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Project PREPARE: Innovative integrative tools and platforms to be prepared for radiological emergencies and post-accident response in Europe

Project details

A collaborative project within FP7-EURATOM-FISSION.

Main goals:
  • Update of emergency management and rehabilitation strategies and expertise in Europe with respect to lessons learnt from the Fukushima nuclear accident (review existing operational procedures in dealing with long lasting releases, address the cross border problematic in monitoring and safety of goods).
  • Further development of still missing functionalities in decision support systems (DSSs) and improvement of existing ones (improved source term estimation and dispersion modelling, inclusion of hydrological pathways for European water bodies).

Duration: 1 Feb 2013 - 31 Jan 2016 (36 months)

More information:

The role of Dept. of Meteorology and Geophysics

Allocated researchers: Involvement in work packages:
  • WP4: Extension of atmospheric dispersion and consequence modelling in DSSs
    • WP4.4: Source term estimation based on measurements and atmospheric dispersion modelling
    • WP4.5: Extension / update of existing DSSs in the area of atmospheric dispersion on the basis of recent experiences and technological advances

Related literature

This list is not intended to give a complete review of source inversion methods in atmospheric dispersion modelling. Its purpose is to present a brief review of the state-of-art methods applied to radioactive releases and thus provide an introduction to the project's topic and goals. All references are tagged with color badges identifying the main highlights of respective papers: atmospheric dispersion model measured data methodology estimated quantities notes. The list is in chronological order with most recent first. Papers of our WP partners are tagged by a special badge partner.

  1. G. Katata, M. Chino, T. Kobayashi, H. Terada, M. Ota, H. Nagai, M. Kajino, R. Draxler, M. C. Hort, A. Malo, T. Torii & Y. Sanada, Detailed source term estimation of the atmospheric release for the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident by coupling simulations of atmospheric dispersion model with improved deposition scheme and oceanic dispersion model, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions 14, 14725-14832 (2014)  [Overview]
    WSPEEDI-II oceanic dispersion model SEA-GEARN-FDM air dose rates, concentrations, and sea surface depo Fukushima accident 131I, 137Cs

  2. A. Ganesan, M. Rigby, A. Zammit-Mangion, A. Manning, R. Prinn, P. Fraser, C. Harth, K.-R. Kim, P. Krummel, S. Li & others, Characterization of uncertainties in atmospheric trace gas inversions using hierarchical Bayesian methods, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 14, 3855-3864 (2014)  [Overview]  [Download]
    NAME tracer exp. AGAGE (SF6) hierarchical Bayes, MCMC

  3. V. Winiarek, M. Bocquet, N. Duhanyan, Y. Roustan, O. Saunier & A. Mathieu, Estimation of the caesium-137 source term from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant using a consistent joint assimilation of air concentration and deposition observations , Atmospheric Environment 82, 268 - 279 (2014)  [Overview]
    Eulerian dispersion models Polair3D concentration, daily and cumulative deposition estimation of hyperparameters of error statistics using MLE

  4. V. Šmídl & R. Hofman, Efficient Sequential Monte Carlo Sampling for Continuous Monitoring of a Radiation Situation, Technometrics, accepted, published online (2013)  [Overview]
    Gaussian puff model synthetic gamma dose (rate) measurements Bayesian inference efficient particle filter, 41Ar partner

  5. O. Saunier, A. Mathieu, D. Didier, M. Tombette, D. Quélo, V. Winiarek & M. Bocquet, An inverse modeling method to assess the source term of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident using gamma dose rate observations, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13, 11403-11421 (2013)  [Overview]  [Download]
    Eulerian model ldX gamma dose rate measurements, Fukushima accident variational approach source emission rate and isotopic composition (131I, 132I, 132Te, 133Xe, 134Cs, 136Cs, 137Cs, 137mBa)

  6. A. Stohl, P. Seibert, G. Wotawa, D. Arnold, J. Burkhart, S. Eckhardt, C. Tapia, A. Vargas & T. Yasunari, Xenon-133 and caesium-137 releases into the atmosphere from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: determination of the source term, atmospheric dispersion, and deposition, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12, 2313-2343 (2012)  [Overview] [Download]
    Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART concentration and deposition measurements, Fukushima accident variational approach source emission rate (133Xe, 137Cs), release height partner

  7. V. Tsiouri, S. Andronopoulos, I. Kovalets, L. L. Dyer & J. G. Bartzis, Radiation source rate estimation through data assimilation of gamma dose rate measurements for operational nuclear emergency response systems, International Journal of Environment and Pollution 50, 386-395 (2012)  [Overview]
    DIPCOT gamma dose rates variational approach ANSTO Sydney routine emissions, 41Ar partner

  8. V. Tsiouri, I. Kovalets, S. Andronopoulos & J. Bartzis, Emission rate estimation through data assimilation of gamma dose measurements in a Lagrangian atmospheric dispersion model, Radiation Protection Dosimetry 148, 34-44 (2012)  [Overview]
    DIPCOT gamma dose rates variational approach Mol tracer experiment, 41Ar partner

  9. V. Smidl & R. Hofman, Tracking of atmospheric release of pollution using unmanned aerial vehicles, Atmospheric Environment 67, 425-436 (2012)  [Overview]
    Gaussian puff model synthetic gamma dose (rate) measurements particle filering source emission rate (41Ar), wind field biases sequential on-line estimation, radiation monitoring network complemented by UAVs partner

