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Indoor radiocaesium contamination in residential houses within evacuation areas after the Fukushima nuclear accident via Scientific Reports

Abstract

Indoor contaminants were investigated from July 2013 to January 2015 within ninety-five residential houses in five evacuation zones, Iitate village, Odaka district, and the towns of Futaba, Okuma, and Tomioka. A dry smear test was applied to the surface of materials and structures in rooms and in the roof-space of houses. We found that 134Cs and 137Cs were the dominant radionuclides in indoor surface contamination, and there was a distance dependence from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP). For surface contamination in Iitate village (29–49 km from the FDNPP), 24.8% of samples exceeded the detection limit, which is quite a low value, while in Okuma (<3.0 km from the FDNPP), 99.7% of samples exceeded the detection limit and surface contamination levels exceeded 20 Bq/cm2 (the value was corrected to March 2011). In residential houses in Okuma, Futaba, and Tomioka, closer to the FDNPP than those in Odaka district and Iitate village, surface contamination was inversely proportional to the square of the distance between a house and the FDNPP. In the houses closest to the FDNPP, the contribution of surface contamination to the ambient dose equivalent rate was evaluated to be approximately 0.3 μSv/h.

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