Predicting the environmental risks of radioactive discharges from Belgian nuclear power plants

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An environmental risk assessment (ERA) was performed to evaluate the impact on non-human biota from liquid and atmospheric radioactive discharges by the Belgian Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) of Doel and Tihange. For both sites, characterisation of the source term and wildlife population around the NPPs was provided, whereupon the selection of reference organisms and the general approach taken for the environmental risk assessment was established. A deterministic risk assessment for aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems was performed using the ERICA assessment tool and applying the ERICA screening value of 10 mGy h_1. The study was performed for the radioactive discharge limits and for the actual releases (maxima and averages over the period 1999e2008 or 2000e2009). It is concluded that the current discharge limits for the Belgian NPPs considered do not result in significant risks to the aquatic and terrestrial environment and that the actual discharges, which are a fraction of the release limits, are unlikely to harm the environment.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-76
JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Environmental impact assessment, ERICA-tool, Non-human biota, Nuclear power plant, Radiological assessment, Radioactive releases

ID: 374099