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Environ Pollut. 2018 Sep;240:167-176. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.094. Epub 2018 May 4.

Plutonium isotopic signatures in soils and their variation (2011-2014) in sediment transiting a coastal river in the Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

Author information

1
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, Unité Mixte de Recherche 8212 (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), Université Paris-Saclay, F-91198, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
2
CEA, DAM, DIF, F-91297, Arpajon, France.
3
Center for Research in Isotopes and Environmental Dynamics (CRIED), University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan.
4
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, Unité Mixte de Recherche 8212 (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), Université Paris-Saclay, F-91198, Gif-sur-Yvette, France; Environmental Monitoring and Science Division, Alberta Environment and Parks, 3115 - 12 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
5
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, Unité Mixte de Recherche 8212 (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), Université Paris-Saclay, F-91198, Gif-sur-Yvette, France. Electronic address: olivier.evrard@lsce.ipsl.fr.

Abstract

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident resulted in a significant release of radionuclides that were deposited on soils in Northeastern Japan. Plutonium was detected at trace levels in soils and sediments collected around the FDNPP. However, little is known regarding the spatial-temporal variation of plutonium in sediment transiting rivers in the region. In this study, plutonium isotopic compositions were first measured in soils (n = 5) in order to investigate the initial plutonium deposition. Then, plutonium isotopic compositions were measured on flood sediment deposits (n = 12) collected after major typhoon events in 2011, 2013 and 2014. After a thorough radiochemical purification, isotopic ratios (240Pu/239Pu, 241Pu/239Pu and 242Pu/239Pu) were measured with a Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometer (MC ICP-MS), providing discrimination between plutonium derived from global fallout, from atmospheric nuclear weapon tests, and plutonium derived from the FDNPP accident. Results demonstrate that soils with the most Fukushima-derived plutonium were in the main radiocaesium plume and that there was a variable mixture of plutonium sources in the flood sediment samples. Plutonium concentrations and isotopic ratios generally decreased between 2011 and 2014, reflecting the progressive erosion and transport of contaminated sediment in this coastal river during flood events. Exceptions to this general trend were attributed to the occurrence of decontamination works or the remobilisation of contaminated material during typhoons. The different plutonium concentrations and isotopic ratios obtained on three aliquots of a single sample suggest that the Fukushima-derived plutonium was likely borne by discrete plutonium-containing particles. In the future, these particles should be isolated and further characterized in order to better understand the fate of this long-lived radionuclide in the environment.

KEYWORDS:

Actinide; FDNPP accident; Multi Collector-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer; Pu atom ratios; River lag deposits; Source identification

PMID:
29734077
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.094
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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