Widespread distribution of radiocesium-bearing microparticles over the greater Kanto Region resulting from the Fukushima nuclear accident

Yoshinari Abe, Seika Onozaki, Izumi Nakai, Kouji Adachi, Yasuhito Igarashi, Yasuji Oura, Mitsuru Ebihara, Takafumi Miyasaka, Hisashi Nakamura, Keisuke Sueki, Haruo Tsuruta, Yuichi Moriguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident in March 2011 emitted a considerable amount of radioactive materials. This study isolated radiocesium-bearing microparticles (CsMPs), a form of radioactive materials emitted from the FDNPP at the early stage of the accident, from aerosols collected hourly on filter tapes at seven monitoring stations at the greater Kanto Region, including the Tokyo metropolitan area, on 15 March 2011. The aerosols had a spherical shape ~ 1 μm in diameter with activity of less than 1 Bq of 137Cs per particle. Their physical and chemical characteristics, including radioactivity ratio 134Cs/137Cs as well as chemical composition and state, are essentially the same as previously reported CsMPs. This study demonstrated that air parcels containing CsMPs emitted from the FDNPP were widespread over the greater Kanto Region, more than 250 km away from the FDNPP, during the daytime of 15 March. Trajectory analysis indicated that these particles were emitted from the reactor No. 2 of FDNPP between 14 March evening and 15 March early morning. The information obtained on the widespread distribution of CsMPs can be useful for assessing the actual impacts of radioactive contamination from the FDNPP accident on the environment and human health. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalProgress in Earth and Planetary Science
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Keywords

  • Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident
  • Radiocesium-bearing microparticle
  • Suspended particulate matter
  • Synchrotron radiation X-ray analysis
  • Trajectory analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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