New model can track movement of radioactive fall-out after nuclear explosion

Posted By: Staff
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Washington, November 23 (ANI): A scientist has developed models that can track the movement of radioactive fall-out carried by the wind after a nuclear explosion.

The models have been developed by Adam Wachtor - a student who worked with physicist Fernando Grinstein at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, US.

Wachtor's wind models track the aftermath of a plume of hot gas released by a small, one-ton device in a typical urban setting at a three-meter resolution.

Current models use wind direction and wind speed to draw a predicted cone-shape area of fall-out.

Wachtor's results show that these models are too simple in some ways.

For instance, they do not include the complex dynamics of wind movements around buildings, which can concentrate fall-out preferentially in certain areas.

They also indicate that small changes in the location of the blast and the temperature of the plume released can have a large effect on the contamination patterns.

The simulation is part of a larger coordinated effort between DHS (FEMA), the National Laboratories, DTRA, NRL, and private contractors, each of which has concentrated on a different piece of the project.

Other studies have shown that, depending on the situation, buildings can provide some degree of shielding from the radiation.

The hope of the researchers collaborating in this effort is to eventually provide practical information to guide first responders.

"We're preparing for (a possible) crisis," said Grinstein. (ANI)

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