Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 197, Issue 2, pp 295–307 | Cite as

Levels of tritium concentration in the environmental samples around JAERI TOKAI

  • K. Matsuura
  • Y. Sasa
  • C. Nakamura
  • H. Katagiri


By the operation of research reactors, tritium-handling facilities, nuclear power plants, and a reprocessing facility around JAERI TOKAI, tritium is released into the environment in compliance with the regulatory standards.

To investigate the levels of tritium concentration in environmental samples around JAERI, rain, air (vapor and hydrogen gas), and tissue-free water of pine needles were measured and analyzed from 1984 to 1993. Sampling locations were determined by taking into consideration wind direction, distance from nuclear facilities, and population distribution. The NAKA site (about 6 km west-northwest from the TOKAI site) was also selected as a reference point.

Rain and tissue-free water of pine needles were sampled monthly. For air samples, sampling was carried out for two weeks by using the continuous tritium sampler. After the pretreatment of samples, tritium concentrations were measured by a low background liquid scintillation counter (detection limit is 0.8 Bq/l).

Annual mean tritium concentrations in rain observed at six points for 10 years was 0.8 to 8.9 Bq/l, which decreased with distance from the nuclear facilities. Tritium concentrations in rain obtained at Chiba City were around 0.8 Bq/l (1987–1988) and those at the NAKA site were 0.8 to 3.8 Bq/l.

Annual mean HTO concentrations in air at three points for 10 years were 9.2×10−2 to 1.1 Bq/m3, although HT concentrations in air, ranging from 1.7×10−2 to 5.8×10−2 Bq/m3, were not influenced by the operation of the nuclear facilities.

Annual mean tritium concentrations in tissue-free water of pine needles at four points for 10 years were 1.4 to 31 Bq/l. Those at the NAKA site ranging from 1.4 to 6.2 Bq/l were in good agreement with the reported value by Takashima of 0.78 to 3.0 Bq/l at twenty-one locations in Japan.

Monthly mean HTO concentrations in air for 10 years showed a good correlation with absolute humidity, while other samples showed no seasonal variation.

Higher level tritium concentrations in rain, in air (vapor), and in tissue-free water of pine needles at the TOKAI site were caused by the tritium released from the nuclear facilities.

The committed effective dose equivalent to the member of general public, estimated using the maximum tritium concentration in air (1.1 Bq/m3), was 0.23 μSv, which was about 1/4000 of dose limit for general public.


Tritium Nuclear Power Plant Environmental Sample Scintillation Counter Research Reactor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Y. INOUE, K. MIYAMOTO et al., “Research of Tritium Concentration in the Environment,” NIRS-R-18, (1989) 49–58, (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Y. TAKASHIMA, “Environmental Tritium; Its Behavior and the Present Situation of Measurement Method,” Report of JCAC No. 16, (1989) 2–11, (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. ISHIDA, H. WATANABE, Y. KITAHARA, “Measurement of Tritium and Its Behavior in Atmosphere in Tokai,” Report of engineering in PNC No. 62, (1987) 95–98, (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    T. OKAI, N. MOMOSHIMA et al., “Variation of Atmospheric Tritium Concentration,” Report of the 4th Low-Level Counting Conference Using Liquid Scintillation Analyzer, (1994) 103–106, (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Y. INOUE, “Measurement of Tritium and Analysis of Its Variation Around a Nuclear Establishment,” Tokyo: Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture, 1988 Report of special project of fusion research, (1988) 457–471, (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Japan NSC, Guide on Meteorological Conditions for Safety Analysis of Nuclear Power Reactor Facilities, 1982, (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    International Commission on Radiological Protection, “Limits for Intakes of Radionuclides by Workers,” Oxford: Pergamon Press, ICRP Publication 30, part 1, 1979.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Matsuura
    • 1
  • Y. Sasa
    • 1
  • C. Nakamura
    • 1
  • H. Katagiri
    • 1
  1. 1.Japan Atomic Energy Research InstituteNaka-gun, Ibaraki-ken(Japan)

Personalised recommendations