Study: Plutonium from Fukushima went further than Chernobyl — Researchers ‘surprised’ their most plutonium-contaminated sample was from site farthest from Fukushima plant — Concern material is flowing into Pacific Ocean from land

Published: August 4th, 2014 at 12:51 pm ET


Environmental Science & Technology (American Chemical Society), July 11, 2014 (emphasis added): Novel Insights into Fukushima Nuclear Accident from Isotopic Evidence of Plutonium Spread along Coastal Rivers

  • Our results demonstrate that Pu isotopic compositions similar to the ones found in roadside dust samples outside the 20-km exclusion zone in Iitate-Mura and Minamisoma municipalities could also be measured in fresh riverbed sediment deposits. They confirm that Pu originating from FDNPP could be transported relatively long distances from the damaged power plant and is already being supplied to coastal rivers, thereby representing a potential source of Pu to the Ocean.
  • Atom ratios found in sample FNL034B which is also the most contaminated in both plutonium and radiocesium are rather surprising. This sample, collected in Nitta River headwaters, is not located within the main radioactive plume […] more analyses should be conducted to better understand the Pu isotopic atom ratio patterns and distribution across this area.
  • Transport of Pu to longer distances in Fukushima than in Chernobyl may be explained by the different accidental conditions that prevailed at both sites. In Chernobyl, the Pu bearing particles were larger because of the graphite fires, which likely explains that they deposited at a shorter distance from the power plant.
  • [F]ractions of Pu from FDNPP in the analyzed materials range from ∼1% for FNS 140 and FOL 250 samples to ∼60% for FNL 034B sample. Again, this result is rather surprising as the FNL 034B sampling site is the farthest from FDNPP (∼45 km).
  • Future studies should focus on analyzing Pu isotope and atom ratio values on a large set of soils from the area located to the northwest of the exclusion zone in order to better understand its spatial distribution across the area and the succession of events (burn-up, release of radionuclides, etc.) that occurred at FDNPP in March 2011 and their consequences on Pu dispersion in the environment. Furthermore, similar analyses should be conducted on a larger set of river sediment samples collected in coastal rivers draining this area as this study showed their potential delivery to the Ocean. Our results show that the high 241Pu/239Pu atom ratio of the Fukushima accident-sourced Pu may particularly provide a relevant tracer of continental-originating material from Fukushima Prefecture to the Pacific Ocean.

See also: [intlink id=”scientific-reports-remarkable-location-where-plutonium-from-fukushima-reactor-is-suspected-to-have-landed-area-is-outside-the-main-strip-of-contamination-making-it-even-more-unexpected” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: August 4th, 2014 at 12:51 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Experts: Plutonium levels 10,000,000 times normal in water below Fukushima reactors — Plutonium hit record high off coast in 2014 — “Has been transported relatively long distances” – Every sample taken from rivers flowing into Pacific had Pu-239, Pu-240, Pu-241,and Pu-242 from plant July 10, 2015
  2. Japan Gov’t-funded Study: Fukushima has released up to 120 Quadrillion becquerels of radioactive cesium into North Pacific Ocean — Does not include amounts that fell on land — Exceeds Chernobyl total, which accounts for releases deposited on land AND ocean (MAP) June 30, 2014
  3. Unpublished Data: Plutonium levels ‘slightly elevated’ in Pacific after Fukushima — Scientist: It’s ‘most likely’ flowing from plant into ocean — 2.5 trillion Bq of plutonium released to air in four days after 3/11, almost all blown out to sea (AUDIO) November 26, 2013
  4. Gov’t Report: Plutonium at 1,000,000 Bq/m3 was detected in ocean off Fukushima — “Contaminated waters will be transported rapidly to east” across Pacific — This is “the most important direct liquid release of artificial radioactivity into sea ever known” — Scientists: “Remember, its not just cesium that’s released” March 27, 2015
  5. Scientists: Plutonium released from Fukushima “is of radiological concern”; Reactor must be source, not spent fuel pool — Study: Plutonium found 120 km from plant; “Pu and non-natural uranium certainly increased in environment” April 21, 2014

43 comments to Study: Plutonium from Fukushima went further than Chernobyl — Researchers ‘surprised’ their most plutonium-contaminated sample was from site farthest from Fukushima plant — Concern material is flowing into Pacific Ocean from land

  • ftlt

    I wonder how long Plutonium particles can remain in suspension in the ocean.

    Does anyone have anything on this?

    • ENENews

      From a post 6 months ago — Study: Plutonium particles found to have “high environmental mobility”

      UNDERSTANDING GEOCHEMICAL PROCESSES CONTROLLING COLLOID-FACILITATED TRANSPORT OF PLUTONIUM, Oct. 30, 2013: Recent experimental data from Powell and others suggest that these simplified models cannot adequately predict Pu transport […]

      Conference on Radionuclide Migration:

      EFFECT OF NATURAL ORGANIC LIGANDS ON PLUTONIUM SORPTION… (pdf), Oct. 30, 2013: Clays […] have previously been shown to strongly sorb [take up and hold] radionuclides, coupled with their ability to be transported as colloids, Pu, can lead to an increase in the environmental mobility of radionuclides.[…]

      INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE FORMATION OF NEPTUNIUM(IV)-SILICA COLLOIDS (pdf), pg. 384, 2013: Due to the low solubility at neutral pH, tetravalent actinides are assumed to reveal immobile migration behaviour. Nevertheless, a high environmental mobility has been found, e.g. for Pu(IV) [Plutonium(IV) oxide] […]

      SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION STUDIES OF SONOLYTIC COLLOIDAL SPECIES OF PLUTONIUM (pdf), pg. 105, 2013: “hot particles” are of a great concern, because of their potential hazards […] Their release is mostly due to nuclear accidents, i.e. at Chernobyl or Fukushima and military tests […] nano/micrometer-sized actinide particles containing colloids are of a particular interest, considering their potential to be transported in the hydrosphere and geosphere, and consequently being ultimately transferred in the biosphere. […] In this work is highlighted for the first time the sonochemical synthesis of plutonium colloids from pure water dispersed plutonium oxide […]

      • We Not They Finally

        (Correct me if I'm wrong): Didn't the blow-up of MOX fuel from reactor no. 3 send plutonium into the atmosphere to circulate around the globe every 40 days? I believe also that Chris Busby was turned around concerning ocean contamination, when he said that uranium and plutonium had filtered down into the sea from the atmosphere. Previously, he had thought there may be some validity to the "dilution" theory whereby it would take a long time for the radiation effects to reach the West Coast of the U.S. His new view, once he realized that the bottom of the sea was already littered with dead marine life, became "truly terrifying."

      • ftlt

        ENENews: Thanks

        My thinking would be that the Pu would be relatively heavy elemental particles or molecules if formed – (is not Pu highly reactive as well). And that many that would not behave as colloids in an ocean water solution.

        Therefore much would fall out of solution down the water column eventually onto the ocean's floor. Still bad! But not quite as bad as the ocean transport of them would be limited. Am I correct here?

        Certainly, along the coast they would be still available to enter the food chain as bottom dwelling lifeforms are highly active at shallower depths.

        Would the PU colloid themselves be more likely to fall out of solution down the water column at a faster rate than other normal colloidal suspensions found in the ocean?

        Understanding – to a point – the definition of a colloid. there can be some confusion imparted by the terms use.

        The first article spoke to stream mine effluents with Pu colloids. In a stream, one would assume relatively high water turbulence and velocities to keep the colloids mixed into solution Should we expect this is in the ocean?

    • pb_praha pb_praha

      I wonder how long scientists can remain in suspension of of disbelief.

      Does anyone have anything on this?

    • Fukushima Released Massive Amounts of Plutonium; Being Found In Japan, The Pacific Ocean And Inside Many US Cities; via @AGreenRoad

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      Here's wikipedia on the half-lives of the various isotopes of plutonium:
      "Plutonium (Pu) is an artificial element, except for trace quantities of primordial 244Pu, and thus a standard atomic mass cannot be given. Like all artificial elements, it has no stable isotopes. It was synthesized long before being found in nature, the first isotope synthesized being 238Pu in 1940. Twenty plutonium radioisotopes have been characterized. The most stable are Pu-244, with a half-life of 80.8 million years, Pu-242, with a half-life of 373,300 years, and Pu-239, with a half-life of 24,110 years. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives that are less than 7,000 years. This element also has eight meta states, though none is very stable; all meta states have half-lives of less than one second."

