Study: High plutonium-241 activity detected over 30 kilometers from Fukushima plant — Additional research suggests “long-distance transport” of plutonium

Published: October 8th, 2013 at 5:20 pm ET
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Title: Release of plutonium isotopes into the environment from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident: what is known and what needs to be known
Source: Environmental Science & Technology (American Chemical Society)
Authors: Jian Zheng, Keiko Tagami, and Shigeo Uchida
Date Published: July 31, 2013

[...] 238Pu/239+240Pu activity ratios (0.33-2.2) higher than that of global fallout (0.026) were detected at five sites, indicating a possible distribution of Pu related to the accident northwest of the FDNPP. Similarly, using the alpha counting technique, a field survey was made soon after the accident in some heavily contaminated areas outside the 20 km exclusion zone, as well as in Okuma Town adjacent to the plant. The anomaly of the 238Pu/239+240Pu activity ratios (0.059-2.60) indicated the presence of trace amounts of Pu isotopes originating from the accident in soils from Iitate Village and Okuma Town. […]

The release of 241Pu from the FDNPP accident was confirmed for the first time by Zheng et al. […] high activities of 241Pu ranging from 4.52 to 34.8 mBq/g were detected in samples of the J-Village surface soil (0-2 cm) and in litter at sites S2 and S3 (Fig. 1a). […] the activity of 241Pu in Japanese soils before the FDNPP accident was quite low  […] Therefore, the finding of high 241Pu activities in these samples suggested an additional Pu input. The 240Pu/239Pu and 241Pu/239Pu atom ratios found in these samples ranged from 0.303 to 0.330 and from 0.103 to 0.135, respectively. They were significantly higher than those of global fallout […] and the atmospheric fallout deposition in Japan from 1963 to 1979 […] indicating new Pu input from the FDNPP accident. […]

Schwantes et al. analyzed 238Pu/239+240Pu activity ratios observed in surface soils as they change with distance from the FDNPP soon after venting Units 1 and 3, based on the MEXT surface soil contamination investigation data. Using a simple model fitting, they found that 238Pu/239+240Pu activity ratios decreased with distance from the source, suggesting most of plutonium contamination was localized within a few tens of kilometers from the site. However, long-distance transport of Fukushima-source Pu was suggested by Lujaniene et al. They observed an elevated 238Pu/239+240Pu activity ratio (1.2) and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio (0.244±0.018) in an integrated air sample collected from 23 March to 15 April, 2011 (n = 30) in Vilnius, Lithuania, and suggested 43%-59% Fukushima-derived 239+240Pu to the total 239+240Pu activity […]

From yesterday: Japan Expert: Second explosion was “more like a bomb” at Fukushima — Spent nuclear fuel flew 30 kilometers away, pellets collected by military — Very strange materials like europium were found — Should have evacuated out to 300 kilometers (VIDEO)

Published: October 8th, 2013 at 5:20 pm ET
By

18 comments

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18 comments to Study: High plutonium-241 activity detected over 30 kilometers from Fukushima plant — Additional research suggests “long-distance transport” of plutonium

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    The dreaded P-word. This and the aerosolized uranium is what's going to get us.

    We ain't seen nuthin' yet. Everything for the last two and a half years is only a warm-up for 8 billions years of radioactive death.

    Here's your hot stock tip for the day. Short GE hard. The wealthy are shorting Japan, but it's too expensive for most of us – a minimum $5 million buy-in. Watching GE collapse and making a few bucks will feel just as good. That brand will be worthless in two years, tops.

    If you feel guilty about it, donate the profits. It's all good.


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    • razzz razzz

      Don't underestimate GE, they already sold off most of their nuke divisions to suckers like Hitachi and Mitsubishi who then goes out peddling nukes to the Mid East while GE keeps on with the money makers like nuke cleanup and soon to be miniature nuke plants adventures plus they still advise on how to arrange your assemblies in your nuke plant with no obligations if a failure occurs ex. Fukushima, Daiichi.


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      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        Don't underestimate the world public's revulsion at the creators of the machines that are going to kill all their children, and elimate all life on this planet.

        Whether they have legal liability or not, they know what's coming.


