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Distribution of radioactive cesium in trees and effect of decontamination of forest contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear accident

福島第一原子力発電所事故により汚染された森林における放射性セシウムの樹木分布状況と除染の効果

飯島 和毅; 舟木 泰智; 時澤 孝之; 中山 真一

Iijima, Kazuki; Funaki, Hironori; Tokizawa, Takayuki; Nakayama, Shinichi

原子力機構が実施した除染モデル実証事業においては、多くの異なる技術が用いられ、福島第一原子力発電所事故後の避難区域における環境回復への適用性を評価した。プロジェクトでは、高濃度に汚染された常緑樹を対象に、樹木の汚染状況と除染の有効性を評価した。第一段階として、杉とモミの木各3本を伐採し、放射性セシウムの分布状況を調べた。葉及び枝中の全放射性セシウム濃度はいずれの樹種でも約1MBq/kgで、樹皮よりも高かった。幹の外側の濃度は低く10kBq/kgのオーダーで、幹の中心ではいずれの樹種でも1lBq/kg以下であった。セシウム濃度が幹の外側で高いという結果は、放射性セシウムは主として樹皮表面に吸着され、一部が樹皮を通して幹の中に浸透した、との推測を支持するものである。森林に隣接する100$$times$$60mの草地における空間線量率の変化を森林及び草地の除染中計測した。草地における線量率は、表土の剥ぎ取り後急激に減少し、森林内の表土剥ぎ取り及び枝打ち後ではわずかな減少が認められた。草地の外周に隣接する10m幅のエリアに生えていた84本の樹木を伐採・除去した後、線量率はわずかに減少した。除染後の残留線量率は、さらに外側に存在する未除染森林内の放射性セシウムに起因すると考えられた。

In decontamination pilot projects conducted by Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), many different techniques were tested to determine their applicability to remediate areas evacuated after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. The projects evaluated the radioactive contamination of trees and the effectiveness of decontaminating a highly contaminated evergreen forest. As the first step, three Japanese cedar trees and three fir trees were cut down and the distributions of radioactive cesium (Cs) were measured in each. The total concentrations of $$^{134}$$Cs and $$^{137}$$Cs in the leaves and branches were about 1 MBq/kg for both cedar and fir trees, and were appreciably higher than in the bark for cedar. The concentrations in the outer part of the trunks (under the bark) were lower, on the order of 10 kBq/kg, and those in the core of the trunks were lower than 1 kBq/kg for both kinds of trees. The observation that the Cs concentrations are higher in the outer part of trees, is compatible with the assumption that radio-Cs was mostly adsorbed on the surface of trees and partly penetrated into the trunks through the bark. Evolution of air dose rates in a 100$$times$$60 m pasture adjacent to the forest was monitored during decontamination of the forest and of the pasture itself. The dose rates in the pasture decreased drastically after stripping contaminated topsoil from the pasture and decreased slightly more after stripping contaminated topsoil of the forest floor and pruning the trees. Cutting down and removing 84 trees in the outermost area (10-m width) of the forest also slightly decreased these dose rates. After decontamination, the residual dose rates around the highly contaminated forest were mostly attributed to radioactive Cs existing in or on trees and topsoil in the untouched forest beyond the decontaminated area.

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