The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident on March 11, 2011, caused severe radioactive contamination in Fukushima Prefecture. In order to clarify the safety of drinking water, we have conducted radiocesium monitoring of public tap water and groundwater in Minami-Soma City, which is 10–40 km north of the nuclear power plant. The source of tap water for Minami-Soma City is groundwater, which is treated by rapid filtration before distribution in two of the three treatment plants. The tap water was collected from six stations during 2012–2016 and groundwater was collected from 11 stations with wells between 5 and 100 m deep during 2014–2016. Radiocesium contamination of groundwater has been considered unlikely in Japan because of the small vertical migration velocity of radiocesium in Japanese soil. However, radiocesium was detected in public tap water after 2012, and the maximum 137Cs concentration of 292 mBq L−1 was observed in 2013. In all the well water, radiocesium was detected between 2014 and 2015, at concentrations similar to those observed in tap water in the same period. In tap water and groundwater, radiocesium was decreased to below the detection limit in 2016 except for four stations. Radiocesium concentration in shallow water reached a maximum between 2013 and 2015, 2–4 years after the FDNPP accident, and then decreased. The results are interpreted that dissolved 137Cs migrated in the soil and reached aquifers of various depth.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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