  • Here is some research as to just that. Seems iron in the water can make PU reasonably soluble. No real data is available as to how long it can stay in water tho…

    Colors of PU in water are detectable however.

    • A few reports early on of PU travelling globally. I had skull cancer from a fuel flea trapped in my nasal, so it travelled all right!

      • Pete

        Pu also is absorbed into the human body through the iron plutonium interaction. I believe it was the same researchers that found that chloroquine blocks the uptake of Pu by breaking the iron interaction so the Pu is much more likely to be excreted.
        They say its not ready for prime time but that usually means they just haven't come up with a monetizable solution, I read their studies and I'm not seeing any huge warning flags. Chloroquine is cheap, pretty widely available, and doesn't have a ton of side effects, at least compared to aerosolized plutonium inhalation.

        But Shh…its a secret.

        Might be good for everyone around WIPP to have on hand but when do you take it? Since no one in the entire friggin state has a handheld isotopic identifier, I guess no one will ever know when the Pu is flying and when its not.

        • Even the isotopic ID machines have a hard time with plutonium, most are oriented in the gamma ray direction.

          It is REALLY difficult to detect tritium and plutonium.

          It can be done, but most people and detectors look for the decay products and 'assume' it is there.

        • truthseek truthseek

          Talk about iron as associated to bodily uptake, transport and deposit.

          Iron = heme = blood circulating our entire bodies,
          this borders alarming to me, the connection.

          I work outside .a lot., worry about collective exposure
          from [chosen] household landscaping and yard work
          which has served as lifetime therapy, which has
          held progressive risks with our environment.

          Great mentions all, thanks Pete. I had to
          come out of lurking to acknowledge.

          • We Not They Finally

            Plutonium apparently displaces iron in the body. We were living 275 north of WIPP when it exploded plutonium, but have since moved (thank God.) My husband's blood just tested "mildly anemic," which it never had before. And I'm continually tired so I'm about to get tested myself.

            Just wondering if (shy of sophisticated geiger counters,)disrupted iron content in the blood is at least an indirect way to spot possible plutonium exposure.

            • Bungalow Phil Bungalow Phil

              What does plutonium do once it gets into the body?

              The stomach does not absorb plutonium very well, and most plutonium swallowed with food or water passes from the body through the feces. When inhaled, plutonium can remain in the lungs depending upon its particle size and how well the particular chemical form dissolves. The chemical forms that dissolve less easily may lodge in the lungs or move out with phlegm, and either be swallowed or spit out. But, the lungs may absorb chemical forms that dissolve more easily and pass them into the bloodstream.

              Once in the bloodstream, plutonium moves throughout the body and into the bones, liver, or other body organs. Plutonium that reaches body organs generally stays in the body for decades and continues to expose the surrounding tissue to radiation.

              Is there a medical test to determine exposure to plutonium?

              There are tests that can reliably measure the amount of plutonium in a urine sample, even at very low levels. Using these measurements, scientists can estimate the total amount of plutonium present in the body. Other tests can measure plutonium in soft tissues (such as body organs) and in feces, bones, and milk. However, these tests are not routinely available in a doctor's office because they require special laboratory equipment.

              US EPA

            • truthseek truthseek

              Hey WNTF, great to see your posts!
              Glad that you are displaced; relocated
              to safer space…

              • We Not They Finally

                Very much thanks! We wish New Mexicans well but it looks bad there. Fortunately we are originally from the Northeast and have been lucky to settle back into a better comfort zone.

          • name999 name999

            truthseek, that is such a good point.

          • name999 name999

            smoking cigarettes? Maybe not. Maybe something else.

      • truthseek truthseek

        Most sorry to hear this Ontological.

    • ftlt

      Ontological Thanks your first link does not work.


  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Onto, so sorry for your skull cancer, and yes, these hot fuel fleas do travel and they are still/now circling the globe..

    They travel sporadically and now can likely be found anywhere/everywhere and no place on Earth is currently safe from these manmade generated radioactive invaders/DNA scramblers! 🙁

    Our best option is to stop producing any more of these radioactive DNA scramblers by shutting down this entire Nuclear Industry worldwide via the use of International Law!.

  • Fukushima Comparisons to Chernobyl:

    The Chernobyl accident was only 1/3 the size of Fukushima reactors and a Chernobyl was only a 30 % meltdown . Fukushima had three 100 % meltdown melt through and melt-outs plus missing fuel pool that are equal to at least 30 melted nuclear reactor cores.

