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THE HISTORY OF THE URCRM
Since 1955, Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine (URCRM) has been providing medical follow-up and health services for the population affected by low dose rate radiation exposure and has been conducting research to provide radiation safety for the population.


URCRM was created after two big radiation accidents at the Mayak Production Association: discharges of radioactive wastes into the Techa River in the period from 1949 to 1956 and explosion of the radioactive waste storage in 1957. These accidents resulted in the contamination of the Techa-Iset-Tobol river system and a vast territory of the Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk and Tyumen Oblasts by the uranium fission products. A large amount of the population (over 400,000 people) were exposed to low dose-rate radiation exposure.

The first medical examinations of the residents of the Upper Techa Riverside settlements, who had been exposed to the highest levels of radiation, began in 1951. In 1955, a dispensary No.1 of the Ministry of Health of the USSR was organized in Chelyabinsk for the examination and treatment of people who were exposed to radiation at the Techa River.

In 1958, the Chelyabinsk branch of the Leningrad Research Institute of Radiation Hygiene of the Ministry of Health of the USSR was organized.


In 1959, the complex agricultural research radiological laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture of the RSFSR was created.

In 1962, Dispensary No.1 and complex agricultural radiological laboratory the branch No.4 of the Institute of Biophysics of USSR Ministry of Health (FIB-4) was organized on the basis of the Leningrad Research Institute of Radiation Medicine to solve the problem of safe residence of the population under the condition of radioactive contamination. In addition to research purposes, the newly created institution was to provide specialized medical care to the exposed population.

In 1991, the Russian Government adopted the State Program of Rehabilitation of Contaminated Territories in the Urals Region and measures to assist the affected population for the period 1991-1995. In order to effectively organize work on this program, FIB-4 was reorganized in 1992 into the present URCRM under the jurisdiction of the Federal Medical Biological Agency. In 2005, the URCRM obtained the status of a federal state institution of science.

Профессор И. К. Дибобес, директор ФИБ–4, 1958г.
FIB-4 was headed by Professor I.K. Dibobes. in the period 1958-1967. From 1967 to 1990 Professor V.L. Shvedov was the Director. Since 1990, FIB-4, later URCRM, has been headed by Alexander Akleyev, Doctor in Medical Sciences, Professor, Honoured Science Worker of the Russian Federation.

Much of the credit for the establishment of FIB-4 as a research institution belongs to Dr. I. K. Dibobes, the first head of FIB-4. The study of behavior patterns of biologically dangerous uranium fission fragments, primarily Sr-90, in various environmental objects was conducted under his supervision and with his direct participation. A.P. Povalyaev, I.Y. Panchenko, and Z.V. Dubrovina made a great contribution to the study of the metabolism of uranium fission products in animals and humans and to finding ways to reduce their deposition in the body. Scientific achievements in the studies of tissue dose formation and radiation injuries of various body systems and long-term effects of chronic exposure to uranium fission products in experimental animals, belong to V.L. Shvedov, L.I. Panteleev, I.A. Sarapultsev. The first check-ups of health of the population residing on the radioactively contaminated territory were carried out by the staff of the clinical department headed by P.G. Borovinskikh and V.I. Kiryushkin.


The names of such scientists as A.M. Skryabin, B.I. Shukhovtsev, R.I. Pogodin, T.N. Tuzhilkova are known in the field of radioecology and radiobiology.

I.K. Dibobes, A.P. Povalyaev, and I.Y. Panchenko became laureates of the State Prize of the USSR for their great services to the Fatherland.

Many workers of the URCRM took part in the liquidation of the Chernobyl accident consequences, for which they were awarded the Order of Courage (V.A. Baturin, A.I. Kopelov, M.M. Kosenko, N.K. Krenitsin, I. Ya. Popova, G. B. Rossinskaya, N. V. Startsev, N. A. Startseva); some stayed and continued their work in Belarus, and formed the basis of radiation safety in this country (A. M. Skryabin, R. I. Pogodin).

The Department of Radiobiology and Bioecology of Chelyabinsk State University, as well as the Interdepartmental Expert Council for establishing a causal link between diseases, disabilities and death of the exposed population, are based at the URCRM.



Профессор В. Л. Шведов директор ФИБ–4, 1967г.