Publications by authors named "Masamichi Chino"

7 Publications

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Utilization of (134)Cs/(137)Cs in the environment to identify the reactor units that caused atmospheric releases during the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

Sci Rep 2016 08 22;6:31376. Epub 2016 Aug 22.

Sector of Fukushima Research and Development, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 45-169 Harama-chiku Kaibama sukakeba, Minamisoma City, Fukushima 975-0036, Japan.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactor units that generated large amounts of airborne discharges during the period of March 12-21, 2011 were identified individually by analyzing the combination of measured (134)Cs/(137)Cs depositions on ground surfaces and atmospheric transport and deposition simulations. Because the values of (134)Cs/(137)Cs are different in reactor units owing to fuel burnup differences, the (134)Cs/(137)Cs ratio measured in the environment was used to determine which reactor unit ultimately contaminated a specific area. Atmospheric dispersion model simulations were used for predicting specific areas contaminated by each dominant release. Finally, by comparing the results from both sources, the specific reactor units that yielded the most dominant atmospheric release quantities could be determined. The major source reactor units were Unit 1 in the afternoon of March 12, 2011, Unit 2 during the period from the late night of March 14 to the morning of March 15, 2011. These results corresponded to those assumed in our previous source term estimation studies. Furthermore, new findings suggested that the major source reactors from the evening of March 15, 2011 were Units 2 and 3 and that the dominant source reactor on March 20, 2011 temporally changed from Unit 3 to Unit 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep31376DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4992883PMC
August 2016

World Meteorological Organization's model simulations of the radionuclide dispersion and deposition from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.

J Environ Radioact 2015 Jan 31;139:172-184. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Vienna, Austria.

Five different atmospheric transport and dispersion model's (ATDM) deposition and air concentration results for atmospheric releases from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident were evaluated over Japan using regional (137)Cs deposition measurements and (137)Cs and (131)I air concentration time series at one location about 110 km from the plant. Some of the ATDMs used the same and others different meteorological data consistent with their normal operating practices. There were four global meteorological analyses data sets available and two regional high-resolution analyses. Not all of the ATDMs were able to use all of the meteorological data combinations. The ATDMs were configured identically as much as possible with respect to the release duration, release height, concentration grid size, and averaging time. However, each ATDM retained its unique treatment of the vertical velocity field and the wet and dry deposition, one of the largest uncertainties in these calculations. There were 18 ATDM-meteorology combinations available for evaluation. The deposition results showed that even when using the same meteorological analysis, each ATDM can produce quite different deposition patterns. The better calculations in terms of both deposition and air concentration were associated with the smoother ATDM deposition patterns. The best model with respect to the deposition was not always the best model with respect to air concentrations. The use of high-resolution mesoscale analyses improved ATDM performance; however, high-resolution precipitation analyses did not improve ATDM predictions. Although some ATDMs could be identified as better performers for either deposition or air concentration calculations, overall, the ensemble mean of a subset of better performing members provided more consistent results for both types of calculations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2013.09.014DOI Listing
January 2015

Radiological protection issues arising during and after the Fukushima nuclear reactor accident.

J Radiol Prot 2013 Sep 27;33(3):497-571. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

Argentine Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Av. del Libertador 8520, (1429) Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Following the Fukushima accident, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) convened a task group to compile lessons learned from the nuclear reactor accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, with respect to the ICRP system of radiological protection. In this memorandum the members of the task group express their personal views on issues arising during and after the accident, without explicit endorsement of or approval by the ICRP. While the affected people were largely protected against radiation exposure and no one incurred a lethal dose of radiation (or a dose sufficiently large to cause radiation sickness), many radiological protection questions were raised. The following issues were identified: inferring radiation risks (and the misunderstanding of nominal risk coefficients); attributing radiation effects from low dose exposures; quantifying radiation exposure; assessing the importance of internal exposures; managing emergency crises; protecting rescuers and volunteers; responding with medical aid; justifying necessary but disruptive protective actions; transiting from an emergency to an existing situation; rehabilitating evacuated areas; restricting individual doses of members of the public; caring for infants and children; categorising public exposures due to an accident; considering pregnant women and their foetuses and embryos; monitoring public protection; dealing with 'contamination' of territories, rubble and residues and consumer products; recognising the importance of psychological consequences; and fostering the sharing of information. Relevant ICRP Recommendations were scrutinised, lessons were collected and suggestions were compiled. It was concluded that the radiological protection community has an ethical duty to learn from the lessons of Fukushima and resolve any identified challenges. Before another large accident occurs, it should be ensured that inter alia: radiation risk coefficients of potential health effects are properly interpreted; the limitations of epidemiological studies for attributing radiation effects following low exposures are understood; any confusion on protection quantities and units is resolved; the potential hazard from the intake of radionuclides into the body is elucidated; rescuers and volunteers are protected with an ad hoc system; clear recommendations on crisis management and medical care and on recovery and rehabilitation are available; recommendations on public protection levels (including infant, children and pregnant women and their expected offspring) and associated issues are consistent and understandable; updated recommendations on public monitoring policy are available; acceptable (or tolerable) 'contamination' levels are clearly stated and defined; strategies for mitigating the serious psychological consequences arising from radiological accidents are sought; and, last but not least, failures in fostering information sharing on radiological protection policy after an accident need to be addressed with recommendations to minimise such lapses in communication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0952-4746/33/3/497DOI Listing
September 2013

Atmospheric discharge and dispersion of radionuclides during the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Part II: verification of the source term and analysis of regional-scale atmospheric dispersion.

