An Internal Tritium Concentration Analysis in Urine Samples as a Function of Submission Time after Airborne Tritium Intake at Korean Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors

중수로원전 방사선작업종사자의 공기중 삼중수소 섭취 후 뇨시료 제출 시간이 체내 삼중수소 농도에 미치는 영향 분석

  • Published : 2009.12.30


In pressurized heavy water reactors, workers who enter radiation controlled areas must submit their urine samples to health physicists after radiation work; these samples are then used to monitor internal radiation exposure from tritium intake. This procedure assumes that the samples submitted represent tritium concentration inside the body at equilibrium. According to both technical reports from the International Commission on Radiological Protection and experimental results from Canadian nuclear utilities, tritium inside the body generally reaches equilibrium concentration after approximately 2-3 hours of intake. In practice, urine samples can be submitted either before the 2 hours mark or after several hours of radiation work because of the numerous tasks that workers must perform and their frequent entries during nuclear power plant maintenance. In this paper, tritium concentration in workers' urine samples was measured as a function of time submitted after radiation work. Based on the measurement results, changes in the tritium concentration inside the body and its effect on internal dose assessment were then analyzed. As a result, it was found that tritium concentration reaches equilibrium concentration before the 2 hours mark for most workers' urine samples.


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