TABLE 8-1 Cohort Studies of Nuclear Workers in Which Mortality or Morbidity Has Been Studied by Level of Individual Radiation Dose





Chalk River plant of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

Howe and others (1987); Gribbin and others (1993)


Electricité de France

Rogel and others (2005)


Finnish power plants and research reactor

Auvinen and others (2002)


Spanish Nuclear Energy Board

Artalejo and others (1997)

United Kingdom

Atomic Energy Authority

Duncan and Howell (1970); Beral and others (1985); Fraser and others (1993)


Atomic Weapons Establishment

Beral and others (1988); Atkinson and others (2004)


Smith and Douglas (1986); Douglas and others (1994); Omar and others (1999)


Binks and others (1989)


McGeoghegan and Binks (2000b)


McGeoghegan and Binks (2000a)

United States


Ritz (1999)


Hanford Site

Kneale and others (1981); Gilbert and others (1989); Gilbert and others (1993b); Kneale and Stewart (1993)

Mound Facility

Wiggs and others (1991a, 1991b)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Checkoway and others (1985); Wing and others (1991); Richardson and Wing (1999b)

Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant

Checkoway and others (1988); Loomis and Wolfe (1996, 1997)

Oak Ridge X-10 Plant

Frome and others (1997)

Rocketdyne/Atomics International

Ritz and others (1999a)

Rocky Flats

Wilkinson and others (1987); Voelz and others (1997)

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Rinsky and others (1981)

up was slightly less than 10 years in the incidence study, which covered a total of 191,333 person-years of follow-up. A study of mortality in the subgroup of nuclear power industry workers registered in the NDR has recently been published (Zablotska and others 2004). The study included 45,468 workers monitored for more than 1 year between 1957 and 1994. The average cumulative dose was 1.5 mSv. The average length of follow-up was 13.4 years (607,979 person-years of follow-up).

In Japan, the study (ESGNWJ 1997) covered a large cohort of 114,900 Japanese nuclear workers. The follow-up time was short (average 4.6 years), and the cumulative dose was relatively low (average 13.9 mSv). Consequently the study had little power to assess possible health effects of occupational ionizing radiation exposure; in particular, the test for trend for all cancers had a one-sided p-value of 0.65, and the test for trend for leukemia had a one-sided p-value of 0.22 (ESGNWJ 1997).

In addition to the national combined analyses, a multinational combined analysis was carried out to maximize the information from studies of nuclear industry workers (IARC 1994, 1995; Cardis and others 1995). Individual data from seven of the cohorts are included in Table 8-2 (Hanford, ORNL, Rocky Flats, AEA, AWE, Sellafield, and the Chalk River plant of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. [AECL]) and from the U.S. Rocky Flats facility (Wilkinson and others 1987). Overall, 95,673 workers employed between 1943 and 1988 in one of the participating facilities were included. They contributed 2,124,526 person-years of follow-up (an average follow-up of 22.2 years). The collective dose was 3843 Sv, most of which (98%) was received by men.

Characteristics of Studies of Nuclear Industry Workers

In the majority of the studies listed above, study subjects are defined as workers employed in the nuclear industry for whom detailed individual external dose estimates were available. Exceptions include the Canadian NDR study (Ashmore and others 1998), which included many other types of radiation workers, and a number of cohorts (Hanford, ORNL, Sellafield, AEA, and AWE) in which both monitored and nonmonitored workers are included. In the latter studies, estimates of risk per unit dose are restricted to monitored workers, except in the study of ORNL (Wing and others 1991; Richardson and Wing 1999b), where doses were estimated for a number of workers who had not been monitored.

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