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To understand the chemical durability of highly radioactive cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011, we have, for the first time, performed systematic dissolution experiments with CsMPs isolated from Fukushima soils (one sample with 108 Bq and one sample with 57.8 Bq of Cs) using three types of solutions: simulated lung fluid, ultrapure water, and artificial sea water, at 25 and 37 °C for 1-63 days. The Cs was released rapidly within three days and then steady-state dissolution was achieved for each solution type. The steady-state Cs release rate at 25 °C was determined to be 4.7 × 10, 1.3 × 10, and 1. 3 × 10 Bq·m s for simulated lung fluid, ultrapure water, and artificial sea water, respectively. This indicates that the simulated lung fluid promotes the dissolution of CsMPs. The dissolution of CsMPs is similar to that of Si-based glass and is affected by the surface moisture conditions. In addition, the Cs release from the CsMPs is constrained by the rate-limiting dissolution of silicate matrix. Based on our results, CsMPs with ∼2 Bq, which can be potentially inhaled and deposited in the alveolar region, are completely dissolved after >35 years. Further, CsMPs could remain in the environment for several decades; as such, CsMPs are important factors contributing to the long-term impacts of radioactive Cs in the environment.
This article was published in the following journal.
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Unstable isotopes of cesium that decay or disintegrate emitting radiation. Cs atoms with atomic weights of 123, 125-132, and 134-145 are radioactive cesium isotopes.
Stable cesium atoms that have the same atomic number as the element cesium, but differ in atomic weight. Cs-133 is a naturally occurring isotope.
Radioactive substances which act as pollutants. They include chemicals whose radiation is released via radioactive waste, nuclear accidents, fallout from nuclear explosions, and the like.
A member of the alkali metals. It has an atomic symbol Cs, atomic number 50, and atomic weight 132.91. Cesium has many industrial applications, including the construction of atomic clocks based on its atomic vibrational frequency.
Extracellular membrane vesicles generated by the shedding of CELL MEMBRANES blebs. Microparticles originating from PLATELETS; ENDOTHELIAL CELLS; and other cell types circulate in the peripheral blood and through the MICROVASCULATURE where larger cells cannot, functioning as active effectors in a variety of vascular processes such as INFLAMMATION; HEMOSTASIS; angiogenesis; and vascular reactivity. Increased levels are found following stimulation of bleb formation under normal or pathological conditions.
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