Journal Article Long-distance transport of radioactive plume by nocturnal local winds

Yoshikane, Takao  ,  Yoshimura, Kei  ,  Chang, Eun-Chul  ,  Saya, Akane  ,  Oki, Taikan

6p.36584 , 2016-11-16 , Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
Description
Radioactive plumes can spread far and wide depending on wind conditions. The plumes often frequently reached the Tokyo metropolitan area, which is approximately 200 km away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, under spatially heterogeneous wind fields in March 2011. To reduce exposure to radioactive plumes, the behaviour of the plumes must be known. However, the transport mechanism of radioactive plumes is not fully understood. Using a regional climate model, we show that multiple diurnal cycle processes play a key role in the frequent transport of radioactive plumes to the Tokyo metropolitan area. The observed data and hindcast results indicate that the radioactive plume moves along the local winds, which comprise the northeasterly local wind (NELW) associated with the meso-scale low-pressure system (meso-low) and the northerly sea wind (NSW) during the night. The long-term analysis and sensitivity simulations also show the nocturnal processes that the NELW caused by the meso-low and the NSW are formed east of the Tokyo metropolitan area and from Fukushima offshore east of the Tokyo metropolitan area, respectively, when neither winter monsoons nor extra-tropical cyclones are predominant. These findings indicate that the radioactive plumes could reach faraway places frequently via nocturnal local processes.
UTokyo Research掲載「福島から首都圏へ放射性物質を運んだ風」 URI: http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ja/utokyo-research/research-news/winds-carried-radioactive-materials-from-fukushima-to-tokyo.html
UTokyo Research "Winds carried radioactive materials from Fukushima to Tokyo" URI: http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/utokyo-research/research-news/winds-carried-radioactive-materials-from-fukushima-to-tokyo.html
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