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Title: Incorporating radioactive decay into charging and coagulation of multicomponent radioactive aerosols

Compositional changes by the decay of radionuclides in radioactive aerosols can influence their charging state, coagulation frequency and size distribution throughout their atmospheric lifetime. The importance of such effects is unknown as they have not been considered in microphysical and global radioactivity transport studies to date. Here, we explore the effects of compositional changes on the charging efficiency and coagulation rates of aerosols using a set of kinetic equations that couple all relevant processes (decay, charging and coagulation) and their evolution over time. Compared to a coupled aggregation-tracer model for the prediction of the radioactive composition of particulates undergoing coagulation, our kinetic approach can provide similar results using much less central processing unit time. Altogether with other considerations, our approach is computational efficient enough to allow implementation in 3D atmospheric transport models. The decay of radionuclides and the production of decay products within radioactive aerosols may significantly affect the aerosol charging rates, and either hinder or promote the coagulation of multicomponent radioactive aerosols. Our results suggest that radiological phenomena occurring within radioactive aerosols, as well as subsequent effects on aerosol microphysics, should be considered in regional and global models to more accurately predict radioactivity transport in the atmosphere in casemore » of a nuclear plant accident.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  2. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Foundation for Research and Technology, Patras (Greece). Inst. of Chemical Engineering Sciences; National Observatory of Athens (Greece). Inst. for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development
  3. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). School of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Aerosol Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8502
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; multicomponent radioactive aerosols; radioactive decay; aerosol charging; gaussian charge distributions; aerosol coagulation; radioactivity transport; nuclear plant accidents
OSTI Identifier: