385838 The Impact of Radioactive Charging on the Microphysical Evolution and Transport of Radioactive Aerosols

Monday, November 17, 2014
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
Petros Vasilakos, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, Yong-ha Kim, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, Sotira Yiacoumi, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, Costas Tsouris, Energy and Transportation Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, Jeffrey Pierce, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO and Athanasios Nenes, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

In the current study, we focus on the impact of radioactive charging effects on the transport of aerosol in the atmosphere. To that end, a module for the TwO-Moment Aerosol Sectional (TOMAS) microphysics model was developed to account for such effects in a computationally efficient way.

Using a one-dimensional version of the TOMAS model we performed simulations of the deposition of radioactive aerosols coupled with sensitivity analyses in order to gauge the importance of charging on the transport patterns of radioactive aerosols,  Here, we present results for the vertical transport characteristics of aerosols containing 131I and 137Cs, assumed to be released from radioactive sources in cases of radiological events, in an atmospheric column consisting of 5 layers. 

Results indicate that radioactive charging may enhance or suppress coagulation of radioactive aerosols, directly affecting the amount of mass remaining in the atmosphere after a radiological event and leading to greater transport distances. Therefore, omission of radioactive charging effects may introduce uncertainties in the modeling of radioactive aerosol transport.

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