Liquid discharges of radioactive substances

​Liquid discharges of Cs-137, Sr-90 and Co-60 into the Baltic Sea from local nuclear installations


Baltic Sea Environment Fact Sheet 2013

Author: Vesa-Pekka Vartti, STUK - Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Finland

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Key message

In general, there has been a decreasing trend in the discharges of caesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60 from the local nuclear power plants into the Baltic Sea during the last decade. In 2012, the total discharges of caesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60 into the Baltic Sea were 0.7, 0.3 and 1.7 GBq (gigabequerels), respectively.
The predominant radionuclide in the liquid discharges from the nuclear power plants and research reactors in the Baltic Sea region is tritium. After tritium, the most abundantly discharged nuclides are caesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60 contributing more than 98% of the cumulative decay corrected discharges of the other radionuclides (except tritium) in the long term. The importance of tritium to radiation burden of people is minor, because of the low energy emitted by the radionuclide. Due to the higher significance of caesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60 to the radiation doses to man, the annual discharges of these three radionuclides are considered in the indicator fact sheet.

Results and assessment

Discharge data of all nuclear power plants and other nuclear installations operating in the Baltic Sea drainage area have been reported by the Contracting Parties to the HELCOM MORS Discharge Data Register since the mid 1970s, i.e. since the operation of the nuclear power plants was started in the area. Discharge data are reported annually from 9 power plants (7 in operation: Leningrad (Sosnovy Bor) in Russia, Loviisa and Olkiluoto in Finland, Forsmark, Barsebäck, Oskarshamn and Ringhals in Sweden and 2 out of operation Ignalina in Lithuania and Greifswald in Germany) and 4 other installations (Research reactor at Studsvik and Nuclear Fuel Factory Westinghouse (ABB Atom) in Sweden and closed training reactor in Paldiski, Estonia and closed research reactor in Risø, Denmark) to the register.
In 2012, the total discharges of caesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60 into the Baltic Sea were 0.7, 0.3 and 1.7 GBq, respectively. In general, there has been a clear decreasing trend in the discharges of caesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60 from the local nuclear power plants into the Baltic Sea during the last decade (Figs. 1-3). In each case, the annual discharges have been only few percent of the permitted discharge limits.
The local discharges as a source of radioactivity in the Baltic Sea are of minor importance. The most important sources with respect to the present total inventory of artificial radionuclides in the Baltic Sea have been the fallout from the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s, and the discharges from nuclear reprocessing plants in the Western Europe. A small share of the discharges from the reprocessing plants has been transported into the Baltic Sea among the sea currents through the Danish Straits. These three sources represent 83, 13 and 4% of the total input of caesium-137 into the Baltic Sea, respectively, while the share of the local discharges has been only 0.04% (up to 2012). With respect to strontium-90, the share of the local discharges has been 0.2%.


 fig 1-liquid discharges 2013.jpg


Fig. 1. Annual liquid discharges of caesium-137 from nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities into the Baltic Sea in 1984-2012 (Note: logarithmic scales in the graphs). Click to enlarge.

 

 

fig 2-liquid discharges 2013.png 

Fig. 2. Annual liquid discharges of strontium-90 from nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities into the Baltic Sea in 1984-2012 (Note: logarithmic scales in the graphs). Click to enlarge.

fig 3-liquid discharges 2013.png 


Fig. 3. Annual liquid discharges of cobalt-60 from nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities into the Baltic Sea in 1984-2012 (Note: logarithmic scales in the graphs). Click to enlarge.

Table 1.
Annual caesium-137 discharges from different installations in 1984-2012 [Bq].

