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[en] The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) has recently questioned the appropriate value for tritium deposition velocity used in the MELCOR Accident Consequence Code System Ver. 2 (Chanin and Young 1998) code when estimating bounding dose (95th percentile) for safety analysis (DNFSB 2011). The purpose of this paper is to provide appropriate, defensible values of the tritium deposition velocity for use in Savannah River Site (SRS) safety analyses. To accomplish this, consideration must be given to the re-emission of tritium after deposition. Approximately 85% of the surface area of the SRS is forested. The majority of the forests are pine plantations, 68%. The remaining forest area is 6% mixed pine and hardwood and 26% swamp hardwood. Most of the path from potential release points to the site boundary is through forested land. A search of published studies indicate daylight, tritiated water (HTO) vapor deposition velocities in forest vegetation can range from 0.07 to 2.8 cm/s. Analysis of the results of studies done on an SRS pine plantation and climatological data from the SRS meteorological network indicate that the average deposition velocity during daylight periods is around 0.42 cm/s. The minimum deposition velocity was determined to be about 0.1 cm/s, which is the recommended bounding value. Deposition velocity and residence time (half-life) of HTO in vegetation are related by the leaf area and leaf water volume in the forest. For the characteristics of the pine plantation at SRS the residence time corresponding to the average, daylight deposition velocity is 0.4 hours. The residence time corresponding to the night-time deposition velocity of 0.1 cm/s is around 2 hours. A simple dispersion model which accounts for deposition and re-emission of HTO vapor was used to evaluate the impact on exposure to the maximally exposed offsite individual (MOI) at the SRS boundary (Viner 2012). Under conditions that produce the bounding, 95th percentile MOI exposure, i.e., low wind speed, weak turbulence, night, low deposition velocity, the effect of deposition and re-emission on MOI exposure was found to be very small. The exposure over the two hour period following arrival of the plume was found to be decreased by less than 0.05 %. Furthermore the sensitivity to deposition velocity was low. Increasing deposition velocity to 0.5 cm/s reduced exposure to 0.3 %. After a 24 hour period, an MOI would have been exposed to all of the released material. Based on the low sensitivity of MOI exposure to the value of deposition velocity when re-emission is considered, it is appropriately conservative to use a 0.0 cm/s effective deposition velocity for safety analysis in the MACCS2 code.
[en] This report documents the results of examining the deposition velocity of water to forests, the residence time of HTO in forests, and the relation between deposition velocity and residence time with specific consideration given to the topography and experimental work performed at SRS. A simple mechanistic model is used to obtain plausible deposition velocity and residence time values where experimental data are not available and recommendations are made for practical application in a safety analysis model
[en] A 2-D dispersion model was developed to address how airborne plumes interact with the forest at Savannah River Site. Parameters describing turbulence and mixing of the atmosphere within and just above the forest were estimated using measurements of water vapor or carbon dioxide concentration made at the Aiken AmeriFlux tower for a range of stability and seasonal conditions. Stability periods when the greatest amount of mixing of an airborne plume into the forest were found for 1) very unstable environments, when atmospheric turbulence is usually at a maximum, and 2) very stable environments, when the plume concentration at the forest top is at a maximum and small amounts of turbulent mixing can move a substantial portion of the plume into the forest. Plume interactions with the forest during stable periods are of particular importance because these conditions are usually considered the worst-case scenario for downwind effects from a plume. The pattern of plume mixing into the forest was similar during the year except during summer when the amount of plume mixed into the forest was nearly negligible for all but stable periods. If the model results indicating increased deposition into the forest during stable conditions can be confirmed, it would allow for a reduction in the limitations that restrict facility operations while maintaining conservative estimates for downwind effects. Continuing work is planned to confirm these results as well as estimate specific deposition velocity values for use in toolbox models used in regulatory roles.
[en] Ensemble modeling (EM), the creation of multiple atmospheric simulations for a given time period, has become an essential tool for characterizing uncertainties in model predictions. We explore two novel ensemble modeling techniques: (1) perturbation of model parameters (Adaptive Programming, AP), and (2) data assimilation (Ensemble Kalman Filter, EnKF). The current research is an extension to work from last year and examines transport on a small spatial scale (<100 km) in complex terrain, for more rigorous testing of the ensemble technique. Two different release cases were studied, a coastal release (SF6) and an inland release (Freon) which consisted of two release times. Observations of tracer concentration and meteorology are used to judge the ensemble results. In addition, adaptive grid techniques have been developed to reduce required computing resources for transport calculations. Using a 20- member ensemble, the standard approach generated downwind transport that was quantitatively good for both releases; however, the EnKF method produced additional improvement for the coastal release where the spatial and temporal differences due to interior valley heating lead to the inland movement of the plume. The AP technique showed improvements for both release cases, with more improvement shown in the inland release. This research demonstrated that transport accuracy can be improved when models are adapted to a particular location/time or when important local data is assimilated into the simulation and enhances SRNL's capability in atmospheric transport modeling in support of its current customer base and local site missions, as well as our ability to attract new customers within the intelligence community.