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Journal Articles Atmospheric Environment Year : 2009

Targeting of observations for accidental atmospheric release monitoring


In the event of an accidental atmospheric release of radionuclides from a nuclear power plant, accurate real-time forecasting of the activity concentrations of radionuclides is acutely required by the decision makers for the preparation of adequate countermeasures. Yet, the accuracy of the forecasted plume is highly dependent on the source term estimation. Inverse modelling and data assimilation techniques should help in that respect. However the plume can locally be thin and could avoid a significant part of the radiological monitoring network surrounding the plant. Deploying mobile measuring stations following the accident could help to improve the source term estimation. In this paper, a method is proposed for the sequential reconstruction of the plume, by coupling a sequential data assimilation algorithm based on inverse modelling with an observation targeting strategy. The targeting design strategy consists in seeking the optimal locations of the mobile monitors at time t + 1 based on all available observations up to time t. The performance of the sequential assimilation with and without targeting of observations has been assessed in a realistic framework. It focuses on the Bugey nuclear power plant (France) and its surroundings within 50 km from the plant. The existing surveillance network is used and realistic observational errors are assumed. The targeting scheme leads to a better estimation of the source term as well as the activity concentrations in the domain. The mobile stations tend to be deployed along plume contours, where activity concentration gradients are important. It is shown that the information carried by the targeted observations is very significant, as compared to the information content of fixed observations. A simple test on the impact of model error from meteorology shows that the targeting strategy is still very useful in a more uncertain context.

Dates and versions

inria-00567404 , version 1 (21-02-2011)



Rachid Abida, Marc Bocquet. Targeting of observations for accidental atmospheric release monitoring. Atmospheric Environment, 2009, 43 (40), pp.6312--6327. ⟨10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.09.029⟩. ⟨inria-00567404⟩
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