Faculty Mentor

Dr. Michael Braunstein

Subject Area



Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in March, 2011, various radioactive isotopes were emitted from the plant [Ewing, 2011]. We hypothesized that emissions would bind to particulate matter, which then could be dispersed by wind currents and deposited across the planet. We analyzed an aerosol sample collected with a high volume cascade impactor in the Kittitas Valley of Washington state. NaI(Tl) gamma spectrometry revealed the presence of the isotopes 132Te and 131I, consistent with the type of nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi.


gamma spectrometry, Fukushima Daiichi, radioisotopes