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U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries Conference Contributions

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Day, Spokane, WA, August 13, 2021

WSU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) was once again able to hold its annual Research Day. The CPPS Research Day provided an opportunity for faculty, graduate students, and summer undergraduate research fellowship students to showcase their work. This year, the USTUR’s postdoctoral researcher, Martin Šefl, discussed the 53-year follow-up of a Registrant who was exposed to plutonium during his work with the Manhattan Project.

53-year follow-up of a Manhattan Project worker

Martin Šefl (USTUR), Maia Avtandilashvili (USTUR), Sergei Y. Tolmachev (USTUR)

This whole-body tissue donor to the United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries (USTUR) was occupationally exposed to a mixture of plutonium compounds via chronic inhalation. This individual was one of 26 Manhattan project workers, informally known as ‘UPPU (You Pee Pu) Club’. He died 53 years post-exposure. At the time of death, 1,765 Bq of 239Pu was retained in the body, of which 39.7% was in the skeleton, 37.5% in the liver, 16.0% in the respiratory tract, and 6.8% in the remaining soft tissues. Nineteen urine, one fecal, and one blood analysis results as well as four in vivo chest measurements were available. The organ activities at the time of death and bioassay data were used to estimate the intake and radiation doses using the Taurus internal dosimetry software. ICRP recommended biokinetic models adequately described the individual’s long-term plutonium retention and excretion. The total cumulative 239Pu intake of 31,716 Bq was estimated; of which, 24,853 Bq (78.4%) were contributed by inhalation of plutonium nitrate and 6,863 Bq (21.6%) of plutonium dioxide. The committed equivalent doses to the red bone marrow, bone surface, liver, lungs, and brain were 0.71 Sv, 6.5 Sv, 8.3 Sv, 3.8 Sv, and 0.068 Sv, respectively. The committed effective dose was 1.22 Sv. [USTUR-0591-21A]

Presentation Slides (PPTX with animation)
Presentation Slides (PDF)