New methods are being employed on the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site to deal with the disposal of tritium, including the irrigation of a hardwood/pine forest with tritiated water from an intercepted contaminant plume to reduce concentrations of tritium outcropping into Fourmile Branch, a tributary of the Savannah River. The use of this system has proven to be an effective means of tritium disposal. To evaluate the impact of this activity on terrestrial biota, rodent species were captured on the tritium disposal site and a control site during two trapping seasons in order to assess tritium exposure resulting from the forest irrigation. Control site mice had background levels of tritium, 0.02 Bq/mL, with disposal site mice having significantly higher tritium concentrations, meanZ34.86 Bq/mL. Whole body tritium concentrations of the mice captured at the disposal site were positively correlated with tritium application and negatively correlated with precipitation at the site.
Kelsey-Wall, Angel; Seaman, John C.; Jegoe, Charles H.; Dallas, Cham E.; and Gaines, Karen F., "Rodents as receptor species at a tritium" (2005). Faculty Research & Creative Activity. Paper 70.