Modeling Study of the Atmospheric Transport of Radioactivity Released into the Air as a Result of Forest Fires in the Exclusion Zone in April 2020

M. M. Таlerko, Т. D. Lev, I. V. Коvalets, Yu. V. Yatsenko

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

Institute of Mathematical Machines and Systems Problems, NAS of Ukraine,
42, Academician Glushkov ave, Kyiv, 03187, Ukraine



In April 2020, the largest forest fire occurred in the Chornobyl Exclusion zone in its history. The results of modeling the atmospheric transport of radioactive aerosols raised into the atmosphere as a result of fires in forest and grass areas in the Exclusion zone, as well as in radioactively contaminated forests outside it in Kyiv and Zhytomyr regions are presented in the paper. To assess the consequences of forest fires, a set of models of lifting, atmospheric transport and deposition of radionuclides on the underlying surface LEDI, developed at the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, was used. Calculations of the dynamics of the 137Cs activity concentration field in the surface air on a regional scale (in Ukraine) and on a local scale (within the Exclusion zone) were performed. According to the simulation results, the maximum values of the 137Cs activity in the surface air of Kyiv in some periods during April 4−20 could reach 2−4 mBq/m3, and the integral value of 137Cs activity in the air of Kyiv for the whole period was about 450 mBq⋅s/m3. The obtained results are generally consistent with the data of measurements of radioactive contamination of the nearground air in Kyiv and areas of the nuclear power plants in Ukraine. The analysis of the consistency of the simulation results with the data of measurements of the 137Cs activity concentration in the air in the Exclusion zone was performed. The main ways to improve the methodology for assessing the consequences of forest fires by modeling the atmospheric transport of radionuclides are identified.

Keywords: wildland fires, resuspension, radionuclide, atmospheric transport, modeling, air volume activity, Exclusion zone.


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