Monitoring of atmospheric excess 14C around Paks nuclear power plant, Hungary

M. Molnár, T. Bujtás, É Svingor, I. Futó, I. Svïtlík

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The activity of radiocarbon in 14CO2 and 14CnHm chemical forms is measured in the vicinity of Paks nuclear power plant (NPP), Hungary, by sampling environmental air. Four differential sampling units at different sites collected samples less than 2 km away from the 100-m-high stacks of Paks NPP, and for reference a sampler was operated at a station ~30 km away from Paks NPP. We present the results of continuous observations at the 5 stations covering the time span from 2000 to 2005. The samples have been analyzed by a proportional counting technique. During a cleaning tank incident at unit 2 of Paks NPP in April 2003, a significant release of radioactive isotopes took place from the damaged fuel assemblies, and gaseous products escaped through the chimney. We evaluate the possible short- and long-term impact of this incident on the 14C content of the atmosphere in the surroundings of Paks NPP. Comparing our 14CO2 measurements with data sets from Jungfraujoch and Schauinsland, as well as from Košetice (Czech Republic), we demonstrate that the incident had no definite influence on the 14C content of the atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1043
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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