[Source: Scientific Reports, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Scientific Reports | Article / <ABBR>Open</ABBR>
<ABBR></ABBR>Sediment particle size and initial radiocesium accumulation in ponds following the Fukushima DNPP accident

Kazuya Yoshimura<SUP>1, 3 </SUP>Yuichi Onda<SUP>1 </SUP>& Takehiko Fukushima<SUP>2</SUP>
Journal name: Scientific Reports / Volume: 4, Article number: 4514 / DOI: doi:10.1038/srep04514

Received 01 November 2013 - Accepted 13 March 2014 - Published 31 March 2014


This study used particle size analysis to investigate the initial accumulation and trap efficiency of radiocesium (<SUP>137</SUP>Cs) in four irrigation ponds, ~4–5 months after the Fukushima Dai–ichi nuclear power plant (DNPP) accident. Trap efficiency, represented by the inventory of <SUP>137</SUP>Cs in pond sediment to the inventory of radiocesium in soil surrounding the pond (i.e., total <SUP>137</SUP>Cs inventory), was less than 100% for all but one pond. Trap efficiency decreased as sediment particle size increased, indicating that sediments with a smaller particle size accumulate more <SUP>137</SUP>Cs. In ponds showing low trap efficiency, fine sediment containing high concentrations of <SUP>137</SUP>Cs appeared to be removed from the system by hydraulic flushing, leaving behind mostly coarse sediment. The results of this study suggest that sediment particle size can be used to estimate the initial accumulation and trap efficiency of <SUP>137</SUP>Cs in pond sediment, as well as the amount lost through hydraulic flushing.

Subject terms: Limnology•Environmental monitoring