[ RadSafe ] Tritium production in a nuke plant

Steve Schulin steve.schulin at nuclear.com
Wed Apr 17 21:16:47 CDT 2013

Hi Rahim -

* For 1,000 MWe LWRs, Eicholz (1976, Table 46) shows Maximum Expected Tritium Releases to the Coolant as 627 Ci/yr for PWR and 50 Ci/yr for BWR. Both BWRs and PWRs produce tritium via ternary fission. A 1,000-MWe unit  using zircaloy clad fuel will release approximately 0.1% of the tritium from ternary fission to the coolant. That 0.1% works out to up to 40 Ci/yr. Both BWRs and PWRs also produce tritium via Deuterium reaction. That accounts for 10 Ci/yr. But PWRs have two unique tritium sources: neutron capture reactions in soluble boron and lithium. Those account for the higher PWR value. Most of the tritium in the coolant will appear in the plant's liquid effluent
Source: Geoffrey G. Eicholz, ENVRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF NUCLEAR POWER, 1976, pp. 176-177, 326

* In 2003, the average PWR released about 700 curies of tritium in liquid effluents and the average BWR released about 30 curies of tritium in liquid effluents.
Source: NRC.gov, "Frequently Asked Questions About Liquid Radioactive Releases" -- http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/ops-experience/tritium/faqs.html

Best wishes,


Steve Schulin

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On Apr 17, 2013, at 3:44 PM, Rahim Ghanooni wrote:

> I am looking for a equation/method/documentation/publication to calculate
> the Tritium production in a typical nuke plant.
> Feel free to contact me directly.
> Thnx
> Rahim
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