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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-84
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
01 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
The influence of 14CO2 releases from regional nuclear facilities at the Heidelberg 14CO2 sampling site (1986–2014)
Matthias Kuderer, Samuel Hammer, and Ingeborg Levin Institut für Umweltphysik, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, 69120, Germany
Abstract. Atmospheric Δ14CO2 measurements are a well established tool to estimate regional fossil fuel-derived CO2 fluxes. However, emissions from nuclear facilities can significantly alter the regional Δ14CO2 level. In order to accurately quantify the 14CO2 signal, a correction term for anthropogenic sources has to be determined. In this study, the HYSPLIT atmospheric dispersion model has been applied to calculate the correction term for the long-term 14CO2 monitoring site in Heidelberg. Wind fields with a spatial resolution of 2.5° × 2.5°, 1° × 1° and 0.5° × 0.5° show systematic deviations, with coarser resolved wind fields leading to higher mean values for the correction. The mean correction for the period from 1986–2014, if based on the 0.5° × 0.5° wind field, which we assume as the most accurate, is 2.3 ‰ with a standard deviation of 2.1 ‰ and maximum values up to 15.2 ‰. After ceasing operations at the most important 14CO2 source near Heidelberg in 2011, monthly nuclear correction terms decreased to less than 2 ‰, with a mean value of (0.44 ± 0.32) ‰ from 2012 to 2014.
Citation: Kuderer, M., Hammer, S., and Levin, I.: The influence of 14CO2 releases from regional nuclear facilities at the Heidelberg 14CO2 sampling site (1986–2014), Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-84, in review, 2018.
Matthias Kuderer et al.
Matthias Kuderer et al.
Matthias Kuderer et al.

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Short summary
Atmospheric 14CO2 measurements allow estimating the regional fossil fuel CO2 component. However, results potentially need to be corrected for 14CO2 contamination from near-by nuclear facilities (NF). Our dispersion estimates of corresponding contaminations for Heidelberg, based on differently resolved wind fields, show differences of up to a factor of two. Estimates from highly resolved models coupled with temporally resolved 14CO2 emissions from NFs are required for more accurate results.
Atmospheric 14CO2 measurements allow estimating the regional fossil fuel CO2 component. However,...
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