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Fukushima – a view from the ocean
Ken Buesseler, Senior Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
http://cafethorium....
Fukushima – a view from the ocean
Ken Buesseler, Senior Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
http://cafethorium....
Cesium in the ocean: what do we know?
mostly from 1960’s weapons testing
one of the major Fukushima radionuclides of conce...
Sources of radionuclides to ocean

1

Atmospheric
deposition
Mid-March
2011

3a
Sources of radionuclides to ocean

1

Atmospheric
deposition
Mid-March
2011

2 Direct discharge
Early April 2011 peak
now ...
Sources of radionuclides to ocean

1

Atmospheric
deposition
Mid-March
2011

3 Through river runoff
2 Direct discharge
sma...
How much cesium-137 was released?
ocean

J. Kanda TUMST

137Cs

land

release to the sea (PBq = 1015 Bq = 1,000 TBq)

Data...
One year history of cesium-137 in ocean off Fukushima
Fukushima is an
unprecedented
event for the ocean

At nuclear power ...
One year history of cesium-137 in ocean off Fukushima
Fukushima is an
unprecedented
event for the ocean

At nuclear power ...
Masumoto et al. JAMSTEC

>1500 km in one month
Kurashio current important for rapid transport
& acts as southern barrier

...
How long until cesium reaches US west coast?
Predicted surface ocean

137Cs

April
2012

April
2014

Arrives 2013-2014 (af...
How long until cesium reaches US west coast?
Predicted surface ocean

137Cs

Seattle

April
2012

San Diego

Arrival
N. US...
What about surface ocean cesium-134 in May 2013
134Cs

indicates continued
source at NPP

Max =
45 Bq m-3

Highest Cs clos...
Tbq = 1012 Bq
adapted from J. Kanda
9a
Tbq = 1012 Bq
adapted from J. Kanda
9b
Tbq = 1012 Bq
adapted from J. Kanda
9c
Tbq = 1012 Bq
adapted from J. Kanda
9d
How big is NPP source today?
For cesium isotopes
Total today = 0.3 TBq/mo (1 TBq = 1012 Bq)
Source in March/April 2011 = 1...
How big is NPP source today?
For cesium isotopes
Total today = 0.3 TBq/mo (1 TBq = 1012 Bq)
Source in March/April 2011 = 1...
What about seafloor sediments?

Adapted from Kusakabe et al., 2013 BG

Variability common
<0.1-0.2% Fukushima Cs found ass...
What about Fish and cesium accumulation?
Cesium uptake and
loss from fish is
rapid
50% loss in 50 days

information page f...
Fisheries closed off
Fukushima

Elevated Cs consistent
with continued sources
Data from Japan Fisheries
Figure adapted fro...
Fukushima- lessons learned from the ocean
Fukushima NPP represents unprecedented release of
radionuclides to the ocean off...
Fukushima- lessons learned from the ocean
Fukushima NPP represents unprecedented release of
radionuclides to the ocean off...
Fukushima demonstratedPublic interest, concern & anxiety
Aug. 7, 2013 Fukushima’s Radioactive
Water Leak: What You Should ...
Mission
to increase scientific and public understanding of natural and humanmade radioactive elements in the oceans

Goals...
Mission
to increase scientific and public understanding of natural and humanmade radioactive elements in the oceans

Goals...
What is needed next?
In response to ongoing leaks at Fukushima“An international alliance on research and clean-up would he...
What is needed next?
In response to ongoing leaks at Fukushima“An international alliance on research and clean-up would he...
What is needed next?
In response to ongoing leaks at Fukushima“An international alliance on research and clean-up would he...
Biota nets

Seafloor
coring

Need better coordination
of ocean studies
& bring in new technologies
for ocean sampling

Cur...
Biota nets

Autonomous groundwater
detectors

Seafloor
coring

ASV Jetyak

AUV “Rad hopper”

AUV glider
rad detector

Curr...
Fukushima – A Vew from the Ocean
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Fukushima – A Vew from the Ocean

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Presentation by Ken Buesseler, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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Transcript of "Fukushima – A Vew from the Ocean"

