Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 127, Issue 1, pp 43–50 | Cite as

134Cs and 137Cs levels in a grassland, 32 km northwest of the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant, measured for two seasons after the fallout

JPR Symposium Current status and future control of cesium contamination in plants and algae in Fukushima

Abstract

We measured the levels of radioactive caesium (RACs; 134Cs and 137Cs) in plants and soil in a grassland, 32 km northwest of the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant, from June 2011 to October 2012. In 2011, the highest RACs levels (134Cs + 137Cs) in plants and in the 0–5 cm soil layer were approximately 80 kBq per kg dry weight (DW). Forage grasses and clovers in this grassland showed similar RACs levels. On a DW basis, the levels of RACs in these plants tended to increase with increasing biomass over both years, but the absolute levels decreased in 2012. The RACs levels in the soil decreased sharply with soil depth; the RACs level in the 5–10 cm soil layer was only 3 % of that in the 0–5 cm layer. The transfer factor (ratio of radioactivity in plant parts on DW basis to that in the 0–10 cm soil layer) was 0.5 and 1.0 for the aboveground and belowground plant parts, respectively, in 2011, and these values decreased by approximately 50 % in 2012. We discuss the possible mechanisms underlying these trends, and strategies to decrease the level of RACs in plants to the permissible level for forage.

Keywords

Forage Clover Phytoremediation Transfer factor Grass 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Mr. Kanemasa Sato, the owner of this grassland and a member of Fukushima Prefectural Assembly, for permission to conduct this study. His support was invaluable. We are grateful to Ms. Mari Mimura and Prof. Tetsuo Mimura, Graduate School of Science, Kobe University, for sample preparation and for measuring the radioactivity levels in the samples. This study was supported by the Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Environmental Fund and by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas from MEXT Japan (#24110007).

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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Ibaraki Study CenterThe Open University of JapanMitoJapan

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