Levels of C-14 in the terrestrial environment in the vicinity of two European nuclear power plants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Radiocarbon is produced in all types of nuclear reactors. Most of the C-14 released into the environment is in the form of gaseous emissions. Recent data on the C-14 concentration found in terrestrial samples taken in the vicinity of nuclear power plants in Romania and Lithuania are presented. We found increased C-14 levels in the surroundings of both power plants. At the Romanian power plant Cernavoda, we found excess levels of C-14 in grass within a distance of about 1000 in, the highest C-14 specific activity being 311 Bq/kg C (approximately 28% above the contemporary C-14 background) found at a distance of 200 in from the point of release (nearest sampling location). At the Lithuanian power plant Ignalina, samples of willow, pine, and spruce showed a C-14 excess of similar magnitude, while significantly higher values were found in moss samples. The samples were analyzed at the accelerator mass spectrometry facility in Lund, Sweden.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-868
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch