Characterizing the Detectability of Atmospheric Emission Signals

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Robert L. Buckley, Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC; and D. W. Werth

Handout (4.0 MB)

In this work, the detectability of radioemission sources is characterized at various locations surrounding the Sea of Japan, including a nuclear test site within North Korea. A high-resolution meteorological model coupled to a dispersion model was used to simulate plume dynamics for several periods throughout the year. In addition to the test site in North Korea, a number of potential radioxenon sources were considered in South Korea, Japan, and eastern China. A measure of airborne plume mixing (the area overlap ratio) was calculated for each source. While emissions from several known sources in this area tend to blend with others while dispersing downwind, the North Korean plume often remained relatively distinct, thereby making it potentially easier to unambiguously ‘backtrack' it to its source.