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btw that's an awesome ride.
originally posted by: interupt42
It doesn't look like they are doing anything right now to contain it but rather more studies after 3 years?
Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, which allows it to readily bind to hydroxyl radicals, forming tritiated water (HTO), and to carbon atoms. Since tritium is a low energy beta emitter, it is not dangerous externally (its beta particles are unable to penetrate the skin), but it is a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin. HTO has a short biological half-life in the human body of 7 to 14 days, which both reduces the total effects of single-incident ingestion and precludes long-term bioaccumulation of HTO from the environment. Biological half life of tritiated water in human body, which is a measure of body water turn over, varies with season. Studies on biological half life of occupational radiation workers for free water tritium in the coastal region of Karnataka, India show that the biological half life in winter season is twice that of the summer season.
According to the U.S. EPA, "a recently documented source of tritium in the environment is [self-illuminating] exit signs that have been illegally disposed of in municipal landfills. Water, which seeps through the landfill, is contaminated with tritium from broken signs and can pass into water ways, carrying the tritium with it."
Tritium has leaked from 48 of 65 nuclear sites in the US. In one case, leaking water contained 7.5 microcuries (0.28 MBq) of tritium per litre, which is 375 times the EPA limit for drinking water.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission states that in normal operation in 2003, 56 pressurized water reactors released 40,600 curies (1.50 PBq) of tritium (maximum: 2,080; minimum: 0.1; average: 725) and 24 boiling water reactors released 665 curies (24.6 TBq) (maximum: 174; minimum: 0; average: 27.7), in liquid effluents.