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Liquid discharges from nuclear installations in 2014

Executive Summary

Data are available on ODIMS via:

This annual report includes 2014 data of liquid radioactive discharges from nuclear installations and temporal trends for the period 1990 - 2014. On this basis, an assessment has been made for the discharges from nuclear power stations, nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, nuclear fuel fabrication and enrichment plants, research and development facilities, and decommissioning and management of legacy radioactive wastes activities. Discharges are reported as total alpha, tritium and total beta activity (excluding tritium) in terabecquerel per year (TBq/y) for each type of nuclear installation.

Discharges of radioactive substances measured as total alpha and total beta activity (excluding tritium) from nuclear installations have decreased over the period 1990 – 2014. Discharges of tritium peaked in 2004.

Full Report

There is a decrease in the total alpha activity discharged from all nuclear installations over the 24-year period. Discharges are at the lowest reported level since 1990, accounting for less than 8% of the peak value in 1993. In 2014, there was a small (0.03%) increase compared to 2013 in alpha discharges from the fuel reprocessing subsector at Sellafield.

In 2014 total discharges of tritium decreased around 11% relative to 2013. The total discharges of tritium were the highest since 2006. However, such trends were related to reprocessing throughput and could rise or fall in the future. La Hague contributed 79% of the total tritium discharges and Sellafield saw a small decrease compared to the previous year. Discharges of tritium from nuclear power stations contributed around 18% of the total tritium discharge. Tritium discharges arising from decommissioning are a very minor contributor although quite variable.

Total beta activity (excluding tritium) from all nuclear installations has decreased markedly since 1990 and is now only about 3% of what it was in 1990. Total beta discharges (excluding tritium) from all nuclear installations are dominated by discharges from the reprocessing plant at Sellafield which contributed approximately 44% of the overall discharges. La Hague contributed 20% of overall discharges of total beta (excluding tritium).

Location of Nuclear Facilities in OSPAR countries discharging directly or indirectly to the OSPAR maritime area in 2014. Available via