Fast analysis of radionuclide decay chain migration

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Jui-Sheng Chen, National Central University, Jhongli City, Taoyua County, Taiwan, Ching-ping Liang, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, Chen-Wuing Liu, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan and Loretta Li, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
A novel tool for rapidly predicting the long-term plume behavior of an arbitrary length radionuclide decay chain is presented in this study. This fast tool is achieved based on generalized analytical solutions in compact format derived for a set of two-dimensional advection-dispersion equations coupled with sequential first-order decay reactions in groundwater system. The performance of the developed tool is evaluated by a numerical model using a Laplace transform finite difference scheme. The results of performance evaluation indicate that the developed model is robust and accurate. The developed model is then used to fast understand the transport behavior of a four-member radionuclide decay chain. Results show that the plume extents and concentration levels of any target radionuclide are very sensitive to longitudinal, transverse dispersion, decay rate constant and retardation factor. The developed model are useful tools for rapidly assessing the ecological and environmental impact of the accidental radionuclide releases such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster where multiple radionuclides leaked through the reactor, subsequently contaminating the local groundwater and ocean seawater in the vicinity of the nuclear plant.