Speciation of radiocesium and radioiodine in Aarosols from Tsukuba after the Fukushima nuclear accident

Xu, S., Zhang, L., Freeman, S. P.H.T. , Hou, X., Shibata, Y., Sanderson, D. , Cresswell, A. , Doi, T. and Tanaka, A. (2015) Speciation of radiocesium and radioiodine in Aarosols from Tsukuba after the Fukushima nuclear accident. Environmental Science and Technology, 49(2), pp. 1017-1024. (doi: 10.1021/es504431w)

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Aerosol samples were collected from Tsukuba, Japan, soon after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident and analyzed for speciation of radiocesium and radioiodine to explore their chemical behavior and isotopic ratios after the release. Most 134Cs and 137Cs were bound in organic matter (53–91%) and some in water-soluble fractions (5–15%), whereas a negligible proportion of radiocesium remained in minerals. This pattern suggests that sulfate salts and organic matter may be the main carrier of Cs-bearing particles. The 129I in aerosol samples is contained in various proportions as soluble inorganic iodine (I– and IO3–), soluble organic iodine, and unextractable iodine. The measured mean 129I/131I atomic ratio of 16.0 ± 2.2 is in good agreement with that measured from rainwater and consistent with ratios measured in surface soil samples. Together with other aerosols and seawater samples, an initial 129I/137Cs activity ratio of ∼4 × 10–7 was obtained. In contrast to the effectively constant 134Cs/137Cs activity ratios (1.04 ± 0.04) and 129I/131I atomic ratios (16.0 ± 2.2), the 129I/137Cs activity ratios scattered from 3.5 × 10–7 to 5 × 10–6 and showed temporally and spatially different dispersion and deposition patterns between radiocesium and radioiodine. These findings confirm that 129I, instead of 137Cs, should be considered as a proxy for 131I reconstruction.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sanderson, Professor David and Xu, Dr Sheng and Freeman, Professor Stewart and Cresswell, Dr Alan
Authors: Xu, S., Zhang, L., Freeman, S. P.H.T., Hou, X., Shibata, Y., Sanderson, D., Cresswell, A., Doi, T., and Tanaka, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Environmental Science and Technology
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN (Online):1520-5851

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