Homemade radionuclide concentration maps.

I’ve been sick for a couple weeks, and have been catching up with work and everything else, so I haven’t had much time to post lately.

I had downloaded the Windows HYSPLIT program, and finally got it working. The previous dispersion maps for WIPP posted here were made with the web version, which has fewer options, and only goes out to 72 hours. Now I can make much more useful maps by running it at home on my desktop.

Here is a link to a concentration map for tritium from the Feb. 14 release. It goes for a week after the WIPP event. It is in Google Maps format, so you can zoom in, and interact with it. Try clicking the contour levels at the upper right, to make the various concentration levels appear or disappear. It’s easier to see the city name under the plumes this way.

The kmz file for this map is available here. With this file, you can view it on Google Earth or other GPS visualizer software.

This is different from the prior maps. They were designed for generic pollutants. This one is for tritium specifically, and includes deposition. The Windows HYSPLIT program also has iodine-131 and cesium-137 built-in. It is also possible to define other nuclides like plutonium, by looking up physical parameters from chemistry books.

I am hoping to do this for Fukushima also. I can make Zardoz-type atmospheric dispersion maps now, for 2011, but also for the times of the various criticalities which have been discussed here.

14 thoughts on “Homemade radionuclide concentration maps.

    • Is this Rob McCollough from Kent, Washington (state)??? It would blow me away if you are the same Rob I know. I notice you mentioned the psoriasis problem, and I know the Rob I know had some issues along those lines as well as like bone spurs… anyway, I’m Patrick, and I wanted to say, “Good job, man… Good job!!!”

  1. Thanks, Bobby. This information is super helpful for most of us neophites. It is lovely to have someone looking out for us.

  2. “2. In its modeling analysis of the release, DOE states: “The event took place starting at 2/14/14 at 23:14 and continued to 2/15/14 14:45.”
    (http://www.wipp.energy.gov/Special/Modeling%20Results.pdf). Thus, the release
    lasted for 15.5 hours. The same DOE document states that the peak time of the release was from 10-15 hours after it started (from approximately 10 am to 3 pm on February 15. The same DOE document also states: “A large shift in wind direction can be seen to occur around 8:30 AM on 2/15/14.”


    I need to redo the maps.

    • Miranda, it is a projection of average tritium concentrations up to a week after the WIPP release. It is also a proxy for other radioactive materials, mostly gases, that may have come out.

      Unfortunately, it is now obsolete because it is based on a one-hour radiation release. The release lasted 15.5 hours.

    • The source term is not included. The different colors refer to higher & lower concentrations, relative to each other.

  3. For people living in Texas and other areas what would you suggest they could do to minimize exposure. What would you suggest they do to counteract exposure. Who or what group of experts are best equipped to REMEDY this situation, blocking off plumes, etc.

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