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Evolution of radioactive dose rates in fresh sediment deposits along coastal rivers draining Fukushima contamination plume

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      Abstract

      Measurement of radioactive dose rates in fine sediment that has recently deposited on channel bed-sand provides a solution to address the lack of continuous river monitoring in Fukushima Prefecture after Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident. We show that coastal rivers of Eastern Fukushima Prefecture were rapidly supplied with sediment contaminated by radionuclides originating from inland mountain ranges, and that this contaminated material was partly exported by typhoons to the coastal plains as soon as by November 2011. This export was amplified during snowmelt and typhoons in 2012. In 2013, contamination levels measured in sediment found in the upper parts of the catchments were almost systematically lower than the ones measured in nearby soils, whereas their contamination was higher in the coastal plains. We thereby suggest that storage of contaminated sediment in reservoirs and in coastal sections of the river channels now represents the most crucial issue.

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      Cesium-137 deposition and contamination of Japanese soils due to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

      The largest concern on the cesium-137 ((137)Cs) deposition and its soil contamination due to the emission from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) showed up after a massive quake on March 11, 2011. Cesium-137 ((137)Cs) with a half-life of 30.1 y causes the largest concerns because of its deleterious effect on agriculture and stock farming, and, thus, human life for decades. Removal of (137)Cs contaminated soils or land use limitations in areas where removal is not possible is, therefore, an urgent issue. A challenge lies in the fact that estimates of (137)Cs emissions from the Fukushima NPP are extremely uncertain, therefore, the distribution of (137)Cs in the environment is poorly constrained. Here, we estimate total (137)Cs deposition by integrating daily observations of (137)Cs deposition in each prefecture in Japan with relative deposition distribution patterns from a Lagrangian particle dispersion model, FLEXPART. We show that (137)Cs strongly contaminated the soils in large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan, whereas western Japan was sheltered by mountain ranges. The soils around Fukushima NPP and neighboring prefectures have been extensively contaminated with depositions of more than 100,000 and 10,000 MBq km(-2), respectively. Total (137)Cs depositions over two domains: (i) the Japan Islands and the surrounding ocean (130-150 °E and 30-46 °N) and, (ii) the Japan Islands, were estimated to be approximately 6.7 and 1.3 PBq, [corrected] respectively.We hope our (137)Cs deposition maps will help to coordinate decontamination efforts and plan regulatory measures in Japan.
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        Measurement of soil contamination by radionuclides due to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and associated estimated cumulative external dose estimation.

        Soil sampling was carried out at an early stage of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident. Samples were taken from areas around FDNPP, at four locations northwest of FDNPP, at four schools and in four cities, including Fukushima City. Radioactive contaminants in soil samples were identified and measured by using a Ge detector and included (129 m)Te, (129)Te, (131)I, (132)Te, (132)I, (134)Cs, (136)Cs, (137)Cs, (140)Ba and (140)La. The highest soil depositions were measured to the northwest of FDNPP. From this soil deposition data, variations in dose rates over time and the cumulative external doses at the locations for 3 months and 1y after deposition were estimated. At locations northwest of FDNPP, the external dose rate at 3 months after deposition was 4.8-98 μSv/h and the cumulative dose for 1 y was 51 to 1.0 × 10(3)mSv; the highest values were at Futaba Yamada. At the four schools, which were used as evacuation shelters, and in the four urban cities, the external dose rate at 3 months after deposition ranged from 0.03 to 3.8μSv/h and the cumulative doses for 1 y ranged from 3 to 40 mSv. The cumulative dose at Fukushima Niihama Park was estimated as the highest in the four cities. The estimated external dose rates and cumulative doses show that careful countermeasures and remediation will be needed as a result of the accident, and detailed measurements of radionuclide deposition densities in soil will be important input data to conduct these activities. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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          Overview of active cesium contamination of freshwater fish in Fukushima and Eastern Japan

          This paper focuses on an overview of radioactive cesium 137 (quasi-Cs137 included Cs134) contamination of freshwater fish in Fukushima and eastern Japan based on the data published by the Fisheries Agency of the Japanese Government in 2011. In the area north and west of the Fukushima Nuclear plant, freshwater fish have been highly contaminated. For example, the mean of active cesium (quasi-Cs137) contamination of Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) is 2,657 Bq/kg at Mano River, 20–40 km north-west from the plant. Bioaccumulation is observed in the Agano river basin in Aizu sub-region, 70–150 km west from the plant. The active cesium (quasi-Cs137) contamination of carnivorous Salmondae is around 2 times higher than herbivorous Ayu. The extent of active cesium (quasi-Cs137) contamination of Ayu is observed in the entire eastern Japan. The some level of the contamination is recognized even in Shizuoka prefecture, 400 km south-west from the plant.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1]Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE/IPSL), Unité Mixte de Recherche 8212 (CEA/CNRS/UVSQ), Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
            [2]Center for Research in Isotopes and Environmental Dynamics (CRIED), Tsukuba University, Tsukuba (Japan)
            Journal
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group
            2045-2322
            29 October 2013
            2013
            : 3
            Copyright © 2013, Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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