Three Mile Island (TMI) and Peach Bottom (PB) reactors have introduced 137Cs, 134Cs, 60Co, 58Co and several other anthropogenic radionuclides into the lower Susquehanna River. Here we present the release history for these nuclides (Table 1) and radionuclide concentration data (Table 2) for sediment samples collected in the river and upper portions of the Chesapeake Bay (Fig. 1) within a few months after the 28 March 1979 loss-of-coolant-water problem at TMI. Although we found no evidence for nuclides characteristic of a ruptured fuel element, we did find nuclides characteristic of routine operations. Despite the TMI incident, more than 95% of the total 134Cs input to the Susquehanna has been a result of controlled low-level releases from the PB site. 134Cs activity released into the river is effectively trapped by sediments with the major zones of reactor-nuclide accumulation behind Conowingo Dam and in the upper portions of Chesapeake Bay. The reported distributions document the fate of reactor-released radionuclides and their extent of environmental contamination in the Susquehanna-Upper Chesapeake Bay System. ?? 1981 Nature Publishing Group.
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Reactor-released radionuclides in Susquehanna River sediments