Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 24531-24555, 2012
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/12/24531/2012/
doi:10.5194/acpd-12-24531-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Modelling the global atmospheric transport and deposition of radionuclides from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident
T. Christoudias1 and J. Lelieveld1,2
1The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
2Max Planck Institute of Chemistry, Mainz, Germany

Abstract. 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 Stohl et al. (2012) and Chino et al. (2011); 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 land area of 34 000 km2 around the reactors, inhabited by nearly 10 million people, was contaminated by more than 40 kBq m−2. We also estimated the inhalation and 50-yr dose by 137Cs and 131I to which the people in Japan have been exposed.

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. Discuss., 12, 24531-24555, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-24531-2012, 2012.
 
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