Desorption Behavior of Fukushima-derived Radiocesium in Sand Collected from Yotsukura Beach in Fukushima Prefecture. uri icon


  • Beach sand samples were collected along a coastal area 32 km south of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, 5 years after the FDNPP accident. Desorption experiments were performed on the sand samples using seawater in a batch experimental system to understand the forms of existence of radiocesium in sand and their desorption behavior in a coastal environment. The percentage of radiocesium desorption decreased exponentially with an increase in the number of desorption experiments for the four sand samples, with 137Cs radioactivity from 16 to 1077 Bq kg-1 at surface and deeper layers from three sites. Total desorption percentage ranged from 19 to 58% in 12 desorption experiments. The results indicate that the weak adsorption varies with the sampling sites and their depth layer. To understand the desorption behavior of radiocesium in the sand samples, the desorption experiments were performed for a sand sample by using natural and artificial seawater, and NaCl solution in the presence and absence of KCl. The 137Cs desorption from the sand collected at a depth of 100 - 105 cm from the ground surface (137Cs radioactivity 1052 ± 25 Bq kg-1) was 0.1% by ultrapure water, 3.7% by 1/4 seawater and 7.1% by 1/2 seawater, 2.2% by 470 mM NaCl solution (corresponding to a similar concentration of seawater) and 10 - 12% by seawater, artificial seawater and 470 mM NaCl + 8 mM KCl solution. These results indicate that about 10% of radiocesium adsorbed on the sand is mainly desorbed by ion exchange of potassium ion in seawater, though the concentration of major cation, or sodium ion, in seawater makes a small contribution on 137Cs desorption from the sand samples.

publication date

  • 2020