  10. V. Winiarek, J. Vira, M. Bocquet, M. Sofiev & O. Saunier, Towards the operational estimation of a radiological plume using data assimilation after a radiological accidental atmospheric release, Atmospheric Environment 45, 2944-2955 (2011)  [Overview]
    Eulerian dispersion models Polair3D and SILAM synthetic activity concentrations measurements variational approach source emission rate sequential semi-automatic source inversion method

  11. I. V. Kovalets, V. Tsiouri, S. Andronopoulos & J. G. Bartzis, Improvement of source and wind field input of atmospheric dispersion model by assimilation of concentration measurements: Method and applications in idealized settings, Applied Mathematical Modelling 33, 3511-3521 (2009)  [Overview]
    Gaussian puff model synthetic concentration measurements variational approach source emission rate, wind field biases partner

  12. L. Delle Monache, J. K. Lundquist, B. Kosovic, G. Johannesson, K. M. Dyer, R. D. Aines, F. K. Chow, R. D. Belles, W. G. Hanley, S. C. Larsen & others, Bayesian inference and Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling to reconstruct a contaminant source on a continental scale, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 47, 2600-2613 (2008)  [Overview]
    Lagrangian particle dispersion model LODI concentration measurements, Algeciras accidental release Makov chain Monte Carlo source location and emission rate (137Cs)

  13. X. Davoine, M. Bocquet & others, Inverse modelling-based reconstruction of the Chernobyl source term available for long-range transport, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 7, 1549-1564 (2007)  [Overview] [Download]
    Eulerian model Polair3D activity concentration measurements, Chernobyl accident maximum entropy method source emission rate (131I, 134Cs, 137Cs) adjoint model

  14. D. Zheng, J. Leung, B. Lee & H. Lam, Data assimilation in the atmospheric dispersion model for nuclear accident assessments, Atmospheric environment 41, 2438-2446 (2007)  [Overview]
    Lagrangian particle dispersion model synthetic gamma dose rate measurements ensemble Kalman filtering source emission rate, turbulence intensity

  15. H.-J. Jeong, E.-H. Kim, K.-S. Suh, W.-T. Hwang, M.-H. Han & H.-K. Lee, Determination of the source rate released into the environment from a nuclear power plant, Radiation protection dosimetry 113, 308-313 (2005)  [Overview]
    Gaussian plume model concentration measurements, Yeoung-Kwang NPP tracer experiment least squares method source emission rate

  16. P. Astrup, C. Turcanu, R. Puch, C. R. Palma & T. Mikkelsen, Data assimilation in the early phase: Kalman filtering RIMPUFF, Riso National Laboratory report Riso-R-1466(EN), (2004)  [Download]
    Gaussian puff model RIMPUFF synthetic gamma dose rate measurements extended Kalman filter puffs' inventory (source emission rate) and positions RODOS

  17. M. Drews, B. Lauritzen, H. Madsen & J. Q. Smith, Kalman filtration of radiation monitoring data from atmospheric dispersion of radioactive materials, Radiation protection dosimetry 111, 257-269 (2004)  [Overview]
    Gaussian plume model gamma dose rate measuremts, Mol tracer experiment Kalman filtering, maximum-likelihood estimation source emission rate (41Ar), release height, wind speed and direction on-line monitoring

  18. T. Duranova, J. Bohunova, L. Bohun, J. Duran & M. Stubna, Source term estimation based on gamma dose rates measured by on-line on-site monitoring network, RODOS report RODOS(WG5)-TN(98)-01, (1999)  [Download]
    Gaussian puff model, Lagrangian particle dispersion model synthetic gamma dose rate measurements bootstrap method source term on-line monitoring partner


  1. R. Hofman, P. Seibert & A. Philipp: Inverse Modeling of April 2013 Radioxenon Detections, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2014, Vienna, Austria, 27 April – 02 May 2014 [Download].
  2. R. Hofman & P. Seibert Analysis of the April 2013 radioxenon detections based on formal inverse modelling, CTBTO Atmospheric Transport Modelling Workshop, Stockholm, Sweden, 23 – 25 Sep 2014 [Download].
  3. R. Hofman & P. Seibert Application of formal inverse modeling to April 2013 radioxenon detections: Methodology, CTBTO Atmospheric Transport Modelling Workshop, Stockholm, Sweden, 23 – 25 Sep 2014 [Download].
  4. R. Hofman, P. Seibert, I. Kovalets & S. Andronopoulos Analytical source term optimization for radioactive releases with approximate knowledge of nuclide ratios, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015, Vienna, Austria, 12 – 17 Apr 2015 [Download].

Test cases

Page with test cases for testing and validation of source inversion methods developed within the project can be found here.

Related links

PREPARE official web site

NERIS Platform ("The mission of the NERIS Platform is to establish a forum for dialogue and methodological development between all European organisations and associations taking part in decision making of protective actions in nuclear and radiological emergencies and recovery in Europe.")

FLEXPART ("FLEXible PARTicle dispersion model") is a Lagrangian model suitable for the simulation of a large range of atmospheric transport processes. Applications range from the dispersion of radionuclides or air pollutants, over the establishment of flow climatologies, to the analysis of Earth’s water cycle. FLEXPART also produces output suitable for inverse determination of emission sources, e.g., of greenhouse gases or volcanic ash.

flexRISK The project flexRISK studies the geographical distribution of the risk due to severe accidents in nuclear facilities, especially nuclear power plants in Europe.

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