Uncertainty quantification of atmospheric transport and dispersion modelling using ensembles for CTBT verification applications

Pieter De Meutter, Andy Delcloo

    Research outputpeer-review


    Airborne concentrations of specific radioactive xenon isotopes (referred to as “radioxenon”) are monitored globally as part of the verification regime of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, as these could be the signatures of a nuclear explosion. However, civilian nuclear facilities emit a regulated amount of radioxenon that can interfere with the very sensitive monitoring network. One approach to deal with this civilian background of radioxenon for Treaty verification purposes, is to explicitly simulate the expected radioxenon concentration from civilian sources at monitoring stations using atmospheric transport modelling. However, atmospheric transport modelling is prone to uncertainty, and the absence of an uncertainty quantification can limit its use for detection screening. In this paper, several ensembles are assessed that could provide an atmospheric transport modelling uncertainty quantification. These ensembles are validated with radioxenon observations, and recommendations are given for atmospheric transport modelling uncertainty quantification. Finally, the added value of an ensemble for detection screening is illustrated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106918
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
    StatePublished - Sep 2022

    Cite this