YearLoviisaOlkiluotoGreifswaldSosnovyi Bor (Leningrad)ForsmarkStudsvikOskarshamnBarsebäckRinghals
19849,30E+092,30E+061,13E+093,70E+081,50E+118,62E+099,23E+096,15E+09
19857,00E+091,20E+094,40E+098,60E+103,20E+091,80E+093,40E+09
19861,00E+108,80E+081,80E+094,00E+093,30E+109,90E+095,00E+091,50E+10
19874,60E+094,20E+081,84E+095,60E+093,30E+102,10E+098,50E+077,70E+09
19886,90E+091,30E+081,58E+093,70E+092,20E+109,00E+095,50E+081,20E+10
19895,30E+092,00E+082,02E+082,30E+101,40E+108,40E+091,00E+098,20E+09
19903,30E+096,10E+084,60E+082,10E+061,20E+101,10E+102,80E+093,20E+091,40E+10
19911,50E+094,80E+081,90E+081,30E+067,90E+091,60E+108,80E+096,70E+091,90E+10
19925,10E+082,40E+081,70E+082,90E+058,70E+091,80E+106,70E+097,90E+091,80E+10
19931,90E+083,70E+072,20E+077,40E+051,90E+101,70E+105,50E+092,00E+094,20E+10
19942,30E+065,10E+081,18E+087,80E+049,30E+091,50E+104,60E+091,50E+094,10E+10
19955,60E+064,90E+092,51E+075,60E+053,72E+092,42E+104,92E+092,48E+097,00E+09
19961,61E+075,25E+091,24E+081,20E+068,49E+092,41E+102,41E+097,40E+082,32E+09
19976,70E+062,80E+091,20E+081,36E+061,50E+101,90E+102,38E+098,30E+085,48E+09
19981,20E+088,80E+089,20E+076,03E+053,72E+091,40E+101,12E+091,00E+091,01E+10
19994,00E+073,20E+081,00E+086,40E+056,35E+098,41E+098,97E+086,10E+082,31E+09
20003,80E+072,10E+081,00E+077,22E+034,66E+096,04E+096,75E+081,20E+094,50E+08
20013,00E+081,90E+081,10E+071,98E+051,12E+091,20E+106,30E+086,97E+095,95E+08
20024,00E+071,20E+081,70E+071,66E+051,14E+093,00E+106,04E+081,22E+096,90E+08
20033,50E+077,60E+071,50E+081,03E+056,96E+088,57E+092,88E+083,26E+086,98E+08
20041,30E+086,20E+075,40E+071,05E+052,57E+087,03E+098,38E+079,98E+076,99E+08
20051,60E+077,80E+071,30E+086,66E+049,94E+081,33E+091,66E+085,41E+073,73E+08
20061,30E+076,20E+079,73E+056,76E+071,97E+092,35E+082,23E+071,32E+08
20071,07E+073,85E+074,00E+073,21E+061,32E+079,68E+086,19E+072,66E+073,24E+08
20086,62E+063,61E+079,80E+069,66E+061,23E+091,22E+084,00E+072,49E+08
20095,79E+083,13E+073,21E+062,14E+077,31E+081,40E+086,68E+072,27E+08
20101,44E+073,05E+073,60E+056,75E+051,84E+077,65E+086,81E+072,36E+072,99E+08
20118,89E+063,07E+072,20E+051,71E+074,84E+085,54E+071,07E+083,52E+07
20121,11E+071,93E+071,47E+074,43E+088,46E+071,06E+086,18E+07

 

Table 2. Annual strontium-90 discharges from different installations in 1984-2012 [Bq].

YearLoviisaOlkiluotoGreifswaldSosnovyi Bor (Leningrad)ForsmarkStudsvikOskarshamnBarsebäckRinghals
19841,10E+062,50E+064,20E+07 4,90E+06
19851,50E+07 2,00E+071,71E+106,50E+062,52E+072,50E+08
19861,50E+068,98E+071,33E+101,64E+082,57E+069,00E+07
19871,07E+07 5,56E+074,65E+092,55E+073,70E+051,10E+09
19881,60E+062,37E+07 1,36E+082,08E+092,00E+081,39E+061,40E+08
19891,60E+071,01E+07 1,36E+088,20E+101,45E+086,80E+061,10E+08
19901,10E+065,90E+09 6,34E+071,17E+104,77E+072,34E+066,50E+07
19914,90E+066,30E+078,60E+107,86E+085,20E+056,42E+07
19923,40E+061,80E+063,10E+06 1,00E+081,13E+118,05E+077,71E+065,23E+07
19931,00E+061,10E+06 5,61E+072,96E+103,92E+074,50E+072,67E+08
19941,57E+06 6,00E+072,18E+114,68E+071,38E+061,71E+08
19958,40E+061,01E+06 4,40E+072,33E+105,37E+071,75E+06
19961,50E+079,00E+05 1,10E+071,10E+111,63E+071,80E+066,04E+07
19978,90E+061,10E+06 7,00E+107,04E+068,80E+056,66E+07
19987,50E+05 5,80E+103,42E+068,80E+054,51E+07
19992,40E+06 1,89E+102,34E+061,50E+062,88E+07
20009,13E+097,45E+068,57E+051,58E+07
20012,70E+031,00E+103,78E+061,59E+065,25E+06
20021,52E+081,00E+102,53E+061,34E+061,15E+07
20031,90E+06 3,60E+091,61E+065,43E+068,38E+06
20041,67E+105,78E+051,05E+064,38E+06
20052,10E+101,41E+051,42E+069,14E+06
20062,39E+103,49E+066,37E+059,03E+06
20072,97E+101,41E+063,54E+052,67E+06
20082,73E+102,10E+072,64E+053,02E+06
20097,72E+092,43E+055,99E+06
20103,36E+053,80E+091,59E+052,25E+07
20115,21E+081,76E+059,50E+06
20123,10E+082,16E+052,61E+06

 

Table 3. Annual cobalt-60 discharges from different installations in 1984-2012 [Bq].

