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Report No. 075 - Iodine-129: Evaluation of Releases from Nuclear Power Generation (1983)

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Considerable attention has been given to I-129 because of the potential for long-term accumulation in the environment from prolonged low-level releases from the nuclear industry, principally from facilities concerned with the separation and processing of irradiated fuels and storage of wastes. Currently, the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuels is very limited, but is likely to increase in the future. If retrievable storage is the means chosen for handling spent fuel elements, I-129 will remain potentially available for release to the environment whenever reprocessing occurs, because of its slow rate of physical decay. If, on the other hand, spent nuclear fuels remain unprocessed in a permanent disposal site, then releases of I-129 to the environment from U.S. facilities described herein will be insignificant compared to the estimates given in this Report. The extent to which I-129 could be released to the accessible environment from a permanent disposal site will be determined by the design of the repository, and by conditions in the environs. The details of potential long term releases of I-129 from such repositories is beyond the scope of this Report. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in proposing standards for the disposal of spent fuel, high level and transuranic radioactive wastes, indicated that the total I-129 in their model repository would be a fraction of their calculated allowable release limit (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1982), i.e., the I-129 is not controlling on the design of the repository.
Scientific Committee:
Leo K. Bustad, Chairman (1973-1981)

Steven A. Book
R. John Garner
Joseph K. Soldat
Fred P. Brauer, Consultant
Leo L. Burger, Consultant
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