Environmental Modeling & Assessment

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 457–477 | Cite as

Three-dimensional Modelling of Radionuclides Dispersion in a Marine Environment with Application to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Case

  • Vito BacchiEmail author
  • Pablo Tassi


In this work, we present the implementation, verification and validation of a three-dimensional model able to reproduce the propagation of \(^{137}C_{s}\) radionuclide in coastal waters and its interaction with suspended sediments, in the framework of the open-source TELEMAC-MASCARET modelling system. The validation of the model was realized by comparing numerical results with field measurements of radionuclides concentration in the Japan Sea nearby the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant (NPP). The developed model uses as external forcing the data available immediately after or during the accident, as, e.g. weather conditions (wind, pressure, temperature) and/or the harmonic components of tides. In contrast with previous models implemented in the study area, the model presented here is limited to the coastal area near Fukushima and refined in the coastal area close to the NPP. Numerical results show that the model is able to reproduce the propagation and diffusion of the released \(^{137}C_{s}\) in the vicinity of the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP. Consequently, we show that the numerical results obtained with a small-scale model with a simple forcing are consistent, at a coastal scale, with models which employed a general circulation model based on data assimilation techniques or variation method for hydrodynamics. Therefore, this model could be employed in an emergency situation, when the dissolved radioactivity is considered.


Radionuclides Sediment transport Fukushima Forecasting model Decay behaviour Tracers 



The authors are very grateful to Prof. R. Periáñez, for suggestions and for kindly providing data from the MODARIA programme. The present work benefited from the input of Dr. Agnès Leroy, Mr. Yoann Audouin and Mr. Davide Boscia, who provided valuable technical assistance. The authors wish to thank Dr. Françoise Siclet for her advice during the early steps of the research summarized here.

Funding Information

This study was supported by the French ANR-Amorad project and performed through a collaboration between the Electricité de France (EDF) and the Saint-Venant Hydraulics Laboratory.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety – IRSNFontenay-aux-RosesFrance
  2. 2.Electricity of France – EDF R&DLaboratory for Hydraulics Saint-VenantChatouFrance

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