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In the radiological emergency preparedness system Lagrangian Particle Dispersion Models, LPDMs, are often used to track the dispersion of the radioactive material. In this study we have shown the importance of simulating advanced aerosol dynamic processes that are commonly neglected or simplified in these simulations. In 5% of the 23000 simulated cases the decrease of airborne radioactivity concentration differed with more than 60 %-points compared to a simplified approach.
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-669
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-669

  24 Sep 2020

24 Sep 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Aerosol dynamics and dispersion of radioactive particles

Pontus von Schoenberg1,2, Peter Tunved2,3, Håkan Grahn1, Alfred Wiedensohler4, Radovan Krejci2,3, and Niklas Brännström1 Pontus von Schoenberg et al.
  • 1Department of CBRN Defence and Security, The Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI, 90182 Umeå, Sweden
  • 2Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES), Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
  • 3Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, S 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
  • 4Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Germany

Abstract. In an event of a nuclear power plant failure 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 for this study is to analyse the importance of including more advanced aerosol dynamic processes in LPDM simulations for the use in radioactive preparedness. In this investigation, a fictitious NPP failure, commencing with hourly separation for a full year, is studied for three geographically and atmospherically different sites. We conclude that: a) modelling of wet deposition by incorporating an advanced cloud parameterisation is advisable since, it significantly influence simulated levels of airborne activity as well as the formation of hotspots, and b) with advanced cloud parametrisation in the model, the inclusion of full aerosol dynamics can make a difference in single events, especially for formation of hot spots e.g. in 5 % of the simulated cases the decrease of airborne radioactivity concentration differed with more than 60 %-points compared to a simplified version of the model.

Pontus von Schoenberg et al.

 
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Pontus von Schoenberg et al.

Pontus von Schoenberg et al.

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Short summary
In the radiological emergency preparedness system Lagrangian Particle Dispersion Models, LPDMs, are often used to track the dispersion of the radioactive material. In this study we have shown the importance of simulating advanced aerosol dynamic processes that are commonly neglected or simplified in these simulations. In 5% of the 23000 simulated cases the decrease of airborne radioactivity concentration differed with more than 60 %-points compared to a simplified approach.
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