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Report No.
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First determination of Pu isotopes ($$^{239}$$Pu, $$^{240}$$Pu and $$^{241}$$Pu) in radioactive particles derived from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

Igarashi, Junya*; Zheng, J.*; Zhang, Z.*; Ninomiya, Kazuhiko*; Satou, Yukihiko  ; Fukuda, Miho*; Ni, Y.*; Aono, Tatsuo*; Shinohara, Atsushi*

Radioactive particles were released into the environment during the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident. Many studies have been conducted to elucidate the chemical composition of released radioactive particles in order to understand their formation process. However, whether radioactive particles contain nuclear fuel radionuclides remains to be investigated. Here, we report the first determination of Pu isotopes in radioactive particles. To determine the Pu isotopes ($$^{239}$$Pu, $$^{240}$$Pu and $$^{241}$$Pu) in radioactive particles derived from the FDNPP accident which were free from the influence of global fallout, radiochemical analysis and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry measurements were conducted. Radioactive particles derived from unit 1 and unit 2 or 3 were analyzed. For the radioactive particles derived from unit 1, activities of $$^{239+240}$$Pu and $$^{241}$$Pu were (1.70-7.06)$$times$$10$$^{-5}$$ Bq and (4.10-8.10)$$times$$10$$^{-3}$$ Bq, respectively and atom ratios of $$^{240}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu and $$^{241}$$Pu/$$^{239}$$Pu were 0.330-0.415 and 0.162-0.178, respectively. These ratios were consistent with the simulation results from ORIGEN code and measurements from various environmental samples. In contrast, Pu was not detected in the radioactive particles derived from unit 2 or 3. The difference in Pu contents is clear evidence towards different formation processes of radioactive particles, and detailed formation processes can be investigated from Pu analysis.

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