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Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents: what has changed in the use of atmospheric dispersion modeling?

Abstract : The threat of a major accidental or deliberate event that would lead to hazardous materials emission in the atmosphere is a great cause of concern to societies. This is due to the potential large scale of casualties and damages that could result from the release of explosive, flammable or toxic gases from industrial plants or transport accidents, radioactive material from nuclear power plants (NPPs), and chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) terrorist attacks. In order to respond efficiently to such events, emergency services and authorities resort to appropriate planning and organizational patterns. This paper focuses on the use of atmospheric dispersion modeling (ADM) as a support tool for emergency planning and response, to assess the propagation of the hazardous cloud and thereby, take adequate counter measures. This paper intends to illustrate the noticeable evolution in the operational use of ADM tools over 25 y and especially in emergency situations. This study is based on data available in scientific publications and exemplified using the two most severe nuclear accidents: Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011). It appears that during the Chernobyl accident, ADM were used few days after the beginning of the accident mainly in a diagnosis approach trying to reconstruct what happened, whereas 25 y later, ADM was also used during the first days and weeks of the Fukushima accident to anticipate the potentially threatened areas. We argue that the recent developments in ADM tools play an increasing role in emergencies and crises management, by supporting stakeholders in anticipating, monitoring and assessing post-event damages. However, despite technological evolutions, its prognostic and diagnostic use in emergency situations still arise many issues.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 9:21:22 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:31:18 PM



Yasmine Benamrane, Jean-Luc Wybo, Patrick Armand. Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents: what has changed in the use of atmospheric dispersion modeling?. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Elsevier, 2013, 126, pp.239-252. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvrad.2013.07.009⟩. ⟨hal-00868034⟩



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