Tritium Distribution in Ground Water around Large Underground Fusion Explosions

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Science  29 Nov 1963:
Vol. 142, Issue 3596, pp. 1163-1165
DOI: 10.1126/science.142.3596.1163


Tritium will be released in significant amounts from large underground nuclear fusion explosions in the Plowshare Program. The tritium could become highly concentrated in nearby ground waters, and could be of equal or more importance as a possible contaminant than other long-lived fission-product and induced radionuclides. Behavior of tritiated water in particular hydrologic and geologic environments, as illustrated by hypothetical explosions in dolomite and tuff, must be carefully evaluated to predict under what conditions high groundwater concentrations of tritium might occur.