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Radiation Epidemiology

Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards at Chilton

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution of disease in populations and of the factors that affect this distribution. The HPA-CRCE has a specialist epidemiology department which examines the effects of radiation, chemical and environmental factors on disease distribution.

For a number of years staff at the HPA's Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, and before that the predecessor body the National Radiological Protection Board, have studied the epidemiological impact of radiation exposure. For more information on radiation epidemiology visit the Frequently Asked Questions about radiation epidemiology.

National Registry for Radiation Workers (NRRW)

For more than 30 years the health of people working with radiation has been studied by epidemiologists. The idea of the NRRW study was to gather long term data on those whose work involves ionising radiation in order to examine the risks of protracted and low-dose exposures. Visit the NRRW pages.

Nuclear Weapons Test Participants Study

Between 1952 and 1967 a number of UK personnel were present at areas in Australia and the South Pacific when the UK nuclear atmospheric weapons tests were conducted. Since then, there have been claims that participants' health was damaged by exposure to radiation generated by the tests.

The Nuclear Weapons Test Participants Study  is a long-term follow up study of the health of those involved in the tests.

NDA Radiation Epidemiology Programme

The NDA Radiation Epidemiology Programme comprises the ex-BNFL and ex-UKAEA radiation epidemiology programmes that transferred to NDA as part of the reorganisation of the nuclear industry following the NDA’s formation. The programme is currently managed by Public Health England (PHE) on behalf of the NDA. For more information visit the NDA epidemiology research pages.

Other work

A number of other radiation epidemiology projects are also in progress. These include:-


The SOLO project is a four year collaborative project being conducted under the EU 7th Framework Programme. The project, which involves nine partner organisations from seven countries, is being coordinated by the HPA. The aim of the 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 from the Southern Urals in the Russian Federation.