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Activity concentrations of radionuclides in lichens following the Fukushima nuclear accident

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 August 2013

Yoshihito OHMURA*
Affiliation:
Department of Botany, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0005, Japan. Email: ohmura-y@kahaku.go.jp
Kentaro HOSAKA
Affiliation:
Department of Botany, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0005, Japan. Email: ohmura-y@kahaku.go.jp
Taiga KASUYA
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental System Science, Faculty of Risk and Crisis Management, Chiba Institute of Science, Choshi, Chiba, 288-0025, Japan
Junichi P. ABE
Affiliation:
Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8572, Japan
Makoto KAKISHIMA
Affiliation:
Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8572, Japan current address: Engineering Research Center of Chinese Ministry of Education for Edible and Medicinal Fungi, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, Jilin Province, 130118, China

Abstract

The activity concentration of 131I, 134Cs and 137Cs radionuclides in lichens was traced one and a half months after the Fukushima nuclear accident. The samples were collected in Tsukuba City, which is located c. 170 km south of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP). The activity concentrations differed depending on species and habitat. For example, the maximum activity concentration of 137Cs was 22596 Bq kg–1 dry weight in Physcia orientalis (collected from the trunk of Zelkova serrata on 30 June 2011), and 1928 Bq kg–1 in Hyperphyscia crocata (from the trunk of Quercus myrsinaefolia collected on 8 March 2012). The activity concentration of 137Cs in Dirinaria applanata and Phaeophyscia spinellosa growing on vertical habitats decreased by c. 50% within a year, indicating radionuclides might have been washed off by rain. The radionuclides were apparently derived from the Fukushima NPP accident because: 1) one specimen collected at the same place one year before the accident did not contain radionuclides, 2) high activity concentrations of radionuclides were detected after the accident, 3) 131I, which has a short half-life of 8 days, was detected one and a half months after the accident, and 4) the ratio of 134Cs/137Cs in lichens was 0·90–0·98 on 26 April 2011, which is consistent with the values reported for radiocesium from the Fukushima NPP accident.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © British Lichen Society 2013 

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