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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(8), 1319; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8081319

Long-Term Monitoring of Radiocesium Concentration in Sediments and River Water along Five Rivers in Minami-Soma City during 2012–2016 Following the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

1
Graduate School of Engineering, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8527, Japan
2
Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8521, Japan
3
NPO Corporation Furusato, 2-144-6 Takami-Cho, Minami-Soma, Fukushima 975-0033, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology)
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Abstract

Radiocesium monitoring in sediments and river water has been conducted along five rivers in Minami-Soma City during 2012–2016 to clarify the temporal changes of radiocesium contamination in these rivers. Sampling has been performed annually under normal flow conditions. Sediment and river water samples were collected from four or five sampling sites along each river. Gamma-ray measurements of sediments were performed using a low-background Ge detector and unfiltered river water was utilized to determine radiocesium concentration using a well-type Ge detector. The 137Cs concentration in sediments was highest at upstream sites and slowly decreased to downstream sites for all rivers reflecting the high radioactive contamination in the upstream area. Temporal decrease of the 137Cs concentration was observed in sediments and river water for each river. The effective half-lives were 1.3–2.1 y for sediments, and 0.9–2.1 y for river water from rivers with upstream dams. On the undammed river, the effective half-lives were 4.7 y and 3.7 y for sediment and river water, respectively. Much longer effective-half-lives might reflect the direct transfer of radiocesium from forests and plains to the river. The 137Cs concentration in riverbed was low in downstream areas, however, accumulation of 137Cs over the floodplain was observed. Rapid decrease of 137Cs contamination through rivers will put residents at ease, but high accumulation of radiocesium over floodplains should be noted for future river decontamination. View Full-Text
Keywords: long-term monitoring; radiocesium; FDNPP; Minami-Soma City; sediments; river water; effective half-life long-term monitoring; radiocesium; FDNPP; Minami-Soma City; sediments; river water; effective half-life
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Shizuma, K.; Nursal, W.I.; Sakurai, Y. Long-Term Monitoring of Radiocesium Concentration in Sediments and River Water along Five Rivers in Minami-Soma City during 2012–2016 Following the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1319.

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