Radiation Monitoring at Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear power plants emit minute quantities of radioactive gases and liquids to the environment under controlled and monitored conditions during normal plant operations. Because these radioactive discharges can have environmental impacts — on humans, animals, plants, and sea life, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requires licensees to monitor the discharges and analyze nearby environmental samples to ensure that the impacts of plant operations are minimized. These measures ensure that the permitted discharges result in very small doses to members of the public living around nuclear power plants.