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Title: Surface charge accumulation of particles containing radionuclides in open air

Radioactivity can induce charge accumulation on radioactive particles. But, electrostatic interactions caused by radioactivity are typically neglected in transport modeling of radioactive plumes because it is assumed that ionizing radiation leads to charge neutralization. The assumption that electrostatic interactions caused by radioactivity are negligible is evaluated here by examining charge accumulation and neutralization on particles containing radionuclides in open air. Moreover, a charge-balance model is employed to predict charge accumulation on radioactive particles. It is shown that particles containing short-lived radionuclides can be charged with multiple elementary charges through radioactive decay. The presence of radioactive particles can significantly modify the particle charge distribution in open air and yield an asymmetric bimodal charge distribution, suggesting that strong electrostatic particle interactions may occur during short- and long-range transport of radioactive particles. Possible effects of transported radioactive particles on electrical properties of the local atmosphere are reported. Our study offers insight into transport characteristics of airborne radionuclides. Results are useful in atmospheric transport modeling of radioactive plumes.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
  2. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1185667
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 143; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0265-931X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS