Health risk analysis as per radiation and chemical factors in a zone influenced by a nuclear legacy object in the north-western part of Russia

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S.M. Kiselev, N.K. Shandala, T.N. Lashchenova, Yu.N. Zozul, V.V. Shlygin, T.I. Gimadova, A.N. Malakhova


State Research Center Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical center of Federal Medical Biological Agency, 46 Zhivopisnaya Str., Moscow, 123182, Russian Federation


Rehabilitation programs for nuclear legacy objects in north-western regions in Russia involve decommissioning; a former coast technical support base belonging to the RF Navy and located on the Gremikha peninsula in Murmansk region is now being removed from service. At present spent nuclear fuel is being extracted from ship reactors with liquid-metal coolant and nuclear wastes that have been accumulated during active operations are being treated. The current activities at the site result in complex influence on the environment determined by both radiation and non-radiation contaminants.
The present work focuses on examining a hygienic situation existing in residential areas located close to this nuclear legacy object. In general, radiation situation in residential areas is determined by technogenic contaminants, basically 137Cs and 90Sr radionuclides.
Our research has revealed that at the moment their contents in the environmental objects correspond to background levels that are typical for the examined region. Chemical contamination detected in residential areas is characterized with elevated heavy metals contents (Cd, As, Pb, V, Zn, Cu etc.) in soils in urban settlements that are higher than background levels. We detected lead and zinc concentrations that were higher than MPC. Total soil contamination with heavy metals (Zc) is still «permissible» in most residential areas. Carcinogenic health risk for people living in the examined residential areas does not exceed 10-6 as per radiation and chemical factors.
Research results allow assessing the current hygienic situation as normal and concluding that decommissioning of SZC «SevRAO» objects (Gremikha section) does not exert negative impacts on the environment and health of people living in residential areas located nearby. The obtained data give grounds for controlling activities when environmental monitoring is accomplished during works aimed at recovering contaminated areas where nuclear legacy objects are located.

radiation-hazardous objects, nuclear legacy, SZC «SevRAO», Gremikha, carcinogenic risk, technogenic radionuclides, heavy metals, hygienic assessment, population health
Kiselev S.M., Shandala N.K., Lashchenova T.N., Zozul Yu.N., Shlygin V.V., Gimadova T.I., Malakhova A.N. Health risk analysis as per radiation and chemical factors in a zone influenced by a nuclear legacy object in the north-western part of Russia. Health Risk Analysis, 2021, no. 1, pp. 38–47. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2021.1.04.eng
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