Observations of Fukushima Fallout (Great Britain)

Observations of Fukushima Fallout (Great Britain)



AbstractFollowing the Fukushima accident in March 2011, grass samples were collected from 42 sites around Great Britain during April 2011. Iodine-131 was measurable in grass samples across the country with activity concentrations ranging from 10 to 55 Bq kg-1 dry matter. Concentrations were similar to those reported in other European countries. Rainwater and some foodstuffs were also analysed from a limited number of sites. Of these, 131I was only detectable in sheep’s milk (c. 2 Bq kg-1). Caesium-134, which can be attributed to releases from the Fukushima reactors, was detectable in six of the grass samples (4-8 Bq kg-1 dry matter); Cs-137 was detected in a larger number of grass samples although previous release sources (atmospheric weapons test and the 1986 Chernobyl and 1957 Windscale accidents) are likely to have contributed to this.
The on-line data record (see below) includes results for 131I, 134Cs, 137Cs, 40K and 7Be & basic sample information (e.g. co-ordinates, fraction dry matter).
The data result from collaboration between CEH and the University of Stirling.
Type of dataMonitoring
Sample number10 - 100
QualityFresh grass and other vegetation samples were finely chopped and accurately weighed into 950 ml plastic containers prior to gamma analyses. Milk (sheep and goat), rainwater and homogenised egg content samples were accurately weighed into either 150 ml or 950 ml plastic containers depending upon the sample volume available. To determine the activity concentration of gamma-emitting radionuclides, fresh samples were analysed on hyper-pure germanium detectors as soon as possible after sampling and counted for 1-2 days depending upon their 131I activity concentration. The detectors are calibrated against standards of various density and volume, and the facilities regularly participate in proficiency testing schemes (UKAS).
Spatially referencedYes
Ecosystem typeTerrestrial
Sample typeRainwater, milk, grass, eggs
StatusCompleted study
Obtain data

Freely available from the CEH Information Gateway

Key reference sources

Beresford, N.A., Barnett, C.L., Howard, B.J., Howard, D.C., Wells, C., Tyler, A.N., Bradley, S., Copplestone, D., 2012.  Observations of Fukushima fallout in Great Britain. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 114, 48-53. 

Data ownershipNERC-CEH
Database formatcsv
Figure information1) Grass sampling sites 2) Changes in dry matter 131I activity concentrations with time in grass from three sites in Great Britain (error values are 2-sigma uncertainties)
(adapted from Beresford et al. (2012) 

fukushima , united_kingdom , milk , infoex


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