• Levels of 14C in the Terrestrial Environment in the Vicinity of Two European Nuclear Power Plants

      Magnusson, Åsa; Stenström, Kristina; Skorg, Göran; Adliene, Diana; Adlys, Gediminas; Hellborg, Ragnar; Olariu, Agata; Zakaria, Mohamad; Rääf, Christopher; Mattsson, Sören (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2004-01-01)
      Radiocarbon is produced in all types of nuclear reactors. Most of the 14C released into the environment is in the form of gaseous emissions. Recent data on the 14C concentration found in terrestrial samples taken in the vicinity of nuclear power plants in Romania and Lithuania are presented. We found increased 14C levels in the surroundings of both power plants. At the Romanian power plant Cernavoda, we found excess levels of 14C in grass within a distance of about 1000 m, the highest 14C specific activity being 311 Bq/kg C (approximately 28% above the contemporary 14C background) found at a distance of 200 m from the point of release (nearest sampling location). At the Lithuanian power plant Ignalina, samples of willow, pine, and spruce showed a 14C excess of similar magnitude, while significantly higher values were found in moss samples. The samples were analyzed at the accelerator mass spectrometry facility in Lund, Sweden.