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Through the analysis of specific fallout particles in the environment, a joint UK-Japan team of scientists has uncovered new insights into the sequence of events that led to the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011.
The multi-organisation research, led by Dr. Peter Martin and Professor Tom Scott from the University of Bristol's South West Nuclear Hub in collaboration with scientists from Diamond Light Source, the UK's national synchrotron facility, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), has been published today in the journal Nature Communications.
Chernobyl - Accident - April - Incident - Fukushima
Like the Chernobyl accident of April 1986, the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) has been classified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at Level 7 (the most-severe) of the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) as a consequence of the large amount of radioactivity released into the environment.
Even now, eight years after the accident, significant areas surrounding the plant remain evacuated due to the high levels of radioactivity that still exist. It is believed that some people may never be able to return to their homes as a consequence of the accident.
Isolation - Particulate - Samples - Localities - FDNPP
Following the isolation of the sub-mm particulate from environmental samples obtained from localities close to the FDNPP, the team first utilised the high-resolution combined X-ray tomography and X-ray fluorescence mapping capabilities of the Coherence Imaging (I13) beamline at the Diamond Light Source.
From these results, it was possible to determine the location of the various elemental constituents distributed throughout the highly-porous fallout particle, including the exact positions of micron-scale inclusions of uranium around the...
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