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Oak Ridge Reservation

Y-12 Uranium Releases

Historical Document

This Web site is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ONLY as an historical reference for the public health community. It is no longer being maintained and the data it contains may no longer be current and/or accurate.

Photo of Oak Trees in the Fall - Credit: Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau

Aerial Photo of Y-12 Facility

Public Health Assessment

To evaluate potential harmful effects from radiation exposure in the past, ATSDR calculated the total radiation doses to residents living near the Y-12 plant using the results from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) Dose Reconstruction of Y-12 Uranium Releases . Using air dispersion modeling, the TDOH report identified the Scarboro community, located within the city of Oak Ridge, as a reference location.

The TDOH stated that Scarboro residents would have received the highest exposure from past Y-12 uranium releases and were most suitable for screening both a maximally and typically exposed individual. To address the community‚Äôs concerns, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted a public health assessment (January 2004). ATSDR estimated a committed effective dose equivalent (total radiation dose) of 155 millirem (mrem) over 70 years based on exposure to uranium from all the exposure pathways evaluated. This total radiation dose is 32 times less than ATSDR’s radiogenic cancer comparison value of 5,000 mrem over 70 years, which ATSDR believes to be protective of human health.

Therefore, ATSDR does not expect harmful health effects to have occurred from radiation exposure to uranium in the past.

Additional Resources

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