YearLoviisaOlkiluotoGreifswaldSosnovyi Bor (Leningrad)ForsmarkStudsvikOskarshamnBarsebäckRinghals
19841,60E+095,70E+099,32E+089,26E+109,85E+103,54E+105,02E+101,20E+11
19851,20E+094,50E+093,90E+082,00E+114,20E+102,90E+104,20E+105,50E+10
19861,70E+095,40E+091,69E+093,70E+111,80E+103,60E+109,60E+10
19872,30E+099,00E+091,86E+091,90E+111,70E+103,00E+103,30E+106,50E+10
19882,20E+096,40E+091,04E+092,20E+112,10E+092,30E+102,20E+105,40E+10
19893,10E+091,30E+101,08E+091,70E+118,80E+082,50E+109,90E+097,60E+10
19902,00E+091,60E+105,30E+081,80E+061,20E+112,10E+092,60E+102,00E+107,20E+10
19911,30E+098,40E+091,10E+081,20E+061,30E+112,60E+092,80E+102,70E+104,30E+10
19921,40E+097,30E+094,30E+076,60E+054,60E+101,60E+103,70E+105,10E+107,90E+10
19938,00E+083,60E+091,10E+081,00E+065,10E+105,60E+103,90E+101,50E+106,10E+10
19946,10E+075,90E+091,48E+074,90E+107,60E+093,10E+101,20E+108,70E+10
19957,30E+068,10E+091,21E+075,90E+052,47E+104,94E+094,28E+102,97E+105,20E+10
19964,22E+067,40E+092,91E+071,60E+063,21E+101,63E+104,34E+105,20E+103,53E+10
19971,30E+063,60E+093,20E+071,60E+064,91E+103,25E+091,70E+102,00E+101,17E+11
19988,90E+089,00E+085,30E+076,66E+051,20E+101,34E+091,50E+109,20E+093,53E+10
19991,00E+077,90E+083,60E+074,44E+058,70E+097,69E+081,15E+101,50E+101,77E+10
20002,70E+065,00E+086,70E+062,25E+056,65E+091,81E+109,94E+091,80E+101,17E+10
20015,20E+083,00E+082,10E+062,15E+054,27E+094,87E+098,03E+093,07E+101,96E+10
20024,90E+054,80E+084,60E+056,22E+043,41E+092,46E+099,20E+091,76E+105,20E+09
20031,30E+062,80E+087,70E+064,97E+054,41E+097,09E+097,84E+099,50E+093,21E+09
20043,10E+082,40E+081,70E+068,05E+051,19E+091,31E+104,11E+094,96E+093,91E+09
20052,20E+073,20E+089,00E+063,01E+082,42E+092,19E+091,93E+093,28E+09
20063,00E+073,00E+088,45E+056,62E+071,49E+091,10E+097,44E+081,31E+09
20071,43E+072,12E+081,80E+075,33E+059,00E+061,10E+091,00E+092,74E+091,69E+09
20082,80E+071,49E+081,90E+061,80E+073,86E+087,41E+081,03E+098,22E+08
20095,37E+089,07E+073,06E+069,50E+062,04E+091,36E+097,06E+088,21E+08
20101,62E+071,06E+087,43E+051,45E+071,11E+095,84E+081,90E+081,11E+09
20115,20E+065,27E+071,10E+039,30E+062,13E+085,03E+084,49E+083,70E+08
20121,29E+079,59E+078,40E+061,31E+089,00E+089,07E+074,49E+08

 

References 

HELCOM MORS Discharge Register 
Ilus E and Ilus T. Sources of Radioactivity. In: Nielsen S.P., The radiological exposure of the population of the European Community to radioactivity in the Baltic Sea. Marina-Balt project. EUR 19200EN. 
Lüning M and Ilus E. Sources of Radioactivity in the Baltic Sea. In: HELCOM, Radioactivity in the Baltic Sea 1992-1998. Balt. Sea Environ. Proc. No. 85: 5-15. 
Lüning M, Ilus E and Herrmann J. Sources of Radioactive Substances in the Baltic Sea. In: HELCOM, Radioactivity in the Baltic Sea 1999-2006, HELCOM thematic assessment, Balt. Sea Environ. Proc. No. 117: 9-17. 
Lüning M, Vartti V-P and Herrmann J. Sources of radioactivity in the Baltic Sea. In: HELCOM, 2013, Thematic assesment of long-term changes in radioactivity in the Baltic Sea, 2007-2010, Balt. Sea Environ. Proc. No. 135: 6-11. 
 

Meta data 

The data have been reported by the Contracting Parties of HELCOM to the HELCOM MORS Discharge Register. The data register is managed by STUK-Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Finland. 
The data is reported as total annual discharges into the aquatic environment and air (on voluntary basis) from each nuclear installation in bequerels (Bq). Only nuclides with a longer half-life than one week should be reported. 
 

Quality information 

The discharge data are reported by the nuclear installations to the National Authorities, which are responsible for validating the quality of the discharge data.



 

For reference purposes, please cite this Baltic Sea environment fact sheet as follows:

[Author's name(s)], [Year]. [Baltic Sea environment fact sheet title]. HELCOM Baltic Sea Environment Fact Sheets. Online. [Date Viewed], http://www.helcom.fi/baltic-sea-trends/environment-fact-sheets/.