Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 6259-6314, 2013
www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/10/6259/2013/
doi:10.5194/bgd-10-6259-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in BG.
One-year, regional-scale simulation of 137Cs radioactivity in the ocean following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident
D. Tsumune1, T. Tsubono1, M. Aoyama2, M. Uematsu3, K. Misumi1, Y. Maeda1, Y. Yoshida1, and H. Hayami1
1Environmental Science Research Laboratory, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Chiba, Japan
2Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
3Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract. A series of accidents at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant following the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011 resulted in the release of radioactive materials to the ocean by two major pathways, direct release from the accident site and atmospheric deposition. A 1 yr, regional-scale simulation of 137Cs activity in the ocean offshore of Fukushima was carried out, the sources of radioactivity being direct release, atmospheric deposition, and the inflow of 137Cs deposited on the ocean by atmospheric deposition outside the domain of the model.

Direct releases of 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs were estimated for 1 yr after the accident by comparing simulated results and measured activities. The estimated total amounts of directly released 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs were 11.1 ± 2.2 PBq, 3.5 ± 0.7 PBq, and 3.6 ± 0.7 PBq, respectively. The contributions of each source were estimated by analysis of 131I/137Cs and 134Cs/137Cs activity ratios and comparisons between simulated results and measured activities of 137Cs. Simulated 137Cs activities attributable to direct release were in good agreement with measured activities close to the accident site, a result that implies that the estimated direct release rate was reasonable, while simulated 137Cs activities attributable to atmospheric deposition were low compared to measured activities. The rate of atmospheric deposition onto the ocean was underestimated because of a~lack of measurements of deposition onto the ocean when atmospheric deposition rates were being estimated. Measured 137Cs activities attributable to atmospheric deposition helped to improve the accuracy of simulated atmospheric deposition rates. Simulated 137Cs activities attributable to the inflow of 137Cs deposited onto the ocean outside the domain of the model were in good agreement with measured activities in the open ocean within the model domain after June 2012. The contribution of inflow increased with time and was dominant (more than 99%) by the end of February 2012. The activity of directly released 137Cs, however, decreased exponentially with time and was detectable only in the coastal zone by the end of February 2012.


Citation: Tsumune, D., Tsubono, T., Aoyama, M., Uematsu, M., Misumi, K., Maeda, Y., Yoshida, Y., and Hayami, H.: One-year, regional-scale simulation of 137Cs radioactivity in the ocean following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 6259-6314, doi:10.5194/bgd-10-6259-2013, 2013.
 
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