The Tritium Laboratory

Housed in the building of former dormitories, the Tritium Laboratory was originally established in 1960 as a radiocarbon dating facility for ocean waters and sediments. In 1964, it was expanded to perform low-level measurements of environmental tritium, mainly for oceanographic purposes. Later, due to lessening demand from oceanography, the lab offered low-level tritium measurements to other fields such as hydrology. In the mid 1990's the Tritium Lab began offering CFC and most recently, SF6 analysis of water samples to our clients. Our present yearly capacity is about 2500 tritium measurements on water samples relating to research projects mainly from the hydrological community.


The Tritium Laboratory’s clients include environmental consulting firms, mining companies, municipalities, universities, and governmental agencies. The Lab also works with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to test the University and National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) research vessel fleet for low-level carbon 14 and tritium contamination in order to ensure that background level measurements of these isotopes can be made from these ships.