Radioactive fallout in the United States due to the Fukushima nuclear plant accident
P. Thakur , S. Ballard and R. Nelson
J. Environ. Monit., 2012,14, 1317-1324
Received 17 Dec 2011, Accepted 20 Feb 2012
First published on the web 29 Mar 2012
Journal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue 5, 2012
The release of radioactivity into the atmosphere from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant started on March 12th, 2011. Among the various radionuclides released, iodine -131 (131I) and cesium isotopes (137Cs and 134Cs) were transported across the Pacific Ocean and reached the United States on 17–18 March 2011. Consequently, an elevated level of fission products 131I, 132I, 132Te, 134Cs and 137Cs were detected in air, water, and milk samples collected across the United States between March 17 and April 4, 2011. The continuous monitoring of activities over a period of 25 days and spatial variations across more than 100 sampling locations in the United States made it possible to characterize the contaminated air masses. For the entire period, the highest detected activity values ranged from less than 1 m Bq m−3 to 31 m Bq m−3 for the particulate 131I, and up to 96 m Bq m−3 for the gaseous 131I fraction.