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Report No.

A Review of Cs-bearing microparticles in the environment emitted by the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

Igarashi, Yasuhito*; Kogure, Toshihiro*; Kuribara, Yuichi; Miura, Hikaru*; Okumura, Taiga*; Satou, Yukihiko ; Takahashi, Yoshio*; Yamaguchi, Noriko*

Scientists face challenge in identifying the radioactive materials which are found as dotted images on various imaging plate (IP) autoradiographic photos of radioactively contaminated materials by the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1NPP, or FDNPP) accident, such as air filter, fugitive dust, surface soil, agricultural materials, and water-shed samples. It has been revealed that they are minute particles with distinct morphology and elemental composition with high specific radioactivity, and different from those of the so-called Chernobyl hot particles. Basically, they are glassy particles once molten, composed of Si, O, Fe, Zn etc. with highly concentrated radiocaesium, which can be called as radiocaesium-bearing microparticles (CsMP). At present, CsMP can be classified into two types, Types-A and -B, which are characterized by different specific radioactivity, $$^{134}$$Cs/$$^{137}$$Cs ratio, size and morphology, and geographic distribution around F1NPP. Such studies on the CsMP from various aspects have provided valuable information about what happened in the nuclear reactors during the F1NPP accident and fates of the CsMP in the environment. This review first provides a retrospective view on the research history of the CsMP, which is helpful to understand the unique character of the CsMP. Subsequently, more details about the current understanding of the natures of these hot particles, such as origin, morphology, chemical compositions, thermal properties, water-solubility, and secondary migration of CsMP in river and ocean systems are described with future prospects.



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