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Guilderson, T. P., University of California - Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, USA, tguilder@ucsc.edu
Tumey, S. J., Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, USA, tumey2@llnl.gov
Broek, T. ., University of California - Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, USA, tbroek@gmail.com
Brown, T. A., Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, USA, tabrown@llnl.gov

INFLUENCE OF THE FUKUSHIMA EVENT ON THE 129-IODINE CONTENT OF WESTERN PACIFIC WATERS

In the ocean, total dissolved iodine (~0.47µM concentration and primarily speciated between iodate and iodide) is a micronutrient that is nearly conservative: a very small depletion in surface waters relative to the deep ocean is observed. Iodine, of which 127-I is the only stable isotope has a residence time of ~ 3.4x105 years. Iodine-129 (129I) is the only long-lived radioisotope (15.7 x106 year half-life) naturally produced via cosmic ray interactions with xenon in the atmosphere and as a fission product of uranium. Prior to the nuclear era the 129I/127I ratio in seawater was approximately 10-12. “Anthropogenic” 129I has been produced and dispersed into the ocean via atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons and more recently, via reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. Thus 129I has become a powerful addition to the suite of oceanographic tracers. The unfortunate events resulting in damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility caused the release of many anthropogenic radionuclides, including 129-I into the environment. Initial 129I results from the measurement of seawater samples from the June KOK 2011 cruise will be presented.

Session #:088
Date: 2/21/2012
Time: 15:45
Location: Ballroom E

Presentation is given by student: No