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Activity Concentrations of 137Cs and 90Sr in Seawaters of East Sea, Korea

  • Lee, Hae Young (Radiation Science Research Institute, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Kim, Wan (Radiation Science Research Institute, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Kim, Yong-Hwan (Gyeongbuk Institute for Marine Bio-Industry) ;
  • Maeng, Seongjin (School of Architectural, Civil, Environmental and Energy Engineering, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Lee, Sang Hoon (School of Architectural, Civil, Environmental and Energy Engineering, Kyungpook National University)
  • Received : 2016.03.14
  • Accepted : 2016.07.08
  • Published : 2016.09.30

Abstract

Background: This study was a long-term evaluation of $^{137}Cs$ and $^{90}Sr$ activity concentrations in seawater samples from the East Sea, Korea, in order to establish current activity levels. Results and long-term monitoring trends will be useful in the future monitoring of environmental radioactivity. Materials and Methods: Surface seawater samples were collected quarterly from Guryongpo and Jangho in the East Coast between 1998 and 2010 and the quarterly deep seawater samples were collected from three sites in the sea adjacent to Ulleung-do between 2012 and 2015. The activity concentrations of $^{137}Cs$ were measured using a gamma-spectrometer. The activity concentrations of $^{90}Sr$ and $^{90}Y$ in a radioactive equilibrium state were measured using a gas flow proportional counter. Results and Discussion: We found the annual average activity concentrations of $^{137}Cs$ in the surface seawater was $1.66-2.89mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$ in Guryongpo and $1.68-2.43mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$ in Jangho. The annual average activity concentrations of $^{90}Sr$ in the surface seawater was $0.83-1.98mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$ in Guryongpo and $0.82-1.57mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$ in Jangho. The annual average activity concentrations of $^{137}Cs$ in the deep seawater sites were $1.51-1.73mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$, $1.19-1.60mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$ and $0.87-1.15mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$ in TH, JD, and HP. The annual average activity concentrations of $^{90}Sr$ in the same deep seawater sites were $1.00-1.94mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$, $0.82-1.26mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$, and $0.79-1.32mBq{\cdot}kg^{-1}$. The effective half-life was calculated by analyzing change over time in the activity concentration in the surface seawater. The effective half-life of $^{137}Cs$ was $15.3{\pm}0.1years$ in Guryongpo and $102{\pm}3years$ in Jangho. The effective half-life of $^{90}Sr$ was $28.3{\pm}4.3years$ in Guryongpo and $16.6{\pm}0.1years$ in Jangho. The ratio of the average activity concentration ($^{137}Cs/^{90}Sr$) was 1.72 in the surface seawater, which is similar to the reported ratio of the global radioactive fallout. The ratio in the deep seawater was 1.24, which is somewhat low compared to the global ratio (1.6, 1.8). Conclusion: Activity concentrations of $^{137}Cs$ and $^{90}Sr$ in the seawaters of the East Sea were similar to the previously reported activity levels in the East Sea and northwestern Pacific as a result of global radioactive fallout following atmospheric nuclear weapon tests.

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