Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
We have studied the sensitivity of health impacts from nuclear reactor accidents, as predicted by the CRAC2 computer code, to the following sources of uncertainty: (1) the model for plume rise, (2) the model for wet deposition, (3) the meteorological bin-sampling procedure for selecting weather sequences with rain, (4) the dose conversion factors for inhalation as affected by uncertainties in the particle size of the carrier aerosol and the clearance rates of radionuclides from the respiratory tract, (5) the weathering half-time for external ground-surface exposure, and (6) the transfer coefficients for terrestrial foodchain pathways. Predicted health impacts usually showed little sensitivity to use of an alternative plume-rise model or a modified rain-bin structure in bin-sampling. Health impacts often were quite sensitive to use of an alternative wet-deposition model in single-trial runs with rain during plume passage, but were less sensitive to the model in bin-sampling runs. Uncertainties in the inhalation dose conversion factors had important effects on early injuries in single-trial runs. Latent cancer fatalities were moderately sensitive to uncertainties in the weathering half-time for ground-surface exposure, but showed little sensitivity to the transfer coefficients for terrestrial foodchain pathways. Sensitivities of CRAC2 predictions to uncertainties in the models and parameters also depended on the magnitude of the source term, and some of the effects on early health effects were comparable to those that were due only to selection of different sets of weather sequences in bin-sampling.
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