A paper by a researcher at Tokyo University about discovery of neptunium-239 and other short-lived nuclides in Iitate-mura seems to have finally been accepted and published by Environmental Pollution, a peer-reviewed scientific magazine. It was made available online on January 20, 2012, and is published in the April 2012 issue of the magazine.
It took nearly 1 year for off-line readers to know about the discovery. The researcher took the samples of soil, plants and water in early April last year.
In August last year there was an article of neptunium-239 having been discovered in Iitate-mura, 35 kilometers from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, by a researcher at Tokyo University. The article was written by a husband and wife comedian couple. (For more, see my post on August 15, 2011.) They were criticized for not revealing the source (name of this researcher) or the details. Their response was that the researcher was submitting the paper to a peer-reviewed magazine.
Well here it is, published by a peer-reviewed magazine nearly one year after the accident, and now utterly irrelevant except for some academic curiosity. The information, as it sat in limbo of peer-reviewing process, was not used to educate, warn people in Fukushima, particularly in Iitate-mura, so that they could decide what to do. If they had known their soil and vegetation were extremely contaminated with short-lived radionuclides with strong radioactivity, they might have done things differently.
I hope the researcher at least warned the villagers privately.
Volume 163, April 2012, Pages 243–247
Deposition of fission and activation products after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident
* Katsumi Shozugawa (a), Corresponding author
* Norio Nogawa (b),
* Motoyuki Matsuo (a)
* a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan
* b Radioisotope Center, The University of Tokyo, 2-11-16 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan
* Received 22 August 2011. Revised 24 December 2011. Accepted 1 January 2012. Available online 20 January 2012.