Public Advisory: Potential Radiation Exposure at McMurdo Station

23 January 2018

As a part of Operation Deep Freeze, the U.S. Navy maintained a small nuclear power plant at the McMurdo Station, Antarctica, from 1962 to 1979. McMurdo Station and the site of the former power plant is approximately 3km from Scott Base. It is possible that those stationed at either McMurdo or Scott Base may have been impacted by power plant operations.

The United States Department of Defense has assessed the risk of radiation exposure for those working in the vicinity of the power plant as low. However, we recognise that New Zealanders who worked at Scott Base or McMurdo Station during the above time period may have concerns. The United States Department of Defense has produced dose assessment reports for exposures that may have resulted from working in the vicinity of the power plant. These can be found here:

If you wish to discuss the reports and their potential impact on you, please contact the following:

Stuart Lillie
Director for Radiation Safety
Office of Radiation Safety
Ministry of Health
+64 3 974 2356
+64 21 806 073

Otherwise, if you have ongoing concerns about your health we recommend you contact your doctor in the first instance.

This page was last reviewed on 22 January 2018.