Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 570–580 | Cite as

Vertical distribution of radiocesium in soils of the area affected by the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident

  • A. V. Konoplev
  • V. N. Golosov
  • V. I. Yoschenko
  • K. Nanba
  • Y. Onda
  • T. Takase
  • Y. Wakiyama
Degradation, Rehabilitation, and Conservation of Soils


Presented are results of the study of radiocesium vertical distribution in the soils of the irrigation pond catchments in the near field 0.25 to 8 km from the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP, on sections of the Niida River floodplain, and in a forest ecosystem typical of the territory contaminated after the accident. It is shown that the vertical migration of radiocesium in undisturbed forest and grassland soils in the zone affected by the Fukushima accident is faster than it was in the soils of the 30-km zone of the Chernobyl NPP for a similar time interval after the accident. The effective dispersion coefficients in the Fukushima soils are several times higher than those for the Chernobyl soils. This may be associated with higher annual precipitation (by about 2.5 times) in Fukushima as compared to the Chernobyl zone. In the forest soils the radiocesium dispersion is faster as compared to grassland soils, both in the Fukushima and Chernobyl zones. The study and analysis of the vertical distribution of the Fukushima origin radiocesium in the Niida gawa floodplain soils has made it possible to identify areas of contaminated sediment accumulation on the floodplain. The average accumulation rate for sediments at the study locations on the Niida gawa floodplain varied from 0.3 to 3.3 cm/year. Taking into account the sediments accumulation leading to an increase in the radiocesium inventory in alluvial soils is key for predicting redistribution of radioactive contamination after the Fukushima accident on the river catchments, as well as for decision-making on contaminated territories remediation and clean-up. Clean-up of alluvial soils does not seem to be worthwhile because of the following accumulation of contaminated sediments originating from more contaminated areas, including the exclusion zone.


soil vertical and lateral migration radiocesium NPP Fukushima floodplain sediments catchments 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Konoplev
    • 1
  • V. N. Golosov
    • 1
    • 2
  • V. I. Yoschenko
    • 1
  • K. Nanba
    • 1
  • Y. Onda
    • 3
  • T. Takase
    • 1
  • Y. Wakiyama
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental RadioactivityFukushima UniversityFukushimaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of GeographyMoscow State University, Faculty of GeographyMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Center for Research in Isotope and Environmental DynamicsUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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