Estimation of Tritium Concentration in Groundwater around the Nuclear Power Plants Using a Dynamic Compartment Model

  • Published : 2003.09.30


Every nuclear power plant measured concentrations of tritium in groundwater and surface water around the plants periodically. It was not easy to predict the tritium concentration only with these measurement data in case of various release scenarios. KAERI developed a new approach to find the relationship between the tritium release rate and tritium concentration in the environment. The approach was based upon a dynamic compartment model. In this paper the dynamic compartment model was modified to predict the tritium behavior more accurately. The mechanisms considered for the transfer of tritium between the compartments were evaporation, groundwater flow, infiltration, runoff, and hydrodynamic dispersion. Time dependent source terms of the compartment model were introduced to refine the release scenarios. Also, transfer coefficients between the compartments were obtained using realistic geographical data. In order to illustrate the model various release scenarios were developed, and the change of tritium concentration in groundwater and surface water around the nuclear power plants was estimated.


  1. Heui-Joo Choi, Hansoo Lee, Hee Suk Kang, and Chang Woo Lee, Analysis of Tritium Concentration Changes in the Environment around Kori Nuclear Power Plants, Proceedings of 2001 spring conference of Korean Association for Radiation Protection, Seoul (2001)
  2. Okada, S. and N. Momoshima, Overview of Tritium: Characteristics, Sources, and Problems, Health Physics, Vol. 65, pp. 595-609 (1993)
  3. KEPCO, Annual Report on the Radiation Management of Nuclear Power Plants, KEPCO (1999)
  4. Kim, Chang-Kyu, Sang-Kuk Lee, Byung-Hwan Rho, and Yeon Gyu Lee, Environmental Distribution and Behavior of $^{3}H$ and $^{14}C$ around Wolsong Nuclear Power Plants, Health Phys., Vol. 78, pp. 693-699 (2000)
  5. Sang-Bok Kim, Myung-Ho Lee, and Gun-Sik Choi, Investigation into Tritium Behaviour in Chinese Cabbage and Rice after a Short-term Exposure of HTO, J. Korean Asso. Radiat. Prot., Vol. 23, pp. 75-82 (1998)
  6. Enviros QuantiSci, AMBER 4.0 Reference Guide, Enviros QuantiSci, Oxfordshire, U.K (1998)
  7. Briggs, G. A., I. Van der Hoven, R. J. Englemann, and J. Halitsky, Processes Other Than Natural Turbulence Affecting Effluent Concentrations, in Meteorology and Atomic Energy 1968, D. J. Slade (ed.), Report TID-24190, pp.189-255, U.S.AEC (1968)
  8. Faw, Richard E. and J. Kenneth Shultis, Radiological Assessment Sources and Exposure, PTR Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (1993)
  9. Brudenell, A. J. P., C. D. Collins, and G. Shaw, Dynamics of Tritiated Water (HTO) Uptake and Loss by Crops After Short-Term Atmospheric Release, J. Environ, Radioactivity, Vol. 36, pp. 197-218 (1997)
  10. Pusan city, Report on the basic plan for Hyoam Stream Maintenance, Pusan city (2000)
  11. Freeze, R. A. and J. A. Cherry, Groundwater, Prentice-Hall, Inc., p.219 (1979)
  12. Heui-Joo Choi, Hansoo Lee, Hee Suk Kang, and Chang Woo Lee, Estimation of Tritium Concentration in the Environment based upon Global Tritium Cycling Model, J. Korean Asso. Radiat. Prot. Vol. 28, pp.1-8 (2003)