Articles | Volume 10, issue 9
Biogeosciences, 10, 6107–6113, 2013

Special issue: Impacts of the Fukushima nuclear power plant discharges on...

Biogeosciences, 10, 6107–6113, 2013

Research article 26 Sep 2013

Research article | 26 Sep 2013

Continuing 137 Cs release to the sea from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant through 2012

J. Kanda J. Kanda
  • Department of Ocean Sciences, Graduate Faculty of Marine Science, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, 4-5-7 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan

Abstract. The rate of cesium-137 (137Cs) release to the sea from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant for the period until September 2012 was estimated. Publicly released data on 137Cs radioactivity in seawater near the power plant by Tokyo Electric Power Company strongly suggest a continuing release of radionuclides to the sea. The plant has an artificial harbour facility, and the exchange rate of harbour water with surrounding seawater was estimated by the decrease in radioactivity immediately after an intense radioactive water release. The estimated exchange rate of water in the harbour was 0.44 d−1 during the period from 6 to 19 April. The 137Cs radioactivity in the harbour water was substantially higher than that of seawater outside and remained relatively stable after June 2011. A quasi-steady state was assumed with continuous water exchange, and the average release rate of 137Cs was estimated to be 93 GBq d−1 in summer 2011 and 8.1 GBq d−1 in summer 2012.

Final-revised paper