tritium report canadian facilities.pdf


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PREFACE
This report on tritium releases in Canada is in two parts. Part 1 discusses tritium discharges
from nuclear facilities in Canada and compares them with those from reactors in other
countries. It examines the resulting tritium concentrations in drinking water, air and in food
near Canadian nuclear stations. Although tritium releases from Candu facilities are very large,
radiation protection regulators continue to maintain that these releases are of little concern
because tritium’s radiation doses and its resulting hazards are small.
Part 2 examines these contentions in considerable detail. It shows that tritium’s radiation
“doses” are, questionably, estimated to be several hundreds of times lower than most other
radioactive elements.
Radiation and radioactivity (including risks, doses, biology and epidemiology) are complex
matters which are often difficult to grasp. Therefore Part 2 is designed to be read primarily by
health physicists and radiation protection scientists. However, efforts have been made to
make this report more accessible to the wider public. In particular, technical terms have been
explained and scientific jargon has been avoided.
The report concludes that official attitudes on tritium are unscientific and incorrect, that
tritium’s hazardous nature should be fully acknowledged by radiation protection agencies in
Canada, and that tritium’s dose coefficient should be increased substantially.

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