Main content area

Comparison of balance of tritium activity in waste water from nuclear power plants and at selected monitoring sites in the Vltava River, Elbe River and Jihlava (Dyje) River catchments in the Czech Republic

Hanslík, Eduard, Marešová, Diana, Juranová, Eva, Sedlářová, Barbora
Journal of environmental management 2017 v.203 pp. 1137-1142
monitoring, nuclear power, power plants, rivers, surface water, tritium, wastewater, water management, water quality, watersheds, Czech Republic, Danube River
During the routine operation, nuclear power plants discharge waste water containing a certain amount of radioactivity, whose main component is the artificial radionuclide tritium. The amounts of tritium released into the environment are kept within the legal requirements, which minimize the noxious effects of radioactivity, but the activity concentration is well measurable in surface water of the recipient. This study compares amount of tritium activity in waste water from nuclear power plants and the tritium activity detected at selected relevant sites of surface water quality monitoring. The situation is assessed in the catchment of the Vltava and Elbe Rivers, affected by the Temelín Nuclear Power Plant as well as in the Jihlava River catchment (the Danube River catchment respectively), where the waste water of the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant is discharged. The results show a good agreement of the amount of released tritium stated by the power plant operator and the tritium amount detected in the surface water and highlighted the importance of a robust independent monitoring of tritium discharged from a nuclear power plant which could be carried out by water management authorities. The outputs of independent monitoring allow validating the values reported by a polluter and expand opportunities of using tritium as e.g. tracer.