Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Impact of the Fukushima accident on tritium, radiocarbon and radiocesium levels in seawater of the western North Pacific Ocean: A comparison with pre-Fukushima situation

Abstract : Tritium, radiocarbon and radiocesium concentrations in water column samples in coastal waters offshore Fukushima and in the western North Pacific Ocean collected in 2011–2012 during the Ka'imikai-o-Kanaloa (KoK) cruise are compared with other published results. The highest levels in surface seawater were observed for 134Cs and 137Cs in seawater samples collected offshore Fukushima (up to 1.1 Bq L−1), which represent an increase by about three orders of magnitude when compared with the pre-Fukushima concentration. Tritium levels were much lower (up to 0.15 Bq L−1), representing an increase by about a factor of 6. The impact on the radiocarbon distribution was measurable, but the observed levels were only by about 9% above the global fallout background. The 137Cs (and similarly 134Cs) inventory in the water column of the investigated western North Pacific region was (2.7 ± 0.4) PBq, while for 3H it was only (0.3 ± 0.2) PBq. Direct releases of highly contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima NPP, as well as dry and wet depositions of these radionuclides over the western North Pacific considerably changed their distribution patterns in seawater. Presently we can distinguish Fukushima labeled waters from global fallout background thanks to short-lived 134Cs. However, in the long-term perspective when 134Cs will decay, new distribution patterns of 3H, 14C and 137Cs in the Pacific Ocean should be established for future oceanographic and climate change studies in the Pacific Ocean.
Complete list of metadata

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01584220
Contributor : Florence Aptel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 4:33:06 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 9:22:06 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 6:46:17 PM

File

S0265931X16300492_1.pdf
Files produced by the author(s)

Identifiers

Citation

Pavel P. Povinec, Laval Liong Wee Kwong, Jakub Kaizer, M. Molnar, Hartmut Nies, et al.. Impact of the Fukushima accident on tritium, radiocarbon and radiocesium levels in seawater of the western North Pacific Ocean: A comparison with pre-Fukushima situation. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Elsevier, 2017, 166 (Part 1), pp.56-66. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.02.027⟩. ⟨hal-01584220⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

271

Files downloads

36