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Since the double disaster of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that affected hundreds of thousands of people and seriously damaged the Fukushima Daichi power plant in Japan on 11 March 2011, traces of radioactive emissions from Fukushima have spread across the entire northern hemisphere. The radioactive isotope of iodine (131)I that was generated by the nuclear accident in Fukushima arrived in Greece on 24 March 2011. Radioactive iodine is present in the air either as gas or bound to particles (aerosols). The maximum (131)I concentrations were measured between 3 and 5 April 2011. In aerosols the maximum (131)I values measured in Southern Greece (Athens) and Northern Greece (Thessaloniki) were 585±70 and 408±61 μΒq m(-3), respectively. (131)I concentrations in gas were about 3.5 times higher than in aerosols. Since 29 April 2011, the (131)I concentration has been below detection limits. Traces of (137)Cs and (134)Cs were also measured in the air filters with an activity ratio of (137)Cs/(134)Cs equal to 1 and (131)I/(137)Cs activity ratio of about 3. Since 16 May 2011, the (137)Cs concentration in air has been determined to be about the same as before the Fukushima accident. Traces of (131)I were also measured in grass and milk. The maximum measured activity of (131)I in sheep milk was about 2 Bq l(-1) which is 5000 times less than that measured in Greece immediately after the Chernobyl accident. The measured activity concentrations of artificial radionuclides in Greece due to the Fukushima release, have been very low, with no impact on human health.


C Potiriadis, M Kolovou, A Clouvas, S Xanthos. Environmental radioactivity measurements in Greece following the Fukushima Daichi nuclear accident. Radiation protection dosimetry. 2012 Jul;150(4):441-7

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PMID: 22090415

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