Modelling the global atmospheric transport and deposition of radionuclides from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident 1The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
05 Feb 2013
2Max Planck Institute of Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
Received: 24 Aug 2012 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 19 Sep 2012Abstract. We modeled the global atmospheric dispersion and deposition
of radionuclides released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant
accident. The EMAC atmospheric chemistry – general circulation model was
used, with circulation dynamics nudged towards ERA-Interim reanalysis
data. We applied a resolution of approximately 0.5
degrees in latitude and longitude (T255). The model accounts for emissions and
transport of the radioactive isotopes 131I and 137Cs,
and removal processes through precipitation, particle sedimentation and dry
deposition. In addition, we simulated the release of 133Xe, a
noble gas that can be regarded as a passive transport tracer of contaminated
air. The source terms are based on Chino et al. (2011) and Stohl et al. (2012); especially the emission estimates of
131I are associated with a high degree of uncertainty. The
calculated concentrations have been compared to station observations by the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).
We calculated that about 80% of the radioactivity
from Fukushima which was released to the atmosphere deposited into the Pacific Ocean.
In Japan a large inhabited land area
was contaminated by more than 40 kBq m-2.
We also estimated the inhalation and 50-year dose by 137Cs,
134Cs and 131I
to which the people in Japan are exposed.
Revised: 07 Jan 2013 – Accepted: 22 Jan 2013 – Published: 05 Feb 2013
Citation: Christoudias, T. and Lelieveld, J.: Modelling the global atmospheric transport and deposition of radionuclides from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 1425-1438, doi:10.5194/acp-13-1425-2013, 2013.