One Year Later: Neptunium-239 findings 35km from Fukushima meltdowns published in journal — Decays into Plutonium-239

Published: March 5th, 2012 at 2:34 pm ET


Title: Deposition of fission and activation products after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident
Source: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.01.001 : Environmental Pollution
Katsumi Shozugawaa, a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan
Norio Nogawab, Radioisotope Center, The University of Tokyo, 2-11-16 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japans
Motoyuki Matsuoa, a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan
Date: April 2012

The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, damaged reactor cooling systems at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The subsequent venting operation and hydrogen explosion resulted in a large radioactive nuclide emission from reactor containers into the environment. Here, we collected environmental samples such as soil, plant species, and water on April 10, 2011, in front of the power plant main gate as well as 35 km away in Iitate village, and observed gamma-rays with a Ge(Li) semiconductor detector. We observed activation products (239Np and 59Fe) and fission products (131I, 134Cs (133Cs), 137Cs, 110mAg (109Ag), 132Te, 132I, 140Ba, 140La, 91Sr, 91Y, 95Zr, and 95Nb). 239Np is the parent nuclide of 239Pu; 59Fe are presumably activation products of 58Fe obtained by corrosion of cooling pipes. The results show that these activation and fission products, diffused within a month of the accident.

Read the abstract here


Published: March 5th, 2012 at 2:34 pm ET


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35 comments to One Year Later: Neptunium-239 findings 35km from Fukushima meltdowns published in journal — Decays into Plutonium-239

  • lam335 lam335

    "Activation products are materials made radioactive by neutron activation.

    Fission products and actinides produced by neutron absorption of nuclear fuel itself are normally referred to by those specific names, and activation product reserved for products of neutron capture by other materials, such as structural components of the nuclear reactor or nuclear bomb, the reactor coolant, control rods or other neutron poisons, or materials in the environment. All of these, however, need to be handled as radioactive waste…."

  • jec jec

    ONE YEAR LATER. Can anyone tell me WHY they waited a year? Was this to allow for saving of financial markets? And let the "upper crust" get out of the country to the "new japan cities"? Won't do much good if all the tax base, and the employees/ customers are sick….or is that why some major companies are pulling out of mainland Japna?

  • Kevin Kevin

    That damn venting………

    The bullshit never ends.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    …the US is going to increase it's presence in the Asian Pacific area.
    How many of our servicemen and women are going to be sent to this the very same officials…we hear speaking in these tapes?

  • aSpadeisaSpade aSpadeisaSpade

    The image here, pretty much depicts the prevailing philosophy of the nuke advocates:

  • and how much did they find?
    they have fission in open nature,
    how much poo have you found, dear scientists?
    ah, i see, paid content…. who financed your studies and your proper education?

  • Wreedles Wreedles

    Hydrogen explosion. You can say it 800 million times, guys, but that still won't make it true.

    You don't suppose that some of that activated iron came from vaporization of structural components in the NUCLEAR explosion that occured at Reactor 3, do ya?!?


    Now, just where do I get one of those Germanium/Lithium detectors?!

  • Bobby1

    Professor Mori in the WINEP blog has found squid which has up to 6 times radioactive silver (Ag-110m) than cesium (Cs-137). It is very unexpected since Ag-110m has a half-life of 245 days, vs. 30 years for Cs-137.

    He also suggests that the use of inaccurate spectrometers has led to mistakenly adding the silver into the Japanese cesium estimates, since the gamma peaks are very close together:

    It seems that the release of silver is a big problem only when plutonium fuel is involved. That is, MOX. It seems to bioaccumulate at a much higher level than cesium.

    • Bobby1

      So, if you eat some Pacific fish, and your fingers turn blue, you would know that you got a dose of radioactive silver.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue strange brew kill what's inside of you……..

