International Projects

Estimation of Thyroid Doses and Thyroid Disease Risks in the Republic of the Marshall Islands from Exposures to Radioactive Fallout from Atomic Weapons Testing in the South Pacific

What is the Dose Reconstruction Process?
  • Gather information about area of radiation exposure and assess data
  • Identify pathways of internal and external exposure
  • Determine methods of calculation to estimate screening doses and exposures
  • Develop methods to assess and estimate environmental doses
  • Determine risk of environmental exposures through selected calculation method
  • Document reconstruction procedures and results


In 1999 CDC received a request from the Ministry of Health and Environment for the Republic of the Marshall Islands to conduct an epidemiologic study of thyroid disease in the Marshall Islands. A draft protocol for the epidemiologic study was developed by CDC and comments were solicited and provided to CDC. However, the epidemiologic study was not conducted and since that time no further work has been done by CDC in the Marshall Islands.

Such a study would have been the first attempt to conduct a nationwide assessment of the relationship between thyroid disease and radiation exposure from U.S. nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands in the 1940s and 1950s. The proposed Marshall Islands epidemiologic study would be the first nationwide evaluation of both thyroid neoplasia and estimated radiation exposure from all nuclear weapons tests conducted in the Marshall Islands.

Studies in the Former Soviet Union

CDC routinely provides technical assistance and expert consultation to ongoing dose reconstruction and epidemiologic studies of the effects of exposure to radionuclides released from nuclear facilities in the former Soviet Union. CDC works with other U.S. and international agencies to determine analytic studies of interest. CDC has also cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency and other interested countries on dose-reconstruction model-validation studies based on environmental data collected in the aftermath of the Chernobyl event in 1986. The purpose of this project is to use these data to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various environmental transport and dosimetry models that may be useful in dose reconstruction.

International Data Sets for Use in Testing Environmental Transport Models

This collection pdf icon[PDF – 35KB] includes a number of environmental data sets that have become available through environmental monitoring and dose reconstruction activities at various sites throughout the world. The purpose of the collection is to assure the long-term availability of high-quality data sets for use in development and testing of environmental transport models, especially those used in dose reconstruction activities. The present collection includes data sets previously used in model validation exercises; several additional data sets from the former Soviet Union that have not been previously used in test exercises will be made available at a later date.

Page last reviewed: January 6, 2014