  1. 1. Fukushima – a view from the ocean Ken Buesseler, Senior Scientist Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution http://cafethorium.whoi.edu Yokohama June 2011 1a
  2. 2. Fukushima – a view from the ocean Ken Buesseler, Senior Scientist Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution http://cafethorium.whoi.edu Yokohama June 2011 Daisan Kaiyu Maru Sept 2013 1b
  3. 3. Cesium in the ocean: what do we know? mostly from 1960’s weapons testing one of the major Fukushima radionuclides of concern soluble in seawater 137Cs half-life = 30 years 134Cs half-life = 2 years both isotopes of cesium have same chemical properties 1.50 Cs/137Cs 134 Fukushima Cs fingerprint 1.25 1.00 0.75 134Cs/137Cs 0.50 =1 0.25 0.00 0 20 40 137 500 1000 -3 Cs (Bq m ) 2
  4. 4. Sources of radionuclides to ocean 1 Atmospheric deposition Mid-March 2011 3a
  5. 5. Sources of radionuclides to ocean 1 Atmospheric deposition Mid-March 2011 2 Direct discharge Early April 2011 peak now small and continues 3b
  6. 6. Sources of radionuclides to ocean 1 Atmospheric deposition Mid-March 2011 3 Through river runoff 2 Direct discharge small and continues 4 Through underground water flow Early April 2011 peak now small and continues small and continues 3c
  7. 7. How much cesium-137 was released? ocean J. Kanda TUMST 137Cs land release to the sea (PBq = 1015 Bq = 1,000 TBq) Data sources: Chino et al. (2011), Tsumune et al. (2012), Bailly du Bois et al. (2012). Morino et al. (2011), Stohl et al. (2011), Gray et al. (1995), Aarkrog (2003), UNSCEAR (2000) 4
  8. 8. One year history of cesium-137 in ocean off Fukushima Fukushima is an unprecedented event for the ocean At nuclear power plant Ocean Cs levels peak on April 6th - possible reproductive effects and mortality for marine biota levels highest in 2011, then leveled off Highest ocean levels post Chernobyl Levels prior to March 11 April 1 June 1 Aug 1 Oct 1 Dec 1 Feb 1 ------------------ 2011 -------------------------------- ----2012--- Data from TEPCO Buesseler et al., 2012 5a
  9. 9. One year history of cesium-137 in ocean off Fukushima Fukushima is an unprecedented event for the ocean At nuclear power plant Ocean Cs levels peak on April 6th - possible reproductive effects and mortality for marine biota Japan regulatory limit Levels of concern for seafood US drinking water limit Highest ocean levels post Chernobyl one banana Levels prior to March 11 April 1 June 1 Aug 1 Oct 1 Dec 1 Feb 1 ------------------ 2011 -------------------------------- ----2012--- Data from TEPCO Buesseler et al., 2012 levels highest in 2011, then leveled off reactor site remains a source levels now safe for marine biota & human exposure what about seafood? 5b
  10. 10. Masumoto et al. JAMSTEC >1500 km in one month Kurashio current important for rapid transport & acts as southern barrier (Bq/L) 6
  11. 11. How long until cesium reaches US west coast? Predicted surface ocean 137Cs April 2012 April 2014 Arrives 2013-2014 (after debris) 7a
  12. 12. How long until cesium reaches US west coast? Predicted surface ocean 137Cs Seattle April 2012 San Diego Arrival N. US Coast & Hawaii 2014 April 2014 Rossi et al., DSRI, 2013 Arrives 2013-2014 (after debris) Predicted 137Cs off US varies from 1-2 to 30 Bq m-3 in different models (safe for exposure & fisheries) Little/no vertical data to test! 7b
  13. 13. What about surface ocean cesium-134 in May 2013 134Cs indicates continued source at NPP Max = 45 Bq m-3 Highest Cs closest to shore, associated with locations of higher groundwater input Even higher in September 2013 • 150 Bq m-3 at 1 km (WHOI) • >1-2,000 Bq m-3 at coast (TEPCO) Buesseler, unpublished 8
  14. 14. Tbq = 1012 Bq adapted from J. Kanda 9a
  15. 15. Tbq = 1012 Bq adapted from J. Kanda 9b
  16. 16. Tbq = 1012 Bq adapted from J. Kanda 9c
  17. 17. Tbq = 1012 Bq adapted from J. Kanda 9d
  18. 18. How big is NPP source today? For cesium isotopes Total today = 0.3 TBq/mo (1 TBq = 1012 Bq) Source in March/April 2011 = 10-30,000 TBq/mo For strontium-90 Total today = 0.1 TBq/mo Source in March/April 2011 = 100 TBq/mo 10a
  19. 19. How big is NPP source today? For cesium isotopes Total today = 0.3 TBq/mo (1 TBq = 1012 Bq) Source in March/April 2011 = 10-30,000 TBq/mo For strontium-90 Total today = 0.1 TBq/mo Source in March/April 2011 = 100 TBq/mo At NPP, Cs is actively being removed from cooling water, and naturally sorbed to sediments, while 90Sr and tritium are not w/diversion of groundwater, salt water intrusion could lead to Cs remobilization w/leaking tanks, large potential 90Sr source Each tank= 300 tons x 40 x 106 Bq/L = 12 TBq 10b
