Radioactive plume from the Three Mile Island accident: xenon-133 in air at a distance of 375 kilometers

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Science  08 Feb 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4431, pp. 639-640
DOI: 10.1126/science.7352276


The transit of an air mass containing radioactive gas released from the Three Mile Island reactor was recorded in Albany, New York, by measuring xenon-133. These measurements provide an evaluation of Three Mile Island effluents to distances greater than 100 kilometers. Two independent techniques identified xenon-133 in ambient air at concentrations as high as 3900 picocuries per cubic meter. The local gamma-ray whole-body dose from the passing radioactivity amounted to 0.004 millirem, or 0.004 percent of the annual dose from natural sources.