[Source: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, full text: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Assessment of individual radionuclide distributions from the Fukushima nuclear accident covering central-east Japan [Environmental Sciences]

Kinoshita, N., Sueki, K., Sasa, K., Kitagawa, J.-i., Ikarashi, S., Nishimura, T., Wong, Y.-S., Satou, Y., Handa, K., Takahashi, T., Sato, M., Yamagata, T.

A tremendous amount of radioactivity was discharged because of the damage to cooling systems of nuclear reactors in the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011. Fukushima and its adjacent prefectures were contaminated with fission products from the accident. Here, we show a geographical distribution of radioactive iodine, tellurium, and cesium in the surface soils of central-east Japan as determined by gamma-ray spectrometry. Especially in Fukushima prefecture, contaminated area spreads around Iitate and Naka-Dori for all the radionuclides we measured. Distributions of the radionuclides were affected by the physical state of each nuclide as well as geographical features. Considering meteorological conditions, it is concluded that the radioactive material transported on March 15 was the major contributor to contamination in Fukushima prefecture, whereas the radioactive material transported on March 21 was the major source in Ibaraki, Tochigi, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures and in Tokyo.
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