Predicting the spread of nuclear radiation from the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
【摘要】：Japan suffered a M9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami on March 11, 2011, which seriously damaged the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and caused a nuclear crisis. The spread of nuclear radiation from the power plant through the atmosphere and ocean was predicted with a short-term climate forecasting model and an ocean circulation model under some idealized assumptions. If nuclear matter were leaked in the near-ground layer of 992 hPa, the climate model results show that the nuclear radiation would cover North America 10 days after the initial leakage, with the concentration at the forefront dramatically reduced to 10 millionths of the initial model concentration at the source. The radiation would span Europe in 15 days and cover much of the Northern Hemisphere in 30 days. If the initial leakage was assumed to occur in the layer 5000-m above the ground, the radiation would cover Europe in 10 days and cover much of the Northern Hemisphere in 15 days. Moreover, under the assumption that the nuclear matter leaked in the 10000-m layer, the radiation would affect much of China after 10 days. The ocean circulation model indicates that the nuclear material would be slowly transported northeast of Fukushima and reach 150°E in 50 days, and the nuclear debris in the ocean would be confined to a narrow band. Compared with the spread in the ocean, the area affected by leaked nuclear radiation in the atmosphere would be very large. Atmospheric monitors in North America and Europe will be helpful for estimating the effect in China of any leaked nuclear material.