    Chernobyl also had no MOX fuel or as jam-packed fuel pools.

    Resources, pictures and gathered headlines

    Sigh. Get the rad word out, People

    An dale.

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Good, some fuel for silencing the silly arguments Plutonium isn't mobile and doesn't get transported over long distances. One of the nuke industries cherished "sacred cows."

  • westpac99

    Its sad that this information and "research" finally made public, 3 1/2 years from start.

    • We Not They Finally

      But it's so incomplete, to say the least. They are not factoring in reactor no. 3 blowing up plutonium-laced MOX fuel sky high into the atmosphere to go all around the world? How are they even saying that the plutonium they are measuring GOT there?

  • The big blue arrow in the photo really helps explain the process.

    The 'TRANSPORT' vectors will be insidious, various and unimaginable.

    Radioactive contamination will persistently SPREAD with TIME. 😥

    FACT: The Fukushima TRIPLE MELTDOWN global catastrophe will pollute and potentially kill for longer than humanity has existed. There's a reason that 'loss of containment' is a Nuclear Engineer's worst nightmare.

    Remember the old saying by Nuclear experts, 'containment can't be breached'. Almost seems like yesterday.

  • Spread the info in this thread far and wide! So excellent to have documented proofs! Thank you admin and all members.

  • razzz razzz

    'Colloids' are a reference to a type of the infamous radioactive 'buckyballs' (nanospheres) where Pu/U catches a ride inside. Buckyballs' carbon structure were known in science and used in industry but surrounding and carrying Pu/U not so much. Daiichi's meltdowns reaching extreme temperatures causing the melts to partially vaporize while mixing with water and saltwater produced the strange results.

    What is a buckyball (C60):


  • We Not They Finally

    And no mention of reactor 3 with MOX fuel (uranium and plutonium mixed) having blown sky high and circulating the world ever since? There was not even anything LIKE that at Chernobyl. What does this study even mean if they are not factoring in the most blatant critical thing? And is there even a remote possibility that they did not KNOW that?

  • name999 name999

    One of my first posts here, that was last winter, described a trip I made to the Pacific Ocean a few days after 3/11/11. I went to a few of my favorite most beautiful beaches, Manzanita, Hug Point, OR.
    The waves were crazy big and right at the top of the waves cresting was this shadow. This black final frothy peak before the wave crashed down. I had never seen that before…? It was distinct.

    I have wondered since…was it Plutonium dust? And there I was…

  • bf9 bf9

    These two most recent articles are the ones I have been waiting for.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, at least for me, it's game over for humans. Wish I could be more optimistic but I'm a realist and WNTF above me hit it dead on. With Chernobyl, probably looked more like U1's explosion. R3 at Fukushima went straight to the jet stream and the last 33% of it or so is still suspended there, slowly raining down.

  • Bungalow Phil Bungalow Phil

    Without endorsing smoking it would seem that having more phlegm in the lungs as a natural defensive mechanism to tobacco smoke particlates might provide a higher degree of plutonium excretion. Just speculating. I am not sure an off the shelf mask will provide protection against the nano sized particles, but may filter larger ones, though they may be to heavy to travel far.

  • EKO KLAP$€

    So the joys given by General Electric Hitachi and Toshiba Westingouse cause particles of ionised atomic nuclear radiation to collect in the body via different methods; surpassing the lifespan of the victim of these crimes against humanity. Known faulty reactors that negligently released by breach of containment in an environment that was known as a time bomb waiting to go off. The greatest reaction begins with the slope downhill in a person's ability to function on a normal level, progressing to the bodies immune system being dramatically reduced by over stimulation. With a compromised immune system cancers can form because DNA errors caused by atomic mutation allow such activity.

    Thank you General Electric Hitachi & Toshiba Westingouse; bringing good things to death.

    As for India, they don't even understand their own national anthem. Disaster is heading their way……

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    "Transport of Pu to longer distances in Fukushima than in Chernobyl may be explained by the different accidental conditions that prevailed at both sites."

    Yeah well Fukushima also experiences tropical storms, aka hurricanes and typhoons. A 100 MPH PLUS wind can blow shit pretty far I'd guess, and in new and wonderful directions…..

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