ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING HYDROLOGY fresh sediment deposits along coastal rivers draining Fukushima contamination plume | Radioactive Contamination | Sediment

Measurement of radioactive dose rates in fine sediment that has recently deposited on channel bed-sand provides a solution to address the lack of continuous river monitoring in Fukushima Prefecture after Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident. We show that coastal rivers of Eastern Fukushima Prefecture were rapidly supplied with sediment contaminated by radionuclides originating from inland mountain ranges, and that this contaminated material was partly exported by typhoons to the coastal plains as soon as by November 2011. This export was amplified during snow melt and typhoons in 2012. In 2013, contamination levels measured in sediment found in the upper parts of the catchments were almost systematically lower than the ones measured in nearby soils, where as their contamination was higher in the coastal plains. We thereby suggest that storage of contaminated sediment in reservoirs and in coastal sections of the river channels now represents the most crucial issue.

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