[ RadSafe ] Pu in soil.

Derek Putley derek.putley at serco.com
Thu Mar 31 02:20:49 CDT 2011

Stewart / All
UK RIFE report no. 15:-  
(see http://www.sepa.org.uk/radioactive_substances/publications/rife_reports.aspx) 
reports Pu levels of order 100 - 1000 Bq/kg in dry mud (Figure 2.15) from mud samples taken at Ravenglas, i.e. close to the Sellafield reprocessing plant. 
I've not studied the report in detail, but I think the data in the report also indicates a relationship between these levels and permitted activity levels in liquid effluent discharges into the sea from the plant.
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 09:51:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: Stewart Farber <radproject at sbcglobal.net>
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Pu levels found in Japan? Info sought

I saw a Reuters story last night that states regarding Pu leves found near the 
Fukushima plant, and I quote:

"The levels [Note of Pu-239 -SAF ], of up to 0.54 becquerels per kg, were not 
considered harmful, Japanese officials said, a stance supported by the U.N. 
atomic agency."

Does anyone have any other data on Pu measurements detected near the accident?  

If Pu measured is only 0.54Bq/kg in soil,  why is anyone getting agitated? Why 
isn't the Japanese government being more emphatic about emphasizing the levels 
found as being consistent with "background" Pu from open air testing which was 
deposited globally on every sq. meter of the Northern Hemisphere to levels of 
about 100 Bq/m^2?? 

By my calculation, 100 Bq/m^2 of Pu equates to 3.7 Bq/kg of soil [assuming 
density 2.65 typically, and that Pu is bound in the first 1 cm depth which is 
sampled by scraping the surface of soil to only a depth of 1 cm].  If the Pu is 
bound in the first 10 cm depth of soil, and the first 10 cm of soil depth is 
sampled, one would expect to find 0.4 Bq/kg of soil from prior global Pu 
deposition. I'd appreciate folks checking my math.

Stewart Farber, MSPH
Farber Medical Solutions, LLC
Best Regards

Derek Putley

Technical Area Lead (Criticality) 
Serco (Technical Services)
Thomson House, Risley, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 6GA, UK

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