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Plutonium and radiocaesium contamination released during the Fukushima

14th November 2018 - Spatial pattern of plutonium and radiocaesium contamination released during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster


We have developed a combined chemical procedure to separate Pu and Cs for isotopic analysis of environmental samples from contaminated catchments. Ultra-trace analyses reveal a FDNPP Pu signature in environmental samples, some from further afield than previously reported.

Monitoring and understanding post-depositional remobilisation of potentially harmful radionuclides in the environment allows the risk they present to be managed more effectively. This information is highly valued, not only for decision-making processes regarding public health, but also the longer-term remediation efforts across the region and any future nuclear incidents that may occur.

The release of Pu to terrestrial areas of Japan remained unconfirmed for up to one year following the Fukushima disaster3. Since then, several studies have provided evidence of its release to the land surface north, northwest and south of FDNPP, up to distances of 120 km from the site.


In the map/chart below, they swap between Becquerel per gram for Cesium detections, and Becquerel per Kilogram for Plutonium contamination detection. You need to multiply the Becquerel per gram by a thousand to get the Becquerel per kilogram amounts for Cesium.

Plutonium is a heavy metal alpha particle emitter. Breathing it in or ingesting it presents a very serious health risk. Having Plutonium contamination in the environment is a crime against humanity and all living things.

Maps & Charts:



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