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Report No.

Pre- and post-accident $$^{14}$$C activities in tree rings near the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant

Matsunaka, Tetsuya*; Sasa, Kimikazu*; Takahashi, Tsutomu*; Matsumura, Masumi*; Satou, Yukihiko   ; Shen, H.*; Sueki, Keisuke*; Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki*

Areas affected by routine radiocarbon ($$^{14}$$C) discharges from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) and accidental releases in March 2011 were investigated by analysis of cores from Japanese cypress and cedar trees growing at sites 9 and 24 km northwest of the plant. $$^{14}$$C concentrations in tree rings from 2008-2014 (before and after the accident) were determined by accelerator mass spectrometry, with $$^{14}$$C activities in the range 231-256 Bq kg$$^{-1}$$ C. Activities during the period 2012-2014, after FDNPP shutdown, represent background levels, while the significantly higher levels recorded during 2008-2010, before the accident, indicate uptake of $$^{14}$$C from routine FDNPP operations. The mean excess $$^{14}$$C activity for the pre-accident period at the sites 9 and 24 km northwest of the plant were 21 and 12 Bq kg$$^{-1}$$ C, respectively, indicating that the area of influence during routine FDNPP operations extended at least 24 km northwest. The mean excess tree-ring $$^{14}$$C activities in 2011 were 10 and 5.8 Bq kg$$^{-1}$$ C at 9 and 24 km northwest, respectively, documenting possible impact of the FDNPP accident on $$^{14}$$C levels in trees.



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Category:Geochemistry & Geophysics



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