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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
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Article

Analysis of two forms of radioactive particles emitted during the early stages of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station accident

Yukihiko Satou, Keisuke Sueki, Kimikazu Sasa, Hideki Yoshikawa, Shigeo Nakama, Haruka Minowa, Yoshinari Abe, Izumi Nakai, Takahiro Ono, Kouji Adachi, Yasuhito Igarashi
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 52, No. 2, P. 137-143, 2018

ABSTRACT

Two types of radioactive particles were isolated from environmental samples collected at various distances from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station. “Type A” particles are 2–10 μm in diameter and display characteristic Cs X-ray emissions when analyzed using energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS). “Type B” particles are considerably larger, up to 400 μm in diameter, with Cs concentrations too low to be detectable with EDS. These larger particles were isolated from the region north of the nuclear reactor site, which was contaminated on March 12, 2011. The specific activity of Type B particles is much lower than Type A, and the mean 134Cs/137Cs ratios are ~0.93 and 1.04, respectively. The Type B ratio indicates that power station Unit 1 is the source, implying that these larger radioactive particles were discharged on March 12. This study found that different type of radioactive particles were released not only on March 15 but also on March 12.

KEYWORDS

Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station accident, radioactive particles, caesium isotopic ratio, hydrogen explosion, specific radioactivity

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