Fukushima Daiichi-Derived Radionuclides in the Ocean: Transport, Fate, and Impacts

Ken Buesseler, Minhan Dai, Michio Aoyama, Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Sabine Charmasson, Kathryn Higley, Vladimir Maderich, Pere Masqué, Paul J. Morris, Deborah Oughton, John N. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

©2017 Ken Buesseler et al. The events that followed the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, included the loss of power and overheating at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants, which led to extensive releases of radioactive gases, volatiles, and liquids, particularly to the coastal ocean. The fate of these radionuclides depends in large part on their oceanic geochemistry, physical processes, and biological uptake. Whereas radioactivity on land can be resampled and its distribution mapped, releases to the marine environment are harder to characterize owing to variability in ocean currents and the general challenges of sampling at sea. Five years later, it is appropriate to review what happened in terms of the sources, transport, and fate of these radionuclides in the ocean. In addition to the oceanic behavior of these contaminants, this review considers the potential health effects and societal impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-203
JournalAnnual Review of Marine Science
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Caesium
  • Cesium
  • Japan
  • North Pacific
  • Radioactivity

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