[ RadSafe ] BWR radiation safety issues

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Dec 5 15:23:10 CST 2011

While there are people here with VASTLY more experience with BWRs than
me (to the extent I am a reactor guy, I am a PWR fan), it seems to me
the radioactive isotope BWRs most often get in trouble over is tritium.
Even if the reactor doesn't have an actual leak of coolant, some tritium
always seems to get past seals and into the air.  If there is a place
that moisture condenses out of the air anywhere near the plant, there
will be elevated tritium.  While it is usually difficult to build an
exposure scenario in which people can be harmed, that doesn't stop it
from being of interest to the media.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Kulp, Jeffrey
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2011 10:38 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] BWR radiation safety issues

Hello Radsafers,

I would like to call on the expertise of any HP's who have experience
with boiling water reactors; I am interested in radiation safety issues
associated with boiling water reactors while operating and shutdown. My
interest is primarily in the steam, condensate and feed systems. I know
about N-16 carryover to the steam side of the plant, but I read an
article recently that discusses problems with Xe, Kr, and Iodine as
well; these are fission products, are the authors saying that the fuel
cladding is not able to contain fission product gases? Another article I
read talks about activated corrosion products in the condensate and feed
systems. How do the corrosion products become activated, is the
condensate and feed systems in a BWR plant subject to a neutron flux?
Any clarification offered will be appreciated.


Jeff Kulp
Washington State University
Radiation Safety Office
Pullman, WA 99164-1302
(509) 335-8175

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