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Liquid discharges from nuclear installations in 2018

Executive Summary

Data are available on ODIMS via:

This report presents the 2018 data of liquid radioactive discharges from nuclear installations and temporal trends for the period 1989 - 2018. 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.

The total discharges of alpha activity from all nuclear installations in 2018 were 0.19 TBq which is 16% lower than the previous year and 36% lower than in 2016. Annual alpha discharges have fluctuated in the range 0.17 – 0.3 TBq since 2007, and in 2018 were about 6.5% of the peak since 1990 (in 1993).

Discharges of total beta activity (excluding tritium) from all nuclear installations has decreased markedly since 1989 and are now only 1.8% of what they were in 1989. In 2018 total beta discharges were about 17 TBq, a significant decrease relative to the previous year (26%).

Full Report

The total discharge of tritium in 2018 of about 16,000 TBq is similar to annual discharges made in recent years and about 23% lower than the peak seen in 2004. Discharges of tritium are dominated by those from the reprocessing sector (80% in 2018, with 72% of the total from Cap de la Hague) and fluctuate in accordance with spent fuel reprocessing rates.

Location of Nuclear Facilities in OSPAR countries discharging directly or indirectly to the OSPAR maritime area in 2018. Available via