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Soil dust and bioaerosols as potential sources for resuspended $$^{137}$$Cs occurring near the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant

Ota, Masakazu  ; Takahara, Shogo  ; Yoshimura, Kazuya  ; Nagakubo, Azusa; Hirouchi, Jun ; Hayashi, Naho; Abe, Tomohisa ; Funaki, Hironori ; Nagai, Haruyasu  

One of the current major radiation exposure pathways from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident-fallout is inhalation of the re-suspended $$^{137}$$Cs occurring in air. While wind-induced soil particle resuspension has been recognized as a primary mechanism of $$^{137}$$Cs resuspension, studies following the FDNPP accident suggested that fungal spores can be a significant source of the atmospheric $$^{137}$$Cs particularly in the rural areas such as difficult-to-return zone (DRZ). To elucidate the relative importance of the two resuspension phenomena, we propose a model simulating resuspension of $$^{137}$$Cs as soil particles and fungal spores, and applied it to DRZ. Our model's calculation showed that soil particle resuspension was responsible for the surface-air $$^{137}$$Cs observed during winter-spring, but could not account for the higher $$^{137}$$Cs concentrations observed in summer-autumn. The higher concentrations in the summer-autumn were in general reproduced by implementing fungal spore $$^{137}$$Cs emission, that replenished low soil particle $$^{137}$$Cs resuspension in that period. According to our model's concept, $$^{137}$$Cs accumulation in fungal spores and high spore emission rate characterized by the rural environment were likely responsible for the abundance of spore $$^{137}$$Cs in the air. It was inferred that the influence of the fungal spores on the atmospheric $$^{137}$$Cs would last longer since un-decontaminated forests still exist in DRZ.



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Category:Environmental Sciences



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