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Lessons from the Fukushima and Chernobyl accidents concerning the 137Cs contamination of orchard fresh fruits

​Radioprotection / Volume 49, Issue 03, Pages 169-175, July 2014

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LM2E

Authors > RENAUD Philippe, GONZE Marc-André

Publication Date > 01/07/2014

Summary

​The observations made in Japan in 2011 after the Fukushima-Daiichi accident and those made in France, Italy, Greece and Austria in 1986 after the Chernobyl fallout, show that the development stage of orchard trees at the time of atmospheric deposition is a major factor determining the level of caesium contamination in fruits at harvest. Both data sets are shown to be consistent and enable one to estimate, for mobile elements in plants such as caesium, an aggregated transfer factor (expressed in Bq.kg-1 of fresh fruit per Bq.m-2 deposited on the ground surface) whose value strongly depends on the time elapsed between fallout and harvest. The Fukushima data set also enables one to estimate effective half-lives (expressed in days), which are helpful for predicting the decrease in fruit contamination with time. We found an average value of 200 days for the one-year period after radioactive fallout, which is quite consistent with values estimated from post-Chernobyl surveys.

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