From the US Soil Survey: Depleted Uranium and Uranium 238

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog: http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/102226696.html

April 30th, 2013

There are people who think that the uranium 238 detected in the soil survey that was conducted by the National Nuclear Security Administration (USA) could be linked to the March 11th explosion and fire at a Tokyo Bay oil refinery. A reader of this blog posted a comment saying that the uranium 238 could have come from the adjacent depleted uranium storage facility that burnt at the same time.

I don’t think that the uranium detected in the soil survey came from the fire at these plants on Tokyo Bay.

Looking at the survey by the NNSA, uranium, strontium and plutonium were only found in the 6 samples shown in the table below. 

The highest amount of uranium 238 was found in Naraha-machi (Fukushima), followed by Natori city (Miyagi) and Iwaki city (Fukushima). Compared to these places, the figures in Yokosuka (Kanagawa) and in Gotenba (Shizuoka) are relatively low. Although the amount of uranium 232 is pretty much the same everywhere, Naraha-machi again has by far the highest amount of uranium 233 / 234.

Apart from the strontium 90 the sample of Naraha-machi has the highest amount of strontium as well. As the highest concentrations of cesium and iodine are also found in the towns of Fukushima prefecture, I would say that the radioactive matters detected in this survey would mainly come from the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. Even if there were depleted uranium scattered from the fire on Tokyo Bay it can’t have exceeded the amount of Naraha-machi. 

This hints at an answer to my question raised in the article “What were the alpha and beta sources that fell in Tohoku? ”. Considering that the main elements which are sources of alpha radiation are uranium, plutonium, americium and radon, and looking at the amount of uranium on the table above, it would be natural to think that the main alpha source that fell in the Tohoku region was indeed uranium. 

Writing this made me shudder. I would love to believe that the tragedy of Fallujah wouldn’t be repeated in Japan… 

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