Radiation Exposure at McMurdo Station Antarctica
As a part of Operation Deep Freeze, the U.S. Navy operated a small nuclear power plant at the McMurdo Station, Antarctica, from 1962 to 1979.
The nuclear plant was decommissioned after a leak was discovered.
Potential health risks
The estimated radiation doses for Veterans at McMurdo Station are low. The risk of diseases from this exposure are also low. Read the dose assessment reports from the Department of Defense to learn more:
- Upper-Bound Radiation Dose Assessment for Military Personnel at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, between 1962 and 1979 (4.1 MB, PDF)
- Skin Dose Assessment Methodology for Military Personnel at McMurdo Station, Antarctica (1962-1979) (774 KB, PDF)
Although the risk of disease is low, VA recognizes certain cancers and other diseases as linked to exposure to ionizing radiation during service. Eligibility for VA compensation depends on a number of factors, such as the radiation dose and when the disease develops.
If you are concerned about radiation exposure during service, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.
Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system, find out if you qualify for VA health care.
Need help determining exposure?
VA can help determine exposure during service after you file a claim for compensation benefits for health problems associated with radiation exposure during service.