International challenge to model the long-range transport of radioxenonreleased from medical isotope production to six Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty monitoring stations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Christian Maurer
  • Jonathan Baré
  • Jolanta Kusmierczyk-Michulec
  • Alice Crawford
  • Paul W. Eslinger
  • Petra Seibert
  • Blake Orr
  • Anne Philippe
  • Ole Ross
  • Sylvia Generoso
  • Pascal Achim
  • Michael Schoeppner
  • Alain Malo
  • Anders Ringbom
  • Olivier Saunier
  • Denis Quèlo
  • Anne Mathieu
  • Yuichi Kijima
  • Ariel F. Stein
  • Tianfeng Chai
  • Fong Ngan
  • Susan J. Leadbetter
  • ZAMG - Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Air Resources Laboratory, College Park, MD, USA
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
  • ARPANSA - Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Yallambie, Miranda
  • University of Vienna
  • BGR - Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
  • CEA - Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique, Arpajon
  • RSMC Montreal - Meteorological Service of Canada
  • FOI - Swedisch Defense Research Agency - Division of Defense and Security
  • IRSN - Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety - Institut Radioprotection Sûreté Nucléaire
  • JAEA - Japan Atomic Energy Agency
  • Met. Office
  • CTBTO - Comprehensive nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

Documents & links


After performing afirst multi-model exercise in 2015 a comprehensive and technically more demanding at-mospheric transport modelling challenge was organized in 2016. Release data were provided by the AustralianNuclear Science and Technology Organization radiopharmaceutical facility in Sydney (Australia) for a onemonth period. Measured samples for the same time frame were gathered from six International MonitoringSystem stations in the Southern Hemisphere with distances to the source ranging between 680 (Melbourne) andabout 17,000 km (Tristan da Cunha). Participants were prompted to work with unit emissions in pre-definedemission intervals (daily, half-daily, 3-hourly and hourly emission segment lengths) and in order to perform ablind test actual emission values were not provided to them. Despite the quite different settings of the twoatmospheric transport modelling challenges there is common evidence that for long-range atmospheric transportusing temporally highly resolved emissions and highly space-resolved meteorological inputfields has no sig-nificant advantage compared to using lower resolved ones. As well an uncertainty of up to 20% in the daily stackemission data turns out to be acceptable for the purpose of a study like this. Model performance at individualstations is quite diverse depending largely on successfully capturing boundary layer processes. No single model-meteorology combination performs best for all stations. Moreover, the stations statistics do not depend on thedistance between the source and the individual stations. Finally, it became more evident how future exercises


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-686
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2018


  • Atmospheric transport modelling, Nuclear explosion monitoring, Medical isotope production, Radioxenon background, Model inter-comparison and evaluation

ID: 5247784