Application of FRP (Fire Radiative Power) to Estimate the Emission of Radionuclides into the Atmosphere due to Forest Fires in the Exclusion Zone in April 2020

M. M. Таlerko

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



A method is proposed for assessing the activity of radionuclides released into the atmosphere during forest and meadow fires in radioactively contaminated areas, based on using satellite measurement data of the fire radiative power (FRP), as well as data on the radionuclide deposition density in the fire area and the value of the emission factor Cr of the activity of aerosol particles formed during fires. The method was applied for forest fires in the Exclusion Zone in April 2020. The used FRP values were obtained from MOD14 (Terra) / MYD14 (Aqua) for MODIS Collection 6, VIIRS (S-NPP) I Band 375 m and VIIRS (NOAA-20/JPSS-1) I Band 375 m AF products of the Fire Information for Resource Management System (NASA). A comparative analysis of the data of these satellites showed that the spatio-temporal dynamics of the spread of fire areas in the Exclusion Zone is better reproduced by the results of VIIRS radiometer measurements. Using the satellite data, calculations of fire radiative energy (FRE) were made taking into account the daily course of aerosol emission intensity. Preliminary estimates of the Cr value were obtained as 9.5 ⋅ 10-4 m2 /MJ for 137Cs. These results should be considered as preliminary estimates now. In the general case, the emission factor for radioactive aerosols Cr should depend on the geographical region, type of vegetation and land use in the fire area. Its value may be clarified both by the results of retrospective studies of forest fires in recent years in radioactively contaminated areas, and by specially conducted experiments (in particular, measurements of the specific activity of aerosol particles formed during fires). The proposed method enables operational assessments and prediction of the consequences of forest fires, including model assessments of the atmospheric transport of radioactive aerosols and assessments of exposure doses to the personnel of the Exclusion Zone and the population outside it using online computer-based decision support systems for protecting people from the effects of radioactive contamination of the environment.

Keywords: forest fires, resuspension, radionuclides, atmospheric transport, modeling, volumetric air activity, Exclusion Zone, satellite monitoring of fires.


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