Parametrization of homogeneous forested areas and effect on simulated dose rates near a nuclear research reactor

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  • KUL - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

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One of the major uncertainties in dispersion-based simulations at the local scale is the representation of terrain effects. The aim of the current study is to quantify this type of uncertainty for dose-rate predictions over a homogeneous forest cover. At the Belgian reactor BR1, situated in a forested environment, ambient gamma-doserate data from routine Ar-41 releases are available in the first 300 m from the release point. We develop a forest parameterization that meets the site-specific needs, and integrate it in different dispersion models. Using different terrain-roughness parameterizations, we compare three types of models: a dispersion model driven by a Langevin equation, an advection-diffusion model, and a Gaussian plume model as a special case of the latter one. We find that all models are biased up to a factor of four, partly due to an uncertain source strength. The dose-rate uncertainty due to the model choice is a factor of 2.2 for a stack release and a factor of 14 for a ground release.


Original languageEnglish
Article number106445
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Atmospheric dispersion, Dose rate, Particle model, Homogeneous forest, Terrain roughness, Model uncertainty

ID: 7044141