Title: Fukushima-derived radionuclides in the ocean and biota off Japan
Authors: Buesseler et al.
Date: April 2, 2012
[...] our data are consistent with higher estimates of the magnitude of Fukushima fallout and direct releases [Stohl et al. (2011) Atmos Chem Phys Discuss 11:28319–28394; Bailly du Bois et al. (2011) J Environ Radioact, 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2011.11.015]. [...]
There has been considerable debate about both the total radionuclide releases and the extent of atmospheric fallout vs. direct discharges from the Fukushima NPPs. [...]
We measured a total inventory of Fukushima-derived 137Cs of 1.9–2.1 PBq in our study area (Methods), which is lower because most of the 137Cs delivered either as fallout in March or direct discharges in April would have been transported out of the study area by June.
[...] The model predicts an inventory of ∼0.4 PBq (using the lowest atmospheric and direct discharge source estimates) to ∼2.0 PBq (using the highest estimates) in our study area in June (SI Discussion). Thus, if we include realistic transport, our measured inventory in June agrees better with what is predicted using the largest release estimates; this is important, but needs to be supported by additional data over larger areas of the North Pacific. However, at present, such data are extremely limited and insufficient to make a basin-wide inventory calculation.
“Using the largest release estimates” for Fukushima amounts to:
Largest Estimate of Cs-137 Air Release — via Stohl, et al: 36 Petabecquerels (PBq)
Largest Estimate of Cs-137 Ocean Release — via du Bois, et al: 27 PBq
Fukushima Total: ~63 PBq
Chernobyl: ~70 PBq
“The total 137Cs release was estimated to be 70 petabecquerels (PBq) of which 31 PBq were deposited in the Soviet Union.” -Nuclear Energy Agency
“Buesseler received funding support for this work from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the National Science Foundation’s Chemical Oceanography program.” -Source
Published: April 3rd, 2012 at 2:41 am ET