[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spatial distributions of radiocesium concentration in sea sediment to a core depth of 14 cm were investigated in the offshore region from the Fukushima Prefecture to the northern part of the Ibaraki Prefecture in February and July 2012, at a spatial resolution of 5 min of latitude and longitude. The concentrations in the area south of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) were generally higher than those in the area north of it. In the southern area, a band of especially high concentration with a width about 20 km was present in the region shallower than 100 m, and a narrow minimal concentration band was found along the 200-m isobaths. In more than half of all cases, the vertical core profiles of radiocesium concentration generally showed an exponential decreasing trend with depth. However, in the area north of the FDNPP, where the radiocesium concentrations tended to be very low, radiocesium concentrations that had similar or larger magnitude compared with those of the most-surface layer were often found in deeper layers. Relatively good correlations were found between radiocesium concentrations and grain sizes of the most-surface sediment. The vertical profile of radiocesium concentration also had a relationship with grain size. In other case, the radiocesium concentration in the sediment seems to have had a dependence on the radiocesium concentration in bottom seawater, suggesting that the quantity of radiocesium supplied and the grain size were major factors determining the spatial distribution pattern of the radiocesium concentration after the FDNPP accident.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 09/2014; 138:264–275. · 3.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enormous quantities of radionuclides were released into the ocean via both atmospheric deposition and direct release as a result of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident. This study discusses the southward dispersion of FNPP-derived radioactive cesium (Cs) in subsurface waters. The southernmost point where we found the FNPP-derived (134)Cs (1.5-6.8 Bq m(-3)) was 18˚N, 135˚E, in September 2012. The potential density at the subsurface peaks of (134)Cs (100-500 m) and the increased water column inventories of (137)Cs between 0 and 500 m after the winter of 2011-2012 suggested that the main water mass containing FNPP-derived radioactive Cs was the North Pacific Subtropical Mode Water (NPSTMW), formed as a result of winter convection. We estimated the amount of (134)Cs in core waters of the western part of the NPSTMW to be 0.99 PBq (decay-corrected on 11 March 2011). This accounts for 9.0% of the (134)Cs released from the FNPP, with our estimation revealing that a considerable amount of FNPP-derived radioactive Cs has been transported to the subtropical region by the formation and circulation of the mode water.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We measured the radiocesium ((134)Cs and (137)Cs) contamination of 236 greenlings (Hexagrammos otakii) off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011. The radiocesium concentrations of greenlings caught approximately 40 km south of the power plant were significantly higher than those of greenlings caught approximately 50 km north of the power plant. The radiocesium concentrations of greenlings caught in southern waters were significantly higher in shallow than in deep waters. Meanwhile, two outlier specimens of greenlings with higher (137)Cs concentrations, 16,000 Bq/kg-wet on 1 August 2012 and 1,150 Bq/kg-wet on 8 May 2013, were caught approximately 20 km from the power plant. Our calculations suggest that the probability of two such outlier specimens being found off the coast of Fukushima is exceedingly low. By contrast, extremely contaminated greenlings were frequently caught in the power plant port (geometric mean of (137)Cs = 17,364 Bq/kg-wet). Our results suggest that the two outlier greenlings with higher (137)Cs concentrations migrated from the power plant port. Continued close monitoring of radiocesium concentrations in the area should be done to ensure the safety of food supplies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anthropogenic radionuclides, (137)Cs, (90)Sr, (108m)Ag, (239+240)Pu, were measured in two Chionoecetes species, red queen crab (Chionoecetes japonicus) and snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) collected around Japan during 1996-2007. There was no increase in the concentrations of these radionuclides and no large variation of the atom ratio of (240)Pu/(239)Pu during this research period. These results indicated that the source of the radionuclides was not the radioactive wastes dumped by the former USSR and Russia and originated from past nuclear weapon tests. The higher atom ratio in the crab species than that from global fallout would be contributed by the Pacific Proving Grounds close-in fallout. The variability of the concentration of radionuclides in the crab species would result from the variability of the composition and quantity in the diet. However, the decrease in the concentration of radionuclides with sampling depth would depend on the concentration in the seawater and diet.