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An Evaluation of Meteorologic Data Differences Between the Pantex Plant and Amarillo, Texas

Description: Meteorologic data from the Pantex Plant and from the nearby National Weather Service (NWS) station at the Amarillo, Texas, International Airport were evaluated to determine if the NWS data adequately represented meteorologic conditions at the Pantex Plant. Annual site environmental dose calculations for the Pantex Plant have previously used the NWS data; information from this data comparison helped determine if future environmental dose calculations should use site-specific Pantex meteorologic data. The meteorologic data evaluated were wind speed, wind direction, and atmospheric stability class. Atmospheric stability class data were compared for years 1990 and 1991 and found to be very similar. Stability class designations were identical and one class different in 63% and 30%, respectively, of the paired hourly data. An unexpected finding was the preponderance of Class D stability, which occurred approximately 62% of the time in both data sets. The overall effect of meteorological differences between the two locations was evaluated by performing environmental dose assessments using the GENII dose assessment computer code. Acute and chronic releases of {sup 3}H and {sup 239}Pu were evaluated. Results using the NWS Amarillo meteorologic data were approximately one-half of those generated using Pantex meteorologic data. The two-fold difference in dose results is within the uncertainty expected from current dose assessment codes; therefore, the two meteorologic databases can be used interchangeably and prior dose calculation results using the NWS Amarillo data are acceptable.
Date: June 1, 1993
Creator: Snyder, S. F.