Assessment of potential human health and environmental impacts of a nuclear power plant (NPP) based on atmospheric dispersion modeling



The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) short-range atmospheric dispersion model (AERMOD, v. 12345) is a good candidate for the calculation of offsite radiation doses to the general public, and its advanced capability should provide better confidence in the accuracy of offsite public doses assessment. In this paper the AERMOD code has been used to assess the impact of routine and accidental atmospheric radioactive discharges from a new nuclear power plant (NPP) site in Geregu, Nigeria (7˚ 33ˈ N, 6˚ 41ˈ E) on the four major settlements (Ajakuta, Lokoja, Idah and Okene) that lay within the emergency planning zones of the NPP. The code has produced values of the scaling factors for ground level air concentrations and depositions of radionuclides (from the passing plume) over our areas of interest. The scaling factors have been used to assess the potential radiological impact on the offsite human and non-human biota. While the authorities, an integrated approach to the assessment and management of environmental risks from ionizing radiation (D-ERICA) was adopted for the non-human biota. The results of this work indicate that, under normal operations, the NPP does not pose any significant public health and environmental impacts. However, accidental conditions characterized by precipitation will lead to discernible radiological risks within the NPP sites emergency planning zone.


Nuclear power, risk, environmental effects, AERMOD, ERICA Tool, reference organism.

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