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: (60)Co were detected in common octopus specimens collected in the East China Sea in 1996-2005. The source of (60)Co has remained unclear yet. Stable isotope analyses showed that there was no difference in stable Co concentrations between octopus samples with (60)Co and without (60)Co. This result showed that the stable Co in the digestive gland of octopus potentially did not include a trace amount of (60)Co and the source of (60)Co existed independently. Furthermore, investigations of octopus in other area and other species indicated that the origin of the source of (60)Co occurred locally in the restricted area in the East China Sea and not in the coastal area of Japan. Concentrations of (60)Co have annually decreased with shorter half-life than the physical half-life. This decrease tendency suggests that the sources of (60)Co were identical and were temporary dumped into the East China Sea as a solid waste.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Iodine-131 (physical half-life: 8.04 days) was detected in brown algae collected off the Japanese coast. Brown algae have been extensively used as bioindicators for radioiodine because of their ability to accumulate radionuclides in high concentration factors. The maximum measured specific activity of (131)I in brown algae was 0.37 + or - 0.010 Bq/kg-wet. Cesium-137 was also detected in all brown algal samples used in this study. There was no correlation between specific activities of (131)I and (137)Cs in these seaweeds. The specific activity of (137)Cs ranged from 0.0034 + or - 0.00075 to 0.090 + or - 0.014 Bq/kg-wet. Low specific activity and minimal variability of (137)Cs in brown algae indicated that past nuclear weapon tests were the source of (137)Cs. Although nuclear power stations and nuclear fuel reprocessing plants are known to be pollution sources of (131)I, there was no relationship between the sites where (131)I was detected and the locations of nuclear power facilities. Most of the sites where (131)I was detected were near big cities with large populations. Iodine-131 is frequently used in diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine. On the basis of the results, we suggest that the likely pollution source of (131)I, detected in brown seaweeds, is not nuclear power facilities, but nuclear medicine procedures.
Science of The Total Environment 07/2010; 408(16):3443-7. · 3.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anthropogenic radionuclides, 90Sr and 137Cs, were measured in two marine algal species, wakame seaweed (Undaria pinnatifida) and edible kelp (Laminaria longissima), collected in four coastal areas of Japan during 1998-2008. Although 90Sr and 137Cs could be detected at all sampling sites, the concentrations of 90Sr and 137Cs were at low levels and those in some samples were below the detection limit. These low concentrations and the small variation of both concentrations and the 137Cs/90Sr activity ratio indicate that the source of 90Sr and 137Cs detected in this study originated from the global fallout deposition following atmospheric nuclear-bomb tests in the past. There were no significant differences in both concentrations of 90Sr and 137Cs in wakame seaweed among three sampling sites. Although wakame seaweed is extensively distributed in southern and central Japan, it does not occur in northern areas and so edible kelp was monitored. The concentrations of 90Sr and 137Cs in edible kelp were significantly different from those in wakame seaweed in some sampling sites. These differences could be due to the difference in the concentrations of 90Sr and 137Cs in the surrounding seawater or the difference in species. The combined data with data from the previous report and the preexisting database showed that wakame seaweed incorporated 137Cs through a different pathway from that of 90Sr. The combined data also suggested that wakame seaweed responded differently to the source of 137Cs.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring 05/2010; 12(5):1179-86. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel strain of Halomonas (Tc-202), which has the capability of removing Tc(VII) from solid- and aqueous-phase material aerobically, was isolated from the marine environment. Tc-202 removed 55% of the total 99Tc in solutions at 15 degrees C by reducing Tc(VII) to Tc(V), but other Halomonas strains did not.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 01/2007; 72(12):7922-4. · 3.95 Impact Factor