Tritium behavior research

21 July 2020

National Nuclear Center of RK continues its tritium behavior research for environmental samples, tritium accumulation in plants and redistribution processes, to include organically bound tritium.

The experiments are carried out either for various agricultural plants cultivated in greenhouse, or naturally grown at tritium contaminated Semipalatinsk test site.

Technogenic tritium is a radioactive hydrogen isotope, which can penetrate to organism of human being with inhalation, and food products, in particular with crop products. Unfortunately, as of today, common methodology considers only tritium in tritiated water and underestimates its danger from organic substances. Moreover, it should be noted that half-life period of tritiated water from human body is 10 days, and from organically bound tritium is over one year!

This June a regular experiment was performed at the area of former Degelen testing site. Agricultural plant – lattice (Lactuca Sativa) was an experimental plant. The results shall provide data about parameters of tritium transition from air to plant, and further the data may be used for assessment of crop products quality and calculation of dose for population.