Export of radioactive cesium from agricultural fields under simulated rainfall in Fukushima

Thai, Phong K., Suka, Yuma, Sakai, Masaru, Nanko, Kazuki, Yen, Jui-Hung, & Watanabe, Hirozumi (2015) Export of radioactive cesium from agricultural fields under simulated rainfall in Fukushima. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 17(6), pp. 1157-1163.

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In this study, we investigated the impact of rainfall on runoff, soil erosion and consequently on the discharge of radioactive cesium in agricultural fields in Fukushima prefecture using a rainfall simulator. Simulated heavy rainfalls (50 mm h-1) generated significant runoff and soil erosion. The average concentration of radioactive cesium (the sum of 134Cs and 137Cs) in the runoff sediments was [similar]3500 Bq kg-1 dry soil, more than double the concentrations measured in the field soils which should be considered in studies using the 137Cs loss to estimate long-term soil erosion. However, the estimated mass of cesium discharged through one runoff event was less than 2% of the cesium inventory in the field. This suggested that cesium discharge via soil erosion is not a significant factor in reducing the radioactivity of contaminated soils in Fukushima prefecture. However, the eroded sediment carrying radioactive cesium will deposit into the river systems and potentially pose a radioactivity risk for aquatic living organisms.

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ID Code: 88986
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00063G
ISSN: 2050-7887
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 14 Oct 2015 03:05
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2015 04:12

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