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Levels of (super 14) C in the terrestrial environment in the vicinity of two European nuclear power plants.

Asa Magnusson, Kristina Stenstrom, Goran Skorg, Diana Adliene, Gediminas Adlys, Ragnar Hellborg, Agata Olariu, Mohamad Zakaria, Christopher Raaf, Soren Mattsson

Abstract


Radiocarbon is produced in all types of nuclear reactors. Most of the (super 14) C released into the environment is in the form of gaseous emissions. Recent data on the (super 14) C concentration found in terrestrial samples taken in the vicinity of nuclear power plants in Romania and Lithuania are presented. We found increased (super 14) C levels in the surroundings of both power plants. At the Romanian power plant Cernavoda, we found excess levels of (super 14) C in grass within a distance of about 1000 m, the highest (super 14) C specific activity being 311 Bq/kg C (approximately 28% above the contemporary (super 14) C background) found at a distance of 200 m from the point of release (nearest sampling location). At the Lithuanian power plant Ignalina, samples of willow, pine, and spruce showed a (super 14) C excess of similar magnitude, while significantly higher values were found in moss samples. The samples were analyzed at the accelerator mass spectrometry facility in Lund, Sweden.

Keywords


Baltic region;C 14;carbon ;carbon dioxide;case studies;Cernavoda Romania;Europe ;Ignalina Lithuania;isotopes ;Lithuania ;nuclear energy;nuclear facilities;pollution ;power plants;radioactive isotopes;radioactive waste;radioactivity ;Romania ;samples ;Southern Europe;spatial variations;terrestrial environment;vegetation ;waste disposal

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