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        And the whole while, our Government is SILENT?!?!? It's almost too much to handle. WHO NEEDS THIS STRESS? WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND DOESN'T KNOW WE'LL ALL BE DYING OF NOT ONLY OF CANCERS, BUT PROBABLY "MYSTERIOUS DISEASES" (they will claim)….. They'll blame it on anything but Daiichi. "Say goodnight, Gracie" GOODNIGHT

  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    These were NUCLEAR explosions with hydrogen explosions simultaneous or just prior to NUCLEAR explosions at R1, R3 and I'm not yet certain about R4 though others in here might be.

  • madmax madmax

    so i'm guessing they named Uranium, Neptunium and Plutonium after the Planets?

  • I don't think we have to worry about terrorists exploding a "dirty" bomb anywhere in the World. Who would notice?

  • dear jones


    You are right.
    All World Government have insurance that "dirty" bomb is safe. It just like blow up a big bananas.

  • labmonkeywithagun labmonkeywithagun

    The charts on what was released and if it was found in Iiate

    not sure if everything was tested in every place……speaking about mainly strontium only around plant, I have my doubts.

  • Lacsap Lacsap

    There are three common types of radioactive decay, alpha, beta, and gamma. The difference between them is the particle emitted by the nucleus during the decay process.

    <b>Radioactive decay</b>

    Many nuclei are radioactive. This means they are unstable, and will eventually decay by emitting a particle, transforming the nucleus into another nucleus, or into a lower energy state. A chain of decays takes place until a stable nucleus is reached.

    During radioactive decay, principles of conservation apply. Some of these we've looked at already, but the last is a new one:

    conservation of energy
    conservation of momentum (linear and angular)
    conservation of charge
    conservation of nucleon number

    Conservation of nucleon number means that the total number of nucleons (neutrons + protons) must be the same before and after a decay.

    There are three common types of radioactive decay, alpha, beta, and gamma. The difference between them is the particle emitted by the nucleus during the decay process.

    <b>Alpha decay</b>

    In alpha decay, the nucleus emits an alpha particle; an alpha particle is essentially a helium nucleus, so it's a group of two protons and two neutrons. A helium nucleus is very stable.

    An example of an alpha decay involves uranium-238:

    The process of transforming one element to another is known as transmutation.

    Alpha particles do not travel far in air before being absorbed; this makes them very safe for use in smoke detectors, a common household item.

    <b>Beta decay</b>

    A beta particle is often an electron, but can also be a positron, a positively-charged particle that is the anti-matter equivalent of the electron. If an electron is involved, the number of neutrons in the nucleus decreases by one and the number of protons increases by one. An example of such a process is:

    In terms of safety, beta particles are much more penetrating than alpha particles, but much less than gamma particles.



      Uranyl peroxide enhanced nuclear fuel corrosion in seawater
      Christopher R. Armstronga,1, May Nymanb, Tatiana Shvarevaa, Ginger E. Sigmonc, Peter C. Burnsc,d, and Alexandra Navrotskya,2
      aPeter A. Rock


      The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident brought together compromised irradiated fuel and large amounts of seawater in a high radiation field. Based on newly acquired thermochemical data for a series of uranyl peroxide compounds containing charge-balancing alkali cations, here we show that nanoscale cage clusters containing as many as 60 uranyl ions, bonded through peroxide and hydroxide bridges, are likely to form in solution or as precipitates under such conditions.

      These species will enhance the corrosion of the damaged fuel and, being thermodynamically stable and kinetically persistent in the absence of peroxide, they can potentially transport uranium over long distances.

  • Lacsap Lacsap

    Uranium-238 (238U or U-238) is the most common isotope of uranium found in nature. It is not fissile, but is a fertile material: it can capture a slow neutron and after two

    BETA decays become fissile plutonium-239.
    Uranium-238 decays by ALPHA emission into

    thorium-234 with a half-life of 4.5 billion years

    Decay sheme here

    • Lacsap Lacsap

      The first isotope to be synthesized was 239Np in 1940, produced by bombarding 238U with neutrons to produce 239U, which then underwent beta decay to 239Np.

      The equation for the beta decay of 239 Np is: 239 Np –> 239 Pu

      Np 239 can only become 239pu by beta decay..