Tritium studies

In January 2007, the Commission directed Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) staff to initiate research studies on tritium releases in Canada and to study and evaluate tritium processing facilities exercising the best practices around the globe. In response, the CNSC has undertaken several research projects under the banner of the Tritium Studies Project. This research will enhance the information used in the regulatory oversight of tritium processing and tritium releases in Canada.

Tritium studies

The following studies were conducted under the banner of the Tritium Studies Project:

Summary of CNSC-authored publications on tritium

Peer review publications

  1. Thompson, P.A., Hamlat, M.S., Lane, R., Mihok, S., Reinhardt, P., Bundy, K., 2011. Revue de l’état des connaissances des effets du tritium sur la santé et l’environnement au Canada – un outil pour orienter la surveillance réglementaire (Review of the knowledge available to date on the effects of tritium exposure on health and the environment in Canada – a tool to guide regulatory compliance monitoring). Radioprotection 46: 511-531.
  2. Bundy, K., Theriault, B., Lane, R., Burtt, J. Radiation Effects of Tritium. R.A. Meyers (ed.) Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology. New York: Springer Science, 2012.
  3. Kim, S.B., Olfert, J., Baglan, N., St-Amant,N., Carter, B., Clark, I., Bucur. C., 2015. Canadian inter-laboratory organically bound tritium (OBT) analysis exercise, J. Environ. Radioact. 150:‎235-241.
  4. Connan, O., Maro, D., Hébert, D., Solier, L., Caldeira Ideas, P., Laguionie, P.
    St-Amant. N., 2015. In situ measurements of tritium evapotranspiration (3H-ET) flux over grass and soil using the gradient and eddy covariance experimental methods and the FAO-56 model. J. Environ. Radioact. 148:1-9.
  5. Thompson, P.A., Kwamena, N.-O.A., Ilin, M., Wilk, M., Clark. I.D., 2014. Levels of tritium in soils and vegetation near Canadian nuclear facilities releasing tritium to the atmosphere: implications for environmental models. J. Environ. Radioact. 140:105-113.
  6. Mihok, S., Wilk, M., Lapp, A., St-Amant, N., Kwamena, N.-O.A., Clark. I.D., 2016. Tritium dynamics in soils and plants grown under three irrigation regimes at a tritium processing facility in Canada. J. Environ. Radioact. 153:176-187.
  7. Marsh, R.I., Croudace, I.W., Warwick, P.E., Cooper, N., St-Amant, N. 2017. A new bomb-combustion system for tritium extraction. J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., DOI 10.1007/s10967-017-5446-0
  8. Ota, M., Kwamena, N.-O.A., Mihok, S., Korolevych. V., 2017. Role of soil-to-leaf tritium transfer in controlling leaf tritium dynamics: Comparison of experimental garden and tritium-transfer model results. J. Environ. Radioact. 178-179, 212-231.

Conference Presentations

  1. Mihok, S., Wilk, M., Lapp, A., St-Amant, N., Kwamena, N.-O.A., Clark, I.D. Tritium Dynamics in Soil and Plants. Presented at the Third International Conference on Radioecology and Environmental Radioactivity, September 2014, Barcelona, Spain
  2. Korolevych, V., Kim, S.B, Kwamena, N.-O.A., Ota, M., Le-Dizes-Maurel, S., Maro, D., Aulagnier, C., Patryl, L. Field Testing and Intercomparison of Advanced Tritium Transfer Models. Presented at the 11th International Conference on Tritium Science and Technology, April 2016, Charleston, South Carolina.
  3. Ilin, M., Rinker, M. Role of Tritiated Hydrogen in Formation of HTO and OBT in Soil and Vegetation in Vicinity of a Tritium Processing Facility. Presented at the Fourth International Conference on Radioecology and Environmental Radioactivity, September 2017, Berlin, Germany.

CNSC hosts tritium workshop to generate research ideas

From April 25 to 27, 2016, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) hosted a tritium workshop at the CNSC headquarters in Ottawa. This workshop brought together scientists from the CNSC, l’Institut de radioprotection et sûreté nucléaire (IRSN, France), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and the University of Ottawa to discuss emerging topics in tritium research. The purpose of the workshop was to generate ideas to direct future CNSC research on tritium to expand on the body of work completed under the Tritium Studies Project.

Participants shared information on the various research projects underway and discussed research topics of mutual interest. The workshop concluded by identifying common research interests, based on uncertainties in past and current experimental research campaigns. The main areas identified for future investigations include:

  • obtaining representative samples in areas not influenced by nuclear facilities to better characterize background concentrations
  • investigating whether there are other forms of tritium in the environment (i.e., aerosols)
  • improving the methodology for sampling and analysing organically-bound tritium (OBT) in environmental samples (with a focus on soil), especially at low tritium concentrations

The workshop provided a unique opportunity for experts in tritium research to interact, explore research underway, discuss cutting-edge topics, and outline concrete mechanisms for future collaboration.