Tritium in the aquatic environment

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Tritium is of environmental importance because it is released from nuclear facilities in relatively large quantities and because it has a half life of 12.26 y. Most of the tritium released into the atmosphere eventually reaches the aqueous environment, where it is rapidly taken up by aquatic organisms. This paper reviews the current literature on tritium in the aquatic environment. Conclusions from the review, which covered studies of algae, aquatic macrophytes, invertebrates, fish, and the food chain, were that aquatic organisms incorporate tritium into their tissue-free water very rapidly and reach concentrations near those of the external medium. The rate ... continued below

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Pages: 28

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Blaylock, B.G.; Hoffman, F.O. & Frank, M.L. February 1, 1986.

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Description

Tritium is of environmental importance because it is released from nuclear facilities in relatively large quantities and because it has a half life of 12.26 y. Most of the tritium released into the atmosphere eventually reaches the aqueous environment, where it is rapidly taken up by aquatic organisms. This paper reviews the current literature on tritium in the aquatic environment. Conclusions from the review, which covered studies of algae, aquatic macrophytes, invertebrates, fish, and the food chain, were that aquatic organisms incorporate tritium into their tissue-free water very rapidly and reach concentrations near those of the external medium. The rate at which tritium from tritiated water is incorporated into the organic matter of cells is slower than the rate of its incorporation into the tissue-free water. If organisms consume tritiated food, incorporation of tritium into the organic matter is faster, and a higher tritium concentration is reached than when the organisms are exposed to only tritiated water alone. Incorporation of tritium bound to molecules into the organic matter depends on the chemical form of the ''carrier'' molecule. No evidence was found that biomagnification of tritium occurs at higher trophic levels. Radiation doses from tritium releases to large populations of humans will most likely come from the consumption of contaminated water rather than contaminated aquatic food products.

Physical Description

Pages: 28

Notes

NTIS, PC A03/MF A01.

Source

  • Workshop on environmental and human risks of tritium, Karlsruhe, F.R. Germany, 17 Feb 1986

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  • Other: DE86013412
  • Report No.: CONF-860214-2
  • Grant Number: AC05-84OR21400
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5529013
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1093272

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • February 1, 1986

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 10, 2018, 10:06 p.m.

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  • April 23, 2018, 12:22 p.m.

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Blaylock, B.G.; Hoffman, F.O. & Frank, M.L. Tritium in the aquatic environment, article, February 1, 1986; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1093272/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.