J Environ Radioact 2012 Oct 19;112:141-54. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 2-4 Shirakata-Shirane, Tokai, Ibaraki 319-1195, Japan.

Regional-scale atmospheric dispersion simulations were carried out to verify the source term of (131)I and (137)Cs estimated in our previous studies, and to analyze the atmospheric dispersion and surface deposition during the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The accuracy of the source term was evaluated by comparing the simulation results with measurements of daily and monthly surface depositions (fallout) over land in eastern Japan from March 12 to April 30, 2011. The source term was refined using observed air concentrations of radionuclides for periods when there were significant discrepancies between the calculated and measured daily surface deposition, and when environmental monitoring data, which had not been used in our previous studies, were now available. The daily surface deposition using the refined source term was predicted mostly to within a factor of 10, and without any apparent bias. Considering the errors in the model prediction, the estimated source term is reasonably accurate during the period when the plume flowed over land in Japan. The analysis of regional-scale atmospheric dispersion and deposition suggests that the present distribution of a large amount of (137)Cs deposition in eastern Japan was produced primarily by four events that occurred on March 12, 15-16, 20, and 21-23. The ratio of wet deposition to the total varied widely depending on the influence by the particular event.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2012.05.023DOI Listing
October 2012

Atmospheric discharge and dispersion of radionuclides during the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Part I: Source term estimation and local-scale atmospheric dispersion in early phase of the accident.

J Environ Radioact 2012 Jul 8;109:103-13. Epub 2012 Mar 8.

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 2-4 Shirakata-Shirane, Tokai, Ibaraki 319-1195, Japan.

The atmospheric release of (131)I and (137)Cs in the early phase of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP1) accident from March 12 to 14, 2011 was estimated by combining environmental data with atmospheric dispersion simulations under the assumption of a unit release rate (1 Bq h(-1)). For the simulation, WSPEEDI-II computer-based nuclear emergency response system was used. Major releases of (131)I (>10(15) Bq h(-1)) were estimated when air dose rates increased in FNPP1 during the afternoon on March 12 after the hydrogen explosion of Unit 1 and late at night on March 14. The high-concentration plumes discharged during these periods flowed to the northwest and south-southwest directions of FNPP1, respectively. These plumes caused a large amount of dry deposition on the ground surface along their routes. Overall, the spatial pattern of (137)Cs and the increases in the air dose rates observed at the monitoring posts around FNPP1 were reproduced by WSPEEDI-II using estimated release rates. The simulation indicated that air dose rates significantly increased in the south-southwest region of FNPP1 by dry deposition of the high-concentration plume discharged from the night of March 14 to the morning of March 15.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2012.02.006DOI Listing
July 2012

Numerical reconstruction of high dose rate zones due to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

J Environ Radioact 2012 Sep 8;111:2-12. Epub 2011 Oct 8.

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 2-4 Shirakata-Shirane, Tokai, Ibaraki 319-1195, Japan.

To understand how the high dose rate zones were created during the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP1) accident on March 2011, the atmospheric dispersion of radionuclides during the period from 15 to 17 March was reproduced by using a computer-based nuclear emergency response system, WSPEEDI-II. With use of limited environmental monitoring data, prediction accuracy of meteorological and radiological fields by the system was improved to obtain best estimates of release rates, radiation dose maps, and plume movements. A large part of current high dose rate zones in Fukushima was explained by simulated surface deposition of radionuclides due to major releases of radionuclides on 15 March. In the simulation, the highest dose rate zones to the northwest of FNPP1 were created by a significant deposition of radionuclides discharged from FNPP1 during the afternoon. The results indicate that two environmental factors, i.e., rainfall and topography, strongly affected the spatial patterns of surface deposition of radionuclides. The wet deposition due to rainfall particularly played an important role in the formation of wide and heterogeneous distributions of high dose rate zones. The simulation also demonstrated that the radioactive plume flowed along the valleys to its leeward, which can expand the areas of a large amount of surface deposition in complex topography.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2011.09.011DOI Listing
September 2012

International exchange of emergency phase information and assessments: an aid to national/international decision makers.

Radiat Prot Dosimetry 2004 ;109(1-2):133-6

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, L-103, P.O. Box 808, Livermore, CA 94551-0808, USA.

This paper discusses a collaborative project (1) to demonstrate the feasibility and benefit of a system seeking early review, in a 'quasi peer review' mode, of nuclear accident plume and dose assessment predictions by four major international nuclear accident emergency response systems before release of calculations to respective national authorities followed by (2) sharing these results with responsible national/international authorities, (3) development of an affordable/accessible system to distribute results to countries without prediction capabilities and (4) utilisation for exercises and collaboration studies. The project exploits Internet browser technology and low-cost PC hardware, incorporates an Internet node, with access control, for depositing a minimal set of XML-based graphics files for presentation in an identical map format. Side-by-side viewing and televideo conferencing will permit rapid evaluation, data elaboration and recalculation (if necessary) and should produce strong consensus among decision makers. Successful completion affords easy utilisation by national/international organisations and non-nuclear states at risk of trans-boundary incursion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rpd/nch241DOI Listing
January 2005