Radioactive Aerosols in the Near Zone of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 2018

V. K. Shynkarenko, М. М. Talerko, V. A. Kashpur, G. G. Skorjak, О. A. Svуrуd

Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants, NAS of Ukraine,
12, Lysogirska st, Kyiv, 03028, Ukraine

DOI: doi.org/10.31717/2311-8253.20.1.7

Abstract

The construction of a new safe confinement (NSC) is one of the main stages in transforming the 4th power unit of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) into an environmentally safe system designed to ensure safety of personnel, population and environment. In addition to the task of isolating the 4th power unit from the environment, the construction of the NSC should enable safe work with residues of the 4th unit, while the project allows quite high levels of volumetric activity of radioactive aerosols inside the NSC – up to 210 Bq/m3 in total beta activity. The purpose of the work is to study the dynamics of the aerosol situation in the near zone of the Chornobyl NPP under the influence of the NSC during 2018. Data on the contamination with radioactive aerosols of the near-surface atmosphere in the near zone of the Chornobyl NPP after the construction of the arch of the NSC are presented. Despite a relatively high specific activity of the air under the NSC roof as a result of building and construction works, there is a decrease in the level of contamination of the surface air layer in the adjacent territory, not only compared to the level during the construction of the “Arch” object, but also to levels preceding the start of construction. The absence of reliable correlations between the 137Cs volumetric activities in the air inside and outside the NSC indicates the absence of a significant effect of the outside transport of radioactive aerosol from the “Arch” on the radio-aerosol situation in the near zone of the NSC. A correlation analysis of volumetric air activity measurement data outside the “Arch” facility and meteorological parameters indicates a significant contribution of radioactive depositions in the adjacent territories into the formation of radioactive aerosols and the leading role of wind resuspension as a mechanism for the input of radioactive aerosols into the near-ground atmospheric layer of the near Chornobyl NPP zone. An algorithm for wind directions ranking is proposed, which enables to identify the preferred directions of the arrival of radioactive aerosols to each of 4 air samplers in the near Chornobyl NPP zone. The analysis made it possible to identify and explain the differences in the mechanisms of formation of aerosol air contamination at the locations of the samplers.

Keywords: Shelter object, new safe confinement, 137Cs volumetric activity in air, hot particles, correlation an

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Published
2020-02-29

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