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Atmospheric Dispersion Characteristics of Radioactive Materials according to the Local Weather and Emission Conditions

  • An, Hye Yeon (Division of Earth Environmental System, Pusan National University) ;
  • Kang, Yoon-Hee (The Institute of Environmental Studies, Pusan National University) ;
  • Song, Sang-Keun (Department of Earth and Marine Sciences, Jeju National University) ;
  • Kim, Yoo-Keun (Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Pusan National University)
  • Received : 2016.04.19
  • Accepted : 2016.09.05
  • Published : 2016.12.31

Abstract

Background: This study evaluated the atmospheric dispersion of radioactive material according to local weather conditions and emission conditions. Materials and Methods: Local weather conditions were defined as 8 patterns that frequently occur around the Kori Nuclear Power Plant and emission conditions were defined as 6 patterns from a combination of emission rates and the total number of particles of the $^{137}Cs$, using the WRF/HYSPLIT modeling system. Results and Discussion: The highest mean concentration of $^{137}Cs$ occurred at 0900 LST under the ME4_1 (main wind direction: SSW, daily average wind speed: $2.8ms^{-1}$), with a wide region of its high concentration due to the continuous wind changes between 0000 and 0900 LST; under the ME3 (NE, $4.1ms^{-1}$), the highest mean concentration of $^{137}Cs$ occurred at 1500 and 2100 LST with a narrow dispersion along a strong northeasterly wind. In the case of ME4_4 (S, $2.7ms^{-1}$), the highest mean concentration of $^{137}Cs$ occurred at 0300 LST because $^{137}Cs$ stayed around the KNPP under low wind speed and low boundary layer height. As for the emission conditions, EM1_3 and EM2_3 that had the maximum total number of particles showed the widest dispersion of $^{137}Cs$, while its highest mean concentration was estimated under the EM1_1 considering the relatively narrow dispersion and high emission rate. Conclusion: This study showed that even though an area may be located within the same radius around the Kori Nuclear Power Plant, the distribution and levels of $^{137}Cs$ concentration vary according to the change in time and space of weather conditions (the altitude of the atmospheric boundary layer, the horizontal and vertical distribution of the local winds, and the precipitation levels), the topography of the regions where $^{137}Cs$ is dispersed, the emission rate of $^{137}Cs$, and the number of emitted particles.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Pusan National University

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