Comparison of Average Transport and Dispersion Among a Gaussian Model, a Two-Dimensional Model and a Three-Dimensional Model

  • J. A. Mitchell
  • Charles Molenkamp
  • Nathan E. Bixler
  • Charles W. Morrow
  • James V. RamsdellJr.
Conference paper


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) code for predicting off-site consequences, MACCS2[1] (MELCOR Accident Consequence Code System, Version 2), is used for Level 3 Probabilistic Risk Analysis Consequence analyses, planning for emergencies, and cost-benefit analyses. It uses a simplified model for atmospheric transport and dispersion (ATD), that is, a straight-line Gaussian model. This model has been criticized as being overly simplistic, even for its purpose. The justification for its use has been that only average or expected values of metrics of interest are needed for planning and that a simplified model, by averaging metrics of interest obtained using numerous weather sequences one-by-one, compensates for the loss of structure in the meteorology that occurs away from the point of release. The simple model has been retained because of the desire to have short running times on personal computers covering the entire path through the environment, including the food and water pathway, and covering essentially a lifetime of exposure to a contaminated environment.


Stability Class Nuclear Regulatory Commission Southern Great Plain Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Radio Acoustic Sound System 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Mitchell
    • 1
  • Charles Molenkamp
    • 2
  • Nathan E. Bixler
    • 3
  • Charles W. Morrow
    • 3
  • James V. RamsdellJr.
    • 4
  1. 1.U.S. Nuclear Regulatory CommissionUSA
  2. 2.Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA
  3. 3.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoriesRichlandUSA

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