A reformulation of the Lucas Heights liquid effluent discharge authorization

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Australian Atomic Energy Commission
Liquid effluent containing low levels of radioactivity is discharged from the A.A.E.C. Research Establishment at Lucas Heights into a tidal estuary at themouth of which are a number of commercial oyster leases. Since early 1961 the levels of release have been limited by a formula taking specific account of Ra—226, 'other α emitters', Sr-90 and 'other β emitters'. This formula has worked well as is evidenced by the barely detectable levels of radioactivity coming from the Research Establishment found in environmental samples, but it had certain deficiencies and limitations which for operational reasons it became desirable to eliminate. A new formula is described that is sufficiently general not to require future modification in principle and which incorporates recent data on estuarine dilution and concentration factors for nuclides in oysters, and which is based on current 1CRP recommendations and N.S.W. State Regulations concerning maximum permissible doses applicable to members of the general public. Discharges are limited so that population exposures resulting from the ingestion of contaminated oysters, from sunbathing on sands near the discharge point, and from the incorporation of contaminated sand in cuts are kept within acceptable limits; it also ensures that people who daily handle large quantitiesof oysters will not be subjected to unacceptable levels of irradiation. Values for maximum permissible monthly discharge (m.p.m.d.) for 173 nuclides have been calculated and tabulated. For mixtures of these nuclides the formula is: where XI is the quantity of the ith nuclide released and V gallons is the monthly volume of liquid discharged or 3 x 106 gallons, whichever is the smaller.
Liquid wastes, Waste disposal, Radioactivity, Environment, Environmental effects
Fry, R. M. (1966). A reformulation of the lucas heights liquid effluent discharge authorization (AAEC/E156). Lucas Heights, NSW: Research Establishment, Australian Atomic Energy Commission.