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        • We Not They Finally

          But that makes this time even more dangerous. Being knee-jerked into some other ghastly, diversionary crisis. The corporate interests would hardly go quietly. What usually happens is that some other target is held up for people to blame for their ills. Understand, I WANT to see "the world public's revulsion." That would be welcome. Just don't know exactly what we'll see, much less what the coverage will look like.


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    P L U T O N I U M

    Plenty of plutonium to go around …everyone has access to it just by breathing, thanks to nuclear.


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  • Ontological Ontological

    Back again finally. I had issues over reset of password. I saw this coming the day (March 15th 2011)when the R3 went up in a vertical thrust detonation. The fuel rods were scattered over miles, and tons of this MOX fuel dustificated and went high into the atmosphere. The winds drove most of this over Tokyo, the highly active black stuff they have reported as a "mystery" I remember thinking ELE here we come. So this is no surprise folks…I wont point fingers, I know there was STUXNET virus to overtake and inhibit the Seimens reactor controllers for the Mark 1 and have even seen reports of "camera nukes" being placed in 3 of the reactors ahead of this disaster, over Japan announcing they would make Plutonium for certain governments. Also I have read that the tsunami was the result of a "clamshell" nuke that was placed in the deep ocean trench east of Honshu island. Whatever caused it, the real issue is and has been since that day; reduce the output of toxins released ASAP! This has so far after 31 months, taken no other form but propaganda BS and lies on behalf of all governments as an outcome of ANY effort whatsoever to do anything about it. Looks like the all mighty dollar amount on that bottom line wins again.


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  • Ontological Ontological

    This may be a more suitable avatar for now…


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  • dka

    Are there any Pu and Pu data for locations around Chernobyl?
    Would be nice to compare if it exists, but I forgot whether Chernobyl release Pu or not.


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    • razzz razzz

      Wherever there is fissioning of uranium, there is plutonium. Plutonium is a byproduct of fissioning uranium. After a couple years of fission, 1% of the uranium fuel has turned to plutonium and that is in regular nuke power plants. Breeder reactors are made to produce more (for bomb materials).

      There is plutonium all over Europe but how much was release from Chernobyl is a grey area because no one is saying for sure how much of the core remains in the blown out #4 building there. Guesstimates start at Chernobyl blowing 10% of its core into the air and goes up to 90% depending who you read.


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    • Mats

      In Belarus – 740 bis 3700 Becquerel pro Quadratmeter,

      here is an article n german about pu after tschernobyl:

      > http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/20/20647/1.html

      google translated:
      ..Only a plutonium isotope 241 Pu is a beta emitter with a half-life of 14.4 years. That sounds so harmless, but it's not. After 14.4 years, which is half of 241 Pu to 241 Am has converted an americium isotope. This is now more stable and has a half-life of 432.2 years. But it is a dangerous alpha emitters.

      The result: Today, the alpha radiation in Belarus ('s Belarus ) three times as high as in 1986 and berries or mushrooms from the area are still highly dangerous. The next 270 years will be in this situation, do not change, as Rob Edwards in New Scientist reported and contaminated with alpha radiation area will increase from 950 square kilometers in 1986 to 3,500 square kilometers in 2006, the scientists of the National Academy of Sciences in Gomel, Belarus. Until 2276, the alpha radiation will be twice as high as immediately after the nuclear accident.

      Particularly affected is the south and east of Belarus, where 740-3700 becquerels per square meter were measured 14 – to 70-times as high as in the rest of the country, the researchers report to Vladimir Knatko from the Academy's Institute of Radiobiology in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity in the Issue 83 on page 49 …


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  • jec jec

    Military 'picking up the pieces.' Great, and just where are they DUMPING them? Do they have the correct gear to protect themselves and prevent spread of radiation thru transport. Are their families aware and being careful? These young people are trying to clean up something that can not be cleaned up or contained. Sure hope there is a LOT of good medical care for everyone there..you can only 'smile' so much.


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  • FXofTruth

    I have a question about the explosions at the power plant.
    We saw the reactors blow sky high.
    The building were total wrecks.
    Were there only a few people working there at the time?
    Shouldn't have there had been hundreds lost because of the nuclear blasts and the tsunami hitting the plant?
    Are these plants totally automated or were there people killed but, never talked about?


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