Aerosol dynamics and dispersion of radioactive particles.

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From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 6)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 337 words

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Abstract :

In the event of a failure of a nuclear power plant with release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, dispersion modelling is used to understand how the released radioactivity is spread. For the dispersion of particles, Lagrangian particle dispersion models (LPDMs) are commonly used, in which model particles, representing the released material, are transported through the atmosphere. These model particles are usually inert and undergo only first-order processes such as dry deposition and simplified wet deposition along the path through the atmosphere. Aerosol dynamic processes including coagulation, condensational growth, chemical interactions, formation of new particles and interaction with new aerosol sources are usually neglected in such models. The objective of this study is to analyse the impact of these advanced aerosol dynamic processes if they were to be included in LPDM simulations for use in radioactive preparedness. In this investigation, a fictitious failure of a nuclear power plant is studied for three geographically and atmospherically different sites. The incident was simulated with a Lagrangian single-trajectory box model with a new simulation for each hour throughout a year to capture seasonal variability of meteorology and variation in the ambient aerosol. (a) We conclude that modelling of wet deposition by incorporating an advanced cloud parameterization is advisable, since it significantly influence simulated levels of airborne and deposited activity including radioactive hotspots, and (b) we show that inclusion of detailed ambient-aerosol dynamics can play a large role in the model result in simulations that adopt a more detailed representation of aerosol-cloud interactions. The results highlight a potential necessity for implementation of more detailed representation of general aerosol dynamic processes into LPDMs in order to cover the full range of possible environmental characteristics that can apply during a release of radionuclides into the atmosphere.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A657068302