Comparison of gridded versus observation data to initialize ARAC dispersion models for the Algeciras, Spain steel mill CS-137 release

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On May 30, 1998 scrap metal containing radioactive Cesium-137 (Cs-137) was accidentally melted in a furnace at the Acerinox steel mill in Algeciras, Spain. Cs-137 was released from the mill's smokestack, and spread across the western Mediterranean Sea to France and Italy and beyond. The first indication of the release was radiation levels up to 1000 times background reported by Swiss, French, and Italian authorities during the following two weeks. Initially no elevated radiation levels were detected over Spain. A release of hazardous material to the atmosphere is the type of situation the Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability (ARAC) emergency response ... continued below

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94 Kilobytes pages

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Aluzzi, F J; Pace, J C; Pobanz, B M & Vogt, P J May 28, 1999.

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On May 30, 1998 scrap metal containing radioactive Cesium-137 (Cs-137) was accidentally melted in a furnace at the Acerinox steel mill in Algeciras, Spain. Cs-137 was released from the mill's smokestack, and spread across the western Mediterranean Sea to France and Italy and beyond. The first indication of the release was radiation levels up to 1000 times background reported by Swiss, French, and Italian authorities during the following two weeks. Initially no elevated radiation levels were detected over Spain. A release of hazardous material to the atmosphere is the type of situation the Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability (ARAC) emergency response organization was designed to address. The amount and exact time of the release were unknown, though the incident was thought to have taken place during the last week in May. Using air concentration measurements supplied by colleagues of ARAC in Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Russia and the European Union, ARAC meteorologists estimated the magnitude and timing of the release (Vogt, 1999). Correctly locating the downwind footprint is the most important goal of emergency response modeling. In this study, we compare predicted results for the Algeciras event based on four wind data sources: (1) US Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) data alone, (2) surface and upper air observations alone, (3) NOGAPS data together with surface and upper air observations, and (4) forecasts from ARAC's in-house execution of the U.S. Navy Operational Regional Atmospheric Prediction System (NORAPS) (without surface or upper air observations). We compare the resulting dispersion predictions from ARAC's diagnostic dispersion modeling system to the measurements supplied by our European colleagues to determine which data source produced the best results.

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94 Kilobytes pages

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  • American Nuclear Society 7th Topical Meeting on Emergency Preparedness and Response, Santa Fe, NM (US), 09/14/1999--09/17/1999

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JC-131200
  • Report No.: DP0402061
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 14328
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc624915

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  • May 28, 1999

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • May 5, 2016, 9:08 p.m.

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Aluzzi, F J; Pace, J C; Pobanz, B M & Vogt, P J. Comparison of gridded versus observation data to initialize ARAC dispersion models for the Algeciras, Spain steel mill CS-137 release, article, May 28, 1999; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc624915/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.