Journal of Ocean University of China

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 183–190 | Cite as

A study of transport and impact strength of Fukushima nuclear pollutants in the north pacific surface

  • Hongli Fu
  • Wei Li
  • Xuefeng Zhang
  • Guijun Han
  • Xidong Wang
  • Xinrong Wu
  • Lianxin Zhang
Article

Abstract

Based on the statistics of surface drifter data of 1979–2011 and the simulation of nuclear pollutant particulate movements simulated using high quality ocean reanalysis surface current dataset, the transport pathways and impact strength of Fukushima nuclear pollutants in the North Pacific have been estimated. The particulates are used to increase the sampling size and enhance the representativeness of statistical results. The trajectories of the drifters and particulates are first examined to identify typical drifting pathways. The results show that there are three types of transport paths for nuclear pollutants at the surface: 1) most pollutant particles move eastward and are carried by the Kuroshio and Kuroshio-extension currents and reach the east side of the North Pacific after about 3.2–3.9 years; 2) some particles travel with the subtropical circulation branch and reach the east coast of China after about 1.6 years according to one drifter trajectory and about 3.6 years according to particulate trajectories; 3) a little of them travel with local, small scale circulations and reach the east coast of China after about 1.3–1.8 years. Based on the particulates, the impact strength of nuclear pollutants at these time scales can be estimated according to the temporal variations of relative concentration combined with the radioactive decay rate. For example, Cesium-137, carried by the strong North Pacific current, mainly accumulates in the eastern North Pacific and its impact strength is 4% of the initial level at the originating Fukushima area after 4 years. Due to local eddies, Cesium-137 in the western North Pacific is 1% of the initial pollutant level after 1.5 years and continuously increases to 3% after 4 years. The vertical movement of radioactive pollutants is not taken into account in the present study, and the estimation accuracy would be improved by considering three-dimensional flows.

Key words

Fukushima nuclear pollution ensemble estimation surface drifting buoy ocean reanalysis 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Buck, E. H., Upton, H. F., and Folger, P., 2011. Effects of radiation from Fukushima Daiichi on the U.S. marine environment. Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report for Congress, R41751: 4.Google Scholar
  2. Derber, J., and Rosati, A., 1989. A global oceanic data assimilation system. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 19: 1333–1347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Han, G. J., Fu, H. L., Zhang, X. F., Li, W., Wu, X. R., Wang, X. D., and Zhang, L. X., 2013. A global ocean reanalysis product in the project of China ocean reanalysis (CORA). Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 30(6): 1621–1631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Han, G. J., Li, W., Zhang, X. F., Li, D., He, Z. J., Wang, X. D., Wu, X. R., Yu, T., and Ma, J. R., 2011. A regional ocean reanalysis system for coastal waters of China and adjacent seas. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 28: 682–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Li, W., Xie, Y. F., He, Z. J., Liu, K. X., Han, G. J., Ma, J. R., and Li, D., 2008. Application of the multi-grid data assimilation scheme to the China Seas’ temperature forecast. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 25(11): 2106–2116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Li, W., Xie, Y., Deng, S.-M., and Wang, Q., 2010. Application of the multigrid method to the two-dimensional doppler radar radial velocity data assimilation. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 27: 319–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Li, Z. Q., Wu, B. Q., Yuan, Y. M., Bo, W. B., 2011. Drift-path Analysis of the Fukushima Nuclear Leakage Pollutant. Hydrographic Surveying and Charting, 31(4): 47–49.Google Scholar
  8. Liu, A. H., and Kuai, L. P., 2011. A review on radionuclides atmospheric dispersion modes. Journal of Meteorology and Environment, 27(4): 59–65Google Scholar
  9. Marshall, J., Hill, C., Perelman, L., and Adcroft, A., 1997. Hydrostatic, quasi-hydrostatic and nonhydrostatic ocean modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research, 102: 5733–5752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Neumann, G., 1968. Ocean Currents. Elsevier Oceanographer Series, Elsevier Co., New York, 351pp.Google Scholar
  11. Shimizu, Y., Yasuda, I., and Ito, S.-I., 2001. Distribution and circulation of the coastal Oyaishio intrusion. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 31: 1561–1578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Quirin, S., 2011. Radiation release will hit marine life. Nature, 472: 145–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Qiao, F. L., Wang, G. S., Zhao, W., Zhao, J. C., Dai, D. J., Song, Y. J., and Song, Z. Y., 2011. Predicting the spread of nuclear radiation from the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Chinese Science Bulletin, 56(18): 1890–1896, DOI: 10.1007/s11434-011-4513-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Tomczak, M., and Godfrey, J. S., 2001. Regional Oceanography: An Introduction. Elsevier Science Ltd., Oxford, UK, 110–120.Google Scholar
  15. Tsumune, D., Tsubono, T., Aoyama, M., and Hirose, K., 2011. Distribution of oceanic 137Cs from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant simulated numerically by a regional ocean model. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2011.10.007.Google Scholar
  16. Xie, Y., Koch, S., Mcginley, J., Albers, S., Bieringer, P. E., Wolfson, M., and Chan, M., 2011. A space-time multiscale analysis system: A sequential variational analysis approach. Monthly Weather Review, 139: 1224–1240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Ocean University of China and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongli Fu
    • 1
  • Wei Li
    • 1
  • Xuefeng Zhang
    • 1
  • Guijun Han
    • 1
  • Xidong Wang
    • 1
  • Xinrong Wu
    • 1
  • Lianxin Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Information Technology, State Oceanic AdministrationNational Marine Data and Information ServiceTianjinP. R. China

Personalised recommendations