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US National Cancer Institute I-131 Thyroid Dose Calculator for Nevada Test Site Fallout


11 January 2013

For readers in the US who were born before 1971, there is an online calculator available from the National Cancer Institute to assess your radioactive iodine (I-131) exposure (thyroid dose equivalent) from nuclear tests in Nevada:

I-131 Thyroid Dose/Risk Calculator for Nevada Test Site (NTS) Fallout

You input gender, date of birth (month, year), state, county, and primary type of milk you drank. The number may surprise.

NCI has reports on I-131, here.

State and county level exposures in an interactive map (which wasn’t working when I checked), here. The maximum exposure was 16 rad (thyroid dose equivalent), which is 160 milligray which is 160 millisieverts. That is rather high.

I got the links to the site from a tweet by a young nuclear researcher in Japan I follow on Twitter. He said in a later tweet, “It would have been very nice if Fukushima Prefecture’s system to estimate the radiation exposure had been available for the residents to run the calculation like this.” I can’t agree with him more.

Instead in Japan, the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), a government agency, built a proprietary system based on the questionnaires from the Fukushima residents (low response rate), and came up with model cases. (For details, see this PDF, in Japanese.) I don’t think the residents who submitted the questionnaires have received any individualized estimate, but I could be wrong.

In nuclear testing in Nevada by the US government, soldiers were made to watch without any shielding.

The US Department of Defense has a website to assist ex-soldiers file a claim if they think they were exposed to ionizing radiation.

The recent study “Childhood Thyroid Radioiodine Exposure and Subsequent Infertility in the Intermountain Fallout Cohort” by University of Utah Department of Family and Preventive Medicine considers up to 1,245.5 milligray exposure. (PDF file of the paper is here.)

Watch video on source document

January 13, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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