Evaluation of Environmental Contamination and Estimated Radiation Doses for the Return to Residents' Homes in Kawauchi Village, Fukushima Prefecture

Taira, Yasuyuki; Hayashida, Naomi; Yamaguchi, Hitoshi; Yamashita, Shunichi; Endo, Yuukou; Takamura, Noboru; Metcalfe, John Z.
September 2012
PLoS ONE;Sep2012, Vol. 7 Issue 9, Special section p1
Academic Journal
To evaluate the environmental contamination and radiation exposure dose rates due to artificial radionuclides in Kawauchi Village, Fukushima Prefecture, the restricted area within a 30-km radius from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP), the concentrations of artificial radionuclides in soil samples, tree needles, and mushrooms were analyzed by gamma spectrometry. Nine months have passed since samples were collected on December 19 and 20, 2011, 9 months after the FNPP accident, and the prevalent dose-forming artificial radionuclides from all samples were 134Cs and 137Cs. The estimated external effective doses from soil samples were 0.42-7.2 mSv/h (3.7-63.0 mSv/y) within the 20-km radius from FNPP and 0.0011-0.38 mSv/h (0.010-3.3 µSv/y) within the 20-30 km radius from FNPP. The present study revealed that current levels are sufficiently decreasing in Kawauchi Village, especially in areas within the 20- to 30-km radius from FNPP. Thus, residents may return their homes with long-term follow-up of the environmental monitoring and countermeasures such as decontamination and restrictions of the intake of foods for reducing unnecessary exposure. The case of Kawauchi Village will be the first model for the return to residents' homes after the FNPP accident.


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