The global aim of this project is to derive improved estimates of the risks of long-term health effects associated with protracted external and internal radiation exposures, through studies of exposed populations in the Southern Urals (Russian Federation). The key populations are workers at the Mayak Production Association (PA) nuclear facility, the population living near the Techa River and their offspring. This project addresses the topics raised in Fission-2009-3.1.2: Epidemiological studies of exposed populations in the Southern Urals.
Specific objectives of the project are:
· To develop and implement a strategy for improving and validating dosimetry systems, in order to enhance epidemiological studies of the Techa River and Mayak populations;
· To study mortality and morbidity from non-cancer diseases among workers at Mayak PA;
· To study cancer incidence among workers at Mayak PA;
· Subject to the satisfactory outcome of a feasibility study, to study cancer and non-cancer mortality and cancer incidence in a pooled cohort of Mayak and Sellafield plutonium workers;
· Subject to the satisfactory outcome of a feasibility study, to study cancer following in utero exposure in Southern Urals populations.
The research will be coordinated with related research being carried out by others, particularly in the Russian Federation and the USA, so as to avoid duplication.
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18 month Project Progress Update
At the end of August 2011 the first 18 months of the SOLO project has been completed.
Over this period four project meetings have been held: one in the UK (Oxford), two in Russia (Chelyabinsk), and one in France (Lyon). At these meetings researchers discussed their work face to face and presented progress on their parts of the project to the whole group. Such meetings form an important part of the interactions between the partner organisations that are based all over Europe. At each of these occasions the Project Management Group also met to monitor progress of all aspects of the project.
At the end of October 2011 the Coordinator submitted a report to the European Commission detailing the progress of the project over the first 18 months. Work on three of the four Subprojects has progressed well with nearly all deliverables and milestone submitted to the EC on time. Work on the remaining Subproject has been delayed by the withdrawal of a partner – due to the closure of one of its subsidiaries - soon after the beginning of the project. Without the input of this partner the Subproject could not proceed. The Coordinator has been working since then to find other ways in which this work could be completed.
To date researches have prepared 16 papers for publication, made 20 presentations at different conferences.
A summary of the progress of the project to date can be found here
36 month Project Progress Update
As of the end of February 2013 the SOLO project has been running for 36 months.
Over the second 18 months of the project two full project meetings took place: in Rome, Italy (March 2012) and in Brussels, Belgium (March 2013). At these meetings researchers discussed their work face to face and presented details progress on their parts of the project to the whole group. At each of these occasions, and via a teleconference in October 2012, the Project Management Group met to monitor and direct progress of all aspects of the project.
Representatives from the project have attended meeting from other EC funded projects, EpiRadBio and DoReMi and also at meetings of Melodi to inform these groups about the progress of the work of the SOLO project.
Close ties continue to be maintained with the joint US/Russian collaborative project sponsoring work in the Southern Urals (JCCRER). The SOLO coordinator (Dr John Harrison, Director of the PHE Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards) attended the most recent JCCRER project meeting in San Francisco in October 2012 and JCCRER coordinator Barret Fountos attended both the SOLO plenary meetings.
The Commission has accepted a request from the Project Coordinator for a further six month no-cost extension to the project to allow additional time for Subproject 3 the joint analysis of Sellafield and Mayak Plutonium workers to be completed; this extended the total duration of the project to 60 months.
Manchester University joint the consortium on 01/01/2012 to take over part of the work assigned to the University of Lancashire as the latter had to withdraw from the project.
At the end of April 2013 the Coordinator submitted a report to the European Commission detailing the progress of the project over the second 18 months. Work on all four Subprojects has progressed well in this period with most deliverables and milestone being completed on time. Some small deviations from the work schedule did occur that made the revision of the related milestones or deliverables necessary. These were approved by the Project Management Group.
To date, twelve papers were published in the international peer reviewed journals and more than forty presentations have been made at national and international conferences and scientific meetings.
A summary of the progress of the project to date can be found here .