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Evaluation of particulate 137Cs discharge from a mountainous forested catchment using reservoir sediments and sinking particles

Funaki, Hironori, Yoshimura, Kazuya, Sakuma, Kazuyuki, Iri, Shatei, Oda, Yoshihiro
Journal of environmental radioactivity 2018 pp. 105814
accidents, cesium, forested watersheds, inventories, mountains, nuclear power, pollution, power plants, radioactivity, radionuclides, sediment traps, sediments, surface area
The time and size dependencies of particulate 137Cs concentrations in a reservoir were investigated to evaluate the dynamics of 137Cs pollution from a mountainous forested catchment. Sediment and sinking particle samples were collected using a vibracorer and a sediment trap at the Ogaki Dam Reservoir in Fukushima, which is located in the heavily contaminated area that formed as a result of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident of 2011. The inventory of 137Cs discharged into the reservoir during the post-accident period (965 days) was estimated to be approximately 3.0 × 1012–3.9 × 1012 Bq, which is equivalent to 1.1%–1.4% of the initial estimated catchment inventory. The particulate 137Cs concentration showed a decline with time, but the exponent value between the specific surface area and the 137Cs concentration for the fine-sized (<63 μm) particle fraction remained almost constant from the immediate aftermath of the accident. These quantitative findings obtained by reconstructing the contamination history of particulate 137Cs in reservoir sediments and sinking particles have important implications for the evaluation of 137Cs dynamics in mountainous forested catchments.