Discriminative Measurement of Absorbed Dose Rates in Air from Natural and Artificial Radionuclides in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 22;18(3):978. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18030978.


Ten years have elapsed since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, and the relative contribution of natural radiation is increasing in Fukushima Prefecture due to the reduced dose of artificial radiation. In order to accurately determine the effective dose of exposure to artificial radiation, it is necessary to evaluate the effective dose of natural as well as artificial components. In this study, we measured the gamma-ray pulse-height distribution over the accessible area of Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture, and evaluated the annual effective dose of external exposure by distinguishing between natural and artificial radionuclides. The estimated median (range) of absorbed dose rates in air from artificial radionuclides as of 1 April 2020, is 133 (67-511) nGy h-1 in the evacuation order cancellation zone, and 1306 (892-2081) nGy h-1 in the difficult-to-return zone. The median annual effective doses of external exposures from natural and artificial radionuclides were found to be 0.19 and 0.40 mSv in the evacuation order cancellation zone, and 0.25 and 3.9 mSv in the difficult-to-return zone. The latest annual effective dose of external exposure discriminated into natural and artificial radionuclides is expected to be utilized for radiation risk communication.

Keywords: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant; Namie Town; artificial radionuclides; cesium-134; cesium-137; external exposure dose evaluation; natural radionuclides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fukushima Nuclear Accident*
  • Japan
  • Nuclear Power Plants
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Monitoring*
  • Radioisotopes


  • Radioisotopes