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Title: Analysis of a global database containing tritium in precipitation

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) directed the collection of tritium in water samples from the mid-1950s to 2009. The Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP) data examined the airborne movement of isotope releases to the environment, with an objective of collecting spatial data on the isotope content of precipitation across the globe. The initial motivation was to monitor atmospheric thermonuclear test fallout through tritium, deuterium, and oxygen isotope concentrations, but after the 1970s the focus changed to being an observation network of stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope data for hydrologic studies. The GNIP database provides a wealth of tritium data collections over a long period of time. The work performed here primarily examined data features in the past 30 years (after much of the effects of above-ground nuclear testing in the late 1950s to early 1960s decayed away), revealing potentially unknown tritium sources. The available data at GNIP were reorganized to allow for evaluation of trends in the data both temporally and spatially. Several interesting cases were revealed, including relatively high measured concentrations in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Russia, Norway, as well as an increase in background concentration at a collector in South Korea after 2004. Recentmore » data from stations in the southeastern United States nearest to the Savannah River Site do not indicate any high values. Meteorological impacts have not been considered in this study. Further research to assess the likely source location of interesting cases using transport simulations and/or literature searches is warranted.« less
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  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
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Technical Report
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Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States