EGU2020-6987, updated on 04 Nov 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Discovery of radiocesium-bearing microparticles from ocean samples emitted from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

Hikaru Miura1, Takashi Ishimaru2, Yukari Ito2, Jota Kanda2, Atsushi Kubo3, Shigeyoshi Otosaka4, Yuichi Kurihara5, Daisuke Tsumune1, and Yoshio Takahashi4
Hikaru Miura et al.
  • 1Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Japan (
  • 2Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
  • 3Shizuoka University
  • 4The University of Tokyo
  • 5Japan Atomic Energy Agency

Introduction: A large amount of radioactive Cs was emitted into the environment by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident. Adachi et al. (2013) first reported radiocesium-bearing microparticles (CsMPs) from aerosol filters. Subsequent researches showed that the CsMP is SiO2 glass with Cs, Cl, K, Fe, and Zn mainly contained in the particle. Diameter of CsMP is ~1-10 μm and 137Cs radioactivity is ~0.5 to 102 Bq. It has been suggested that the CsMP was mainly emitted from Unit 2 or Unit 3 of FDNPP based on the 134Cs/137Cs activity ratio in the samples. Miura et al. (2018) reported CsMPs from the suspended particles in river water and their effect on Kd value, which suggested CsMPs may exist in the ocean transported through rivers. Kubo et al. (2018) and Ikenoue et al. (2018) reported hot spots in the ocean samples by autoradiography but they did not separate CsMPs from these spots. In this presentation, we first report CsMPs separated from marine suspended particles, sinking particles, and sediments in coastal area of Fukushima and compare them with CsMPs from the terrestrial samples.

Method: We collected suspended particles (2011, 2013, 2015), sinking particles (2014), sediment cores (2011) from coastal area of Fukushima. By a wet separation method (Miura et al., 2018), we separated CsMPs from these samples. After measurement of radioactivity with a high-purity germanium semiconductor detector, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses were performed for separated CsMPs. Using autoradiography, we calculated 137Cs activity of unseparated hot spots over 0.1 Bq, which may be CsMPs.

Results and discussion: We separated 5 CsMPs from marine samples. The results of SEM-EDS analyses showed that these CsMPs have almost similar characteristics to the reported CsMPs because they mainly consist of Si, Cs, Fe, and Zn.  Their 134Cs/137Cs showed that the CsMPs were from Unit 2 or 3 of FDNPP. 137Cs radioactivity per volume is also similar to reported CsMPs from Unit 2 or 3. In this presentation, we will show the effect of CsMPs on Kd values. CsMPs in the ocean samples will make apparent Kd values be higher than intrinsic Kd values related to the adsorption-desorption reaction to the clay minerals, which may explain the large variation of Cs concentration in marine samples.

How to cite: Miura, H., Ishimaru, T., Ito, Y., Kanda, J., Kubo, A., Otosaka, S., Kurihara, Y., Tsumune, D., and Takahashi, Y.: Discovery of radiocesium-bearing microparticles from ocean samples emitted from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6987,, 2020

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