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Atmospheric discharge of $$^{14}$$C from the Tokai reprocessing plant; Comprehensive chronology and environmental impact assessment

Koarashi, Jun  ; Fujita, Hiroki; Nagaoka, Mika 

Quantitative evaluation of the atmospheric discharge of radiocarbon ($$^{14}$$C) is of primary importance for accurately assessing the radioecological impact of the operation of the Tokai reprocessing plant (TRP). However, monitoring the atmospheric $$^{14}$$C discharge was not conducted at the TRP prior to October 1991. The main purpose of this study was to establish the chronology of atmospheric $$^{14}$$C discharges for the entire operation period (1977-2014). We found strong correlation between the $$^{14}$$C discharge and spent fuel reprocessing data obtained after October 1991; we used this correlation to estimate the monthly $$^{14}$$C discharges in the 1977-1991 period. The total amount of atmospheric $$^{14}$$C discharge was estimated at 7741 $$pm$$ 217 GBq for the entire period. Tree-ring $$^{14}$$C analysis and model calculations using the established discharges were conducted to assess the excess $$^{14}$$C concentrations around the TRP in the past. The results indicated no significant radioecological impact of atmospheric $$^{14}$$C discharges from the TRP.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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