  20. 20. What about seafloor sediments? Adapted from Kusakabe et al., 2013 BG Variability common <0.1-0.2% Fukushima Cs found associated with seafloor Long term sink/source for Cs near Japan 11
  21. 21. What about Fish and cesium accumulation? Cesium uptake and loss from fish is rapid 50% loss in 50 days information page from Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) 12
  22. 22. Fisheries closed off Fukushima Elevated Cs consistent with continued sources Data from Japan Fisheries Figure adapted from Buesseler, Science, 2012 13
  23. 23. Fukushima- lessons learned from the ocean Fukushima NPP represents unprecedented release of radionuclides to the ocean off Japan Many reasons for studyHuman health, radioecology, ocean tracers, future accidents Japan is leading studies, but confirmation by international labs will build public confidence (and increase scientific insights) 14a
  24. 24. Fukushima- lessons learned from the ocean Fukushima NPP represents unprecedented release of radionuclides to the ocean off Japan Many reasons for studyHuman health, radioecology, ocean tracers, future accidents Japan is leading studies, but confirmation by international labs will build public confidence (and increase scientific insights) Fukushima NPP site continues to leak radionuclides via groundwater and tanks (strontium-90 concern) Studies of fish are not enough- need long term studies of ocean, seafloor, rivers, etc. & new technologies Motivation for new Center for Marine & Environmental Radioactivity 14b
  25. 25. Fukushima demonstratedPublic interest, concern & anxiety Aug. 7, 2013 Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Leak: What You Should Know “it’s actually thousands of times less than … in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, …” according to Buesseler. NBC Nightly News; ABC World News; Weather Channel; PRI the World; NPR; AP Tokyo; NY Times; Wall Street Journal; CNN; Science; New Scientist; LIveWire; Deutsche Welle; Anchorage Daily news; Canadian Broadcasting; NHK Japan, Surfer Magazine….. Need for trusted independent sources of information 15
  26. 26. Mission to increase scientific and public understanding of natural and humanmade radioactive elements in the oceans Goals public outreach education and training promote research & engineering 16a
  27. 27. Mission to increase scientific and public understanding of natural and humanmade radioactive elements in the oceans Goals public outreach education and training promote research & engineering Activities thus far Nov. ‘12 and May ’13 public events Oceanus http://www.whoi.edu/CMER Fukushima FAQ’s Multiple funding partners sought agencies, private, industry, international 16b
  28. 28. What is needed next? In response to ongoing leaks at Fukushima“An international alliance on research and clean-up would help restore shattered public trust” Nature editorial Sept 3, 2013 17a
  29. 29. What is needed next? In response to ongoing leaks at Fukushima“An international alliance on research and clean-up would help restore shattered public trust” Nature editorial Sept 3, 2013 Some encouraging signs"We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from overseas to contain the problem" Japan PM Abe said "My country needs your knowledge and expertise“ Oct. 6. Kyoto Science Forum 17b
  30. 30. What is needed next? In response to ongoing leaks at Fukushima“An international alliance on research and clean-up would help restore shattered public trust” Nature editorial Sept 3, 2013 Some encouraging signs"We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from overseas to contain the problem" Japan PM Abe said "My country needs your knowledge and expertise“ Oct. 6. Kyoto Science Forum But does this invitation go beyond clean-up, to environmental and ocean assessments by independent academics? Invitation by Japan for international academic research would be helpful to get US agencies engaged 17c
  31. 31. Biota nets Seafloor coring Need better coordination of ocean studies & bring in new technologies for ocean sampling Current drifter
  32. 32. Biota nets Autonomous groundwater detectors Seafloor coring ASV Jetyak AUV “Rad hopper” AUV glider rad detector Current drifter
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