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Occurrence and partition ratios of radiocesium in an urban river during dry and wet weather after the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima

Murakami, Michio, Shibayama, Nao, Sueki, Keisuke, Mouri, Goro, O, Haechong, Nomura, Mihiro, Koibuchi, Yukio, Oki, Taikan
Water research 2016 v.92 pp. 87-93
cesium, monitoring, nuclear power, power plants, radionuclides, rain, rivers, surface area, urban areas, water pollution
After the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, radiocesium was released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant and contaminated waters in urban areas near Tokyo. By intensive field monitoring during 3 years, this study investigated the temporal trends and the occurrence of radiocesium during dry and wet weather, and analyzed the variations in radiocesium during rainfall events and factors controlling them. Concentrations of particulate radiocesium decreased rapidly from May 2012 to March 2013 and reached an equilibrium in 2014. Concentrations of particulate 137Cs during wet weather were almost double those during dry weather in the same period. In contrast to the small variations in 137Cs concentrations in the particulate phase on a suspended solids (SS) weight basis during events, those in the dissolved phase on a liquid-volume basis fluctuated greatly, resulting in variations in the partition coefficient (apparent Kd). The apparent Kd of 137Cs during wet weather ranged from 30 000 to 150 000 L kg−1 and showed a significant negative correlation with SS concentrations during wet weather. Specific surface area in solids contributed to the variations in apparent Kd.