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Levels and behavior of environmental tritium in East Asia
For a more systematic understanding of the levels of environmental tritium and its behavior in East Asia, a database on environmental tritium was established based on the literature published in the past 30 years.Subsequently, the levels and behavior of the environmental tritium were further studied by statistical analyses. The results indicate that the distribution of environmental tritium is inhomogeneous and complex. In areas without nuclear facilities, the level of environmental tritium has decreased to its background level, even though a certain number of atmospheric nuclear tests were performed before 1980. In general, the level of atmospheric tritium was marginally higher than the levels in precipitation and surface water; the levels in shallow groundwater and seawater were considerably lower. Furthermore, the levels of tritium in the atmosphere, precipitation, and inland surface water were strongly correlated with latitude and distance from the coastline. In soil and living organisms, the level of tissue-free water tritium(TFWT) was comparable to the tritium levels in local rainfall, whereas the persistence of organically bound tritium(OBT) in the majority of organisms resulted in an OBT/TFWT ratio greater than one. Conversely, extremely high levels of environmental tritium were observed near certain nuclear power plants and the Fukushima accident sites. These results highlight the requirement to know the tritium baseline level and its behavior in the environment beforehand to better assess the impact of tritium discharge. Further investigations of environmental tritium in East Asia using more efficient and adequate monitoring methods are also required.
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Nuclear Science and Techniques
2022年07期
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