Radioactive pollution in Athens, Greece due to the Fukushima nuclear accident

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J Environ Radioact. 2011 Dec 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Radioactive pollution in Athens, Greece due to the Fukushima nuclear accident.


NCSRDemokritos“, Institute of Nuclear Technology-Radiation Protection, Environmental Radioactivity Laboratory, 15310 Agia Paraskevi, Athens, Greece.


As a result of the nuclear accident in Fukushima Daichi power plant, which started on March 11, 2011, radioactive pollutants were transferred by air masses to various regions of the Northern hemisphere, including Europe. Very low concentrations of (131)I, (137)Cs and (134)Cs in airborne particulate matter were measured in Athens, Greece during the period of March 24 to April 28, 2011.

The maximum air concentration of (131)I was measured on April 6, 2011 and equaled 490 ± 35 μBq m(-3).

The maximum values of the two cesium isotopes were measured on the same day and equaled 180 ± 40 μBq m(-3) for (137)Cs and 160 ± 30 μBq m(-3) for (134)Cs.

The average activity ratio of (131)I/(137)Cs in air was 3.0 ± 0.5, while the corresponding ratio of (137)Cs/(134)Cs equaled 1.1 ± 0.3.

No artificial radionuclides could be detected in air after April 28, 2011.

Traces of (131)I as a result of radioactive deposition were measured in grass, soil, sheep milk and meat.

The total deposition of (131)I (dry + wet) was 34 ± 4 Bq m(-2), and of (137)Cs was less than 10 Bq m(-2).

The maximum concentration of (131)I in grass was 2.1 ± 0.4 Bg kg(-1), while (134)Cs was not detected.

The maximum concentrations of (131)I and (137)Cs in sheep milk were 1.7 ± 0.16 Bq kg(-1) and 0.6 ± 0.12 Bq kg(-1) respectively.

Concentrations of (131)I up to 1.3 ± 0.2 Bq kg(-1) were measured in sheep meat. Traces of (131)I were found in a number of soil samples.

The radiological impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Athens region was practically negligible, especially as compared to that of the Chernobyl accident and also to that of natural radioactivity.

PMID: 22197531 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: PubMed

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