Tritium is a radioactive form of hydrogen that occurs both naturally — from interactions of cosmic rays with gases in the upper atmosphere — and as a by-product of the operation of in nuclear reactors and tritium processing facilities. Tritium exposure can pose a health risk if it is ingested through drinking water or food, inhaled or absorbed through the skin in large quantities.
The CNSC regulates releases of tritium by nuclear reactors and tritium processing facilities to ensure the health and safety of workers and the public, and the protection of the environment. Part of the CNSC’s mandate is to provide objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public on nuclear-related health and safety issues. The following are information products on tritium.