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Activity of $$^{90}$$Sr in fallout particles collected in the difficult-to-return zone around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Zhang, Z.*; Igarashi, Junya*; Satou, Yukihiko  ; Ninomiya, Kazuhiko*; Sueki, Keisuke*; Shinohara, Atsushi*

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident released abundant radioactive particles into the surrounding environment. Herein, we analyzed the activity of $$^{90}$$Sr in these particles to estimate the contribution of this radionuclide to the overall radiation exposure and shed light on the processes that occurred during the accident. Seven radioactive particles were isolated from the dust and soil samples collected from areas surrounding the FDNPP, and the minimum/maximum $$^{137}$$Cs activities were determined as 224/4,100 Bq. Based on the size, specific activity, and $$^{134}$$Cs/$$^{137}$$Cs activity ratios, we concluded that six of the seven radioactive particles were released from the Unit 1 reactor, while one particle was released from the Unit 3 reactor by a hydrogen explosion. Strontium-90 was detected in all radioactive particles, and the minimal/maximal $$^{90}$$Sr activities were determined as 0.046/1.4 Bq. $$^{137}$$Cs/$$^{90}$$Sr activity ratios above 1000 were observed for all seven particles, that is, compared to $$^{137}$$Cs, $$^{90}$$Sr had negligible contribution to the overall radiation exposure. The $$^{137}$$Cs/$$^{90}$$Sr activity ratios of the radioactive particles were similar to those of terrestrial environmental samples and were higher for particles released from the Unit 1 reactor than for samples collected from the Unit 1 reactor building, which indicates possibility of additional $$^{90}$$Sr -rich contamination after release of the particles.

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