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Radioactivity in vehicle air filters from Fukushima Part I Gamma emitting radionuclides Chris Busby

Report 2011/14 July 2011 Green Audit Aberystwyth UK

Introduction Presented here are results of the examination by low and high resolution gamma spectrometry of 4 air filters from vehicles which had been driven in Fukushima Prefecture Japan between March 11th and June 15th 2011. The filters were obtained by Mr Sakue, editor of the magazine Weekly Gendai, and posted to Aberystwyth. They were examined on low resolution NaI(Tl) [Scionix 2” diameter] gamma spectrometer employing a mini MCA [GBS Elektronik, Rossendorf] using 20000 -30000sec count times. One of the filters was examined by high resolution gamma spectrometry by ESG in Oxford and the spectra were analysed by Green Audit using the software IDENTIFY and FITZPEAKS. A number of spectra are shown for filters from the various vehicles and this is followed by the analysis.

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fukuspectra d

Results for the 4 Fukushima car filter spectra. Intensity of the Cs-134, 796 keV peak and count times. All cars run in Fukushima Prefecture between 100 and 200km after explosion. Car B run Iidatemura within 20km. Car filter No A B C D Car Details Nissan March, 23126km Nissan Cube, 45537km Nissan Moko, 27844km Nissan Cube Cubic, 30000km Mean external dose rate uGy/h (error) 0.160 (0.004) 0.176 (0.005) 0.117 (0.002) 0.123 (0.004) Count time (seconds) 21455 10002 30000 30011 796 integral (error) 23019 (811) 9667 (661) 24311 (840) 54677 (4279) Counts per second Cs-134 1.073 0.967 0.81 1.82

Assignments Air filters contain the following nuclides: Nuclide Cs-137 Cs-134 I-131 Ra-226 K-40 Rh-102 Ag110m Te-129 Te-129m Nb-95 Pb-210 Pb-214 Bi-214 Th-234 U-238 Certainty Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Likely Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Note Fission product Fission product Fission product Natural Natural Fission product Fission product Fission product Fission product Fission product Natural Natural Natural Natural Natural

Gamma lines and counts; high resolution; 25,000 sec count time; Activity in Filter 4 reported by Harwell Laboratory. Assignment by FITZPEAKS software. No 1 2 3-6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 keV 46.9 63.9 75-87 92.9 186.2 239.1 352.5 365.0 460.2 475.9 511.6 563.7 569.8 605.2 609.8 658.3 662.1 696.5 796.4 802.5 885.2 938.0 1039.3 1121.1 assignment Pb210 Th234 Pb, Bi Xrays Th234 (U234) U235/Ra226 Pb212 Pb214 I-131 Te129 Rh102 (?)* Ann rad Cs134 Cs134 Cs134 Bi214 Nb95 Cs137 Te129m Cs134 ? Ag110m Ag110m Cs134 Bi214 Peak counts 102 35 64 146 56 108 73 149 298 1156 2206 13787 94 120 13354 63 8856 43 22 83 29 Activity Bq/ filter 4 (sd) 8.6 (3.2)

3.5(1.4)

1.2 (0.53) 0.65 (trace) 10.3 (3.8) 6.3 (2.1) 124 (6.3) 124 (6.3) 124 (6.3) 1.66 (0.04) 151 (8.0) 19.9 (5.5) 124 (6.3) 0.95 (0.15) 0.95 (0.15) 124 (6.3) 1.66 (0.15)

28 29 30 31 32

1378.6 1385.0 1461.5 1730.3 1765.3

Bi214 Ag110m K40 Bi214 Bi214

4 18 36 5 19

1.66 (0.04) 0.95 (0.15) 7.1 (1.4) 1.66 (0.04) 1.66 (0.04)

* assigned by Harwell laboratory; uncertain

Health implications ICRP and ECRR inhalation dose coefficients Sv/Bq; adults and child 5yrs; effective equivalent dose from March 11th to June 15th 99 days. Assumptions based on Cs-134 integral in air filter of Nissan Moko having run 180km at mean speed of 60km/h and 2500rpm in outer Fukushima area. Engine capacity 700cc; 4-stroke engine breathes once every 4 cycles. That is an intake volume of 78.7 cu:m. Integral is equivalent to total air filter activity of 210Bq of Cs-134 and 210Bq of Cs-137. Thus the air content is approximately 2.7Bq/cu:m of each nuclide. Adult breathes 24cu metres a day. Child aged 5 breathes 10cubic metres a day (ICRP Reference Man). Total air breathed in 99 days is thus 2376cu m adult and 990 cu: m child. Inhalation dose coefficients from ICRP and ECRR and committed effective dose equivalents for Fukushima assuming the person inhaled the same air as the vehicles in this study. Gamma emitters only calculated. Nuclide Cs-134 adult Cs-134 child Cs-137 adult Cs-137 child I-131 adult I-131 child Te-132 adult Te-132 child Sr-90 adult Sr-90 child ICRP 72 2E-8 4E-8 3.9E-8 7.0E-8 1.5E-8 3.7E-8 5.1E-9 2.4E-8 1.6E-7 2.7E-7 ECRR2010 2E-8 4E-8 6.5E-8 1.3E-7 1.1 E-7 2.2E-7 1.0E-7 5.0E-7 9.0E-6 1.8E-5 ICRP dose Sv 1.3E-4 (0.13mSv) 1.1E-4 (0.11mSv) 2.5E-4 (0.25mSv) 1.9E-4 (0.19mSv) ECRRdose 1.3E-4 (0.13mSv) 1.1E-4 (0.11mSv) 4.0E-4 (0.4mSv) 5.7E-4 (0.57mSv)

Pu-239 adult Pu-239 child U-238 adult U-238 child Am-241 adult Am-241 child

1.2E-4 6.0 E-4 8E-6 1.6E-5 9E-5 1.2E-4

1.2E-4 6.0E-4 8.0 E-4 1.2 E-3 9E-5 1.2E-4

It must be concluded that if the cars breathed in this material so did people. This inhalation therefore represents a significant exposure route giving between 0.38 and 0.53mSv to adults from the Caesium isotopes alone. This is an illegal exposure under European ( EURATOM) law which has a limit of 0.15mSv in a year from any single source. Further work with high resolution gamma and alpha spectrometry is being done. The main concern is particulates, especially alpha emitter particulates such as those containing uranium and plutonium and Strontium 90. If the plutonium/ uranium content were 1/100th of the Cs content the dose from this source would be more than 20mSv.

Chris Busby