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Special Symposium on the Transport and Diffusion of Contaminants from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant: Present Status and Future Directions

      March 11, 2013 will be the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in the northeast (Tohoku) regions of Japan. The Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, located in the disaster area, released large quantities of radioactive materials into the environment. The Japanese government has been trying to identify the contaminated areas by taking soil samples. The findings will be used to cleanup the contaminants so that, in some areas, people will be able to return to their hometowns. Other areas may be designated as permanent evacuation zones.

      The Japanese emergency response model, SPEEDI (System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information), and other numerical prediction models were used to simulate the deposition of radiation materials. The simulated distributions of contamination were compared with measurements. In general the results were in agreement with observations, but differed in some ways. More measurements and analyses will be available in the future to help reconcile the differences.

      The AMS Committee on Meteorological Aspects of Air Pollution and the Meteorological Society of Japan (MSJ) will jointly present a one-day specialty symposium to review the present status and identify the role of meteorology for the analysis of the transport and diffusion of contaminants from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The symposium will be held on Sunday, January 6, 2013 in conjunction with the AMS annual meeting in Austin, TX. Dr. Hiroaki Kondo, from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and also with MSJ, is organizing the Japanese delegates to report on the current status and future directions in Japan. Speakers from the U.S. NOAA, DOE, and NCAR will be discussing atmospheric plume and marine debris modeling efforts and national emergency response preparedness.

      Topics will include, but not be limited to, source term estimation, transport and diffusion, dry and wet deposition, re-suspension, transport and diffusion of debris in the ocean, effects of soil contamination on crops, and evacuation strategies. Speakers in these sessions will be invited by the symposium organizers. The meeting should provide useful information to, not only meteorologists, but also to researchers in the medical and agricultural communities.

       For additional information please contact the symposium co-chairs, Ted Yamada (yamada@ysasoft.com) or Hiroaki Kondo (kondo-hrk@aist.go.jp).