Analysis of Metabolism and Effective Half-life for Tritium Intake of Radiation Workers at Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor

중수로원전 종사자의 삼중수소 체내섭취에 따른 인체대사모델과 유효반감기 분석

  • Published : 2009.06.30


Tritium is the one of the dominant contributors to the internal radiation exposure of workers at pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs). This nuclide is likely to release to work places as tritiated water vapor (HTO) from a nuclear reactor and gets relatively easily into the body of workers by inhalation. Inhaled tritium usually reaches the equilibrium of concentration after approximately 2 hours inside the body and then is excreted from the body with a half-life of 10 days. Because tritium inside the body transports with body fluids, a whole body receives radiation exposure. Internal radiation exposure at PHWRs accounts for approximately 20-40% of total radiation exposure; most internal radiation exposure is attributed to tritium. Thus, tritium is an important nuclide to be necessarily monitored for the radiation management safety. In this paper, metabolism for tritium is established using its excretion rate results in urine samples of workers at PHWRs and an effective half-life, a key parameter to estimate the radiation exposure, was derived from these results. As a result, it was found that the effective half-life for workers at Korean nuclear power plants is shorter than that of International Commission on Radiological Protection guides, a half-life of 10 days.


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