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Vol. 62 (2016) No. 1 p. 1-17



Original Article

This study was conducted on the Fukushima Medical University (FMU) premises (in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture) about four years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Its objectives were (1) to create a map of the ambient gamma dose rate (air-kerma rate) distribution, (2) to evaluate the air-kerma rate originating from natural radionuclides, and (3) to investigate the effects of snow cover on changes in the air-kerma rate. This man-borne survey revealed that the air-kerma rate varies widely, ranging from 0.038 μGy h1 to 0.520 μGy h1, and is higher on grass than on the other investigated surface types, such as soil, asphalt, and bricks. In this area, the mean air-kerma rate from natural radiation was evaluated to be 0.03 ± 0.01 μGy h1, which is close to 0.04 μGy h1, which was measured in central Fukushima City by a local authority.Furthermore, snowfall was found to reduce the air-kerma rate by 5%-30%. This reduction was attributed to attenuation of the primary radiation while passing through the snow cover, and the measured contribution of scattered radiation to the air-kerma rate reduction was small. The reduction rate was found to depend on the initial snow depth but to maintain a similar value for a couple of days, after the snow had partially melted and its depth had decreased. Finally, analysis of the daily dose due to external exposure received on the FMU premises revealed that no further health effects due to chronic radiation exposure at this site are to be expected.

Copyright © 2016 The Fukushima Society of Medical Science

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