Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are nuclear power plant workers at risk for radiation injury?"
I am a 25 year old male and I now have a job at a power plant. We wear dosimeters, but is there evidence of long term risk?
Today's nuclear power plants, especially in the United States, are quite safe to work at. I say this meaning that nuclear power plants are designed to operate in a safe manner which does not account for unforeseen disasters or accidents. The dosimeter you wear is designed to track and tali up all the radiation you are exposed to in the plant. Some amount of radiation exposure is considered safe. We are exposed to a significant amount of radiation from the sun's UV light. Working in a nuclear power plant may expose you to some extra radiation, but it will be comparable to a small amount of sun exposure. If you routinely used tanning beds you would probably be exposed to more radiation that you will be at work. Of course there is increase risk of certain cancers with radiation exposure, but the increase risk you will have at work will probably not be significant. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Bring with you information from your dosimeter if you can. The two of you can discuss your radiation exposure from the plant and compare it to the radiation exposure you get just from living on earth. I think you will find it to be insignificant. Good luck.
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