Estimation of In-plant Source Term Release Behaviors from Fukushima Daiichi Reactor Cores by Forward Method and Comparison with Reverse Method

  • Kim, Tae-Woon (Risk and Environmental Safety Research Division, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Rhee, Bo-Wook (Thermal Hydraulics and Severe Accident Research Division, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Song, Jin-Ho (Thermal Hydraulics and Severe Accident Research Division, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Kim, Sung-Il (Thermal Hydraulics and Severe Accident Research Division, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Ha, Kwang-Soon (Thermal Hydraulics and Severe Accident Research Division, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
  • Received : 2015.07.17
  • Accepted : 2017.03.16
  • Published : 2017.06.30


Background: The purpose of this paper is to confirm the event timings and the magnitude of fission product aerosol release from the Fukushima accident. Over a few hundreds of technical papers have been published on the environmental impact of Fukushima Daiichi accident since the accident occurred on March 11, 2011. However, most of the research used reverse or inverse method based on the monitoring of activities in the remote places and only few papers attempted to estimate the release of fission products from individual reactor core or from individual spent fuel pool. Severe accident analysis code can be used to estimate the radioactive release from which reactor core and from which radionuclide the peaks in monitoring points can be generated. Materials and Methods: The basic material used for this study are the initial core inventory obtained from the report JAEA-Data/Code 2012-018 and the given accident scenarios provided by Japanese Government or Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in official reports. In this research a forward method using severe accident progression code is used as it might be useful for justifying the results of reverse or inverse method or vice versa. Results and Discussion: The release timing and amounts to the environment are estimated for volatile radioactive fission products such as noble gases, cesium, iodine, and tellurium up to 184 hours (about 7.7 days) after earthquake occurs. The in-plant fission product behaviors and release characteristics to environment are estimated using the severe accident progression analysis code, MELCOR, for Fukushima Daiichi accident. These results are compared with other research results which are summarized in UNSCEAR 2013 Report and other technical papers. Also it may provide the physically based arguments for justifying or suspecting the rationale for the scenarios provided in open literature. Conclusion: The estimated results by MELCOR code simulation of this study indicate that the release amount of volatile fission products to environment from Units 1, 2, and 3 cores is well within the range estimated by the reverse or inverse method, which are summarized in UNSCEAR 2013 report. But this does not necessarily mean that these two approaches are consistent.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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