United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Radioactive Effluents from Nuclear Power Plants: Annual Report 2009, Final Report (NUREG/CR-2907, Volume 15)

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1The effluent summary reports for 2007 and 2008 were not published as NUREG/CR-2907 reports; however, the reports are provided for completeness.

Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: May 2013
Date Published:
August 2013

Prepared by:
R. Conatser1
N. Daugherty2

1U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

2Oak Ridge Associated Universities
100 ORAU Way
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

R. Conatser, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

There are 104 commercial nuclear power plants on 65 sites in the United States. Each year, each power reactor sends a report to the NRC that identifies the radioactive liquid and gaseous effluents discharged from the facility. In 2009, these effluent reports comprised about 10,000 pages of information, which described the radioactive materials discharged, as well as the resulting radiation doses to the general public. This report summarizes that information and presents it in a format intended for both nuclear professionals and the general public.

The reader can use this report to quickly characterize the radioactive discharges from any nuclear power plant in the United States in 2009. The effluents from one reactor can be compared with other reactors. The results can also be compared with typical (or median) effluents for the industry, including short-term 3-year trends and long-term 34-year trends.

Reference information is included so the reader can compare the doses from nuclear power plant effluents with the doses the general public receives from other sources of radiation, such as medical procedures, industrial devices, and natural materials in the environment.

Although all NPPs released some radioactive materials in 2009, all effluents were within the NRC safety limits, NRC design objectives, and the licensees’ system operating limits for radioactive effluents. Additionally, the doses from radioactive effluents were much less than the doses from other sources of natural radiation that are commonly considered safe. This indicates radioactive effluents from NPPs in 2009 had no significant impact on the health and safety of the public or the environment.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, June 06, 2014