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Radiocesium concentrations in soil and leaf after decontamination practices in a forest plantation highly polluted by the Fukushima accident

AutorLópez-Vicente, Manuel ; Onda, Yuichi; Takahashi, Junko; Kato, Hiroaki; Chayama, Shinya; Hisadome, Keigo
Palabras claveFukushima accident
Litter removal
Tree thinning
Fecha de publicaciónago-2018
CitaciónLópez-Vicente M, Onda Y, Takahashi J, Kato H, Chayama S, Hisadome K. Radiocesium concentrations in soil and leaf after decontamination practices in a forest plantation highly polluted by the Fukushima accident. Environmental Pollution 239: 448–456 (2018)
ResumenOwing to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident a vast amount of radiocesium was released polluting the land. Afterwards, a variety of decontamination practices has been done, reducing the ambient dose rates. In this study we evaluated the effectiveness of eight forest decontamination practices by means of monitoring the radiocesium (137Cs) concentration in soil and leaf samples, and the daily discharge rates in ten plots during 27 months (May 2013–July 2015). A forest plantation located 16 km southwest to the FDNPP and within the exclusion area was selected. Radiocesium concentrations were analysed using a germanium gamma ray detector. The differences in radiocesium activities between the different plots were statistically significant (p < 0.05) and four homogeneous groups were distinguished. Tree thinning and litter removal greatly reduced the radioactivity and the two plots devoted to these practices presented the highest discharge rates of 137Cs (Th + LR; 350–380 Bq/m2 day), followed by the two Th plots (163–174 Bq/m2 day). The clearcutting with LR and the LR plots (104 and 92 Bq/m2 day) also had higher rates than those rates in the control plots (51 Bq/m2 day). We only observed low rates in the two plots with matting (19–25 Bq/m2 day). The temporal variability was explained by (i) the different rainfall depths registered during the measurement intervals (accumulated precipitation from 14 to 361 mm); and (ii) the fluctuations of the total surface coverage. The decrease trend in radiocesium concentration was high in 2013, moderate in 2014 and low in 2015 owing to the vegetation recovery after the countermeasures, thus reducing the possibility of the second pollution of the neighbouring areas. The average proportions of contribution of 137Cs discharge by soil and leaf fraction were 96.6% and 3.4%.
Descripción25 Pags.- 4 Tabls.- 5 Figs. The definitive version is available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/02697491
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.045
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