This paper presents the results of a 4-y investigation of 14C in different waste streams of both boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Due to the potential impact of 14C on human health, minimizing waste and releases from the nuclear power industry is of considerable interest. The experimental data and conclusions may be implemented to select appropriate waste management strategies and practices at reactor units and disposal facilities. Organic and inorganic 14C in spent ion exchange resins, process water systems, ejector off-gas and replaced steam generator tubes were analyzed using a recently developed extraction method. Separate analysis of the chemical species is of importance in order to model and predict the fate of 14C within process systems as well as in dose calculations for disposal facilities. By combining the results of this investigation with newly calculated production rates, mass balance assessments were made of the 14C originating from production in the coolant. Of the 14C formed in the coolant of BWRs, 0.6-0.8% was found to be accumulated in the ion exchange resins (core-specific production rate in the coolant of a 2,500 MWth BWR calculated to be 580 GBq GW(e)(-1) y(-1)). The corresponding value for PWRs was 6-10% (production rate in a 2,775 MWth PWR calculated to be 350 GBq GW(e)(-1) y(-1)). The 14C released with liquid discharges was found to be insignificant, constituting less than 0.5% of the production in the coolant. The stack releases, routinely measured at the power plants, were found to correspond to 60-155% of the calculated coolant production, with large variations between the BWR units.
Health physics 09/2008; 95 Suppl 2:S110-21. DOI:10.1097/01.HP.0000309765.35223.14 · 0.92 Impact Factor