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The concentrations of I-129 in seawater samples from two sites (off Sekine and the Toyama Bay) in the Japan Sea were determined by accelerator mass spectrometry. The observed concentrations exceed amounts expected from natural origin and globally distributed fallout due to nuclear weapons testing. Because the fraction of natural origin and global fallout is 2% and 8.9-13.8%, respectively, the residual more than 80% of the concentration must come primarily from nuclear fuel reprocessing plants. This result indicates a rapid distribution of I-129 through atmospheric transport on a global scale. The depth distribution of I-129 at the Toyama Bay in the Japan Sea shows that the I-129 maximum is in the mixed layer and that concentrations decrease with depth. The inventory of I-129 in water column is four times higher than that measured in the Gulf of Mexico which has almost the same depth at the Toyama Bay. This higher inventory probably reflects: (1) the rapid water sinking in the Japan Sea, (2) the difference of distance in sampling locations with respect to major I-129 releasing plants and (3) the strong increase in emissions from nuclear fuel reprocessing plants after the profile of the Gulf of Mexico was taken. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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- DOI : 10.1016/j.quageo.2007.12.004
- ISSN : 1871-1014
- Web of Science ID : WOS:000255694300012