Test

Investigators from REB and across the NCI are estimating radiation doses from fallout in New Mexico following the July 1945 test by the U.S. government of the first atomic weapon. The test was code-named Trinity. The study will quantitatively estimate the number of cancer cases in New Mexico (past and future) that may be related to the nuclear test.

Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site (SNTS), Kazakhstan

REB is estimating the radiation doses from fallout in Kazakhstan resulting from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site (SNTS), Kazakhstan between 1949 and 1962. The methodology of dose estimation has been developed by a joint American-Russian collaboration.

Completed studies: Reconstruction of radiation exposures from fallout from nuclear weapons tests

Thyroid Dose and Risk Calculator for Nuclear Weapons Fallout for the U.S. Population

While radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons tests and potential fallout-related health effects to exposed populations have been of concern for more than 50 years, a systematic program to study and understand those effects was not initiated until the early 1980s. REB has contributed detailed estimates of geographic region-specific fallout exposures from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and sites outside of the United States (global fallout). These data are available in the form of a web-based thyroid dose and risk calculator, which can be used to estimate an individual's thyroid dose and cancer risk from Iodine-131 in fallout.

Dose Reconstruction from Fallout

In cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, REB estimated for the first time radiation doses and risks of related health effects to representative persons in all counties of the contiguous United States from a set of important radionuclides produced from testing of nuclear weapons from 1951 through 1962 by the United States and other nations.