The Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and The Cyprus Institute (CyI) jointly organized a seminar on March 5, 2023, in Doha, Qatar, to share the findings of a joint research project simulating the atmospheric dispersion of radioactivity from hypothetical nuclear power plant accidents in the Middle East. Several nuclear facilities are planned or proposed, and in the last few years are under construction or becoming operational in this region that has unique climatological conditions.
Researchers from The Natural and Environmental Hazards Observatory (NEHO) at QEERI and the Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C) at the Cyprus Institute presented the outcomes of their three year-long collaboration that developed the capability to model and forecast public health and environmental impact in Qatar. The project facilitates development of recommendations for hazard preparedness, and new-found capacity for risk management and accident response at the national strategic level.
A risk assessment of atmospheric deposition and population exposure to radioactivity following hypothetical accidents at nuclear power plants was conducted as part of the project. Detailed simulations showed that in case of a nuclear accident, radionuclides can reach Doha within 20-30 hours, and more than 90% of the ground deposition of condensed radionuclides in Qatar can be expected to occur within 4 days. The relative risk is higher during the cold period of the year by a factor of 2.
Representatives from Qatar’s government and public sectors, including Qatar Civil Defence, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Qatar General Electricity and Water Corp (KAHRAMAA), attended the event to learn about the research and discuss its applications and policy implications with the research team. After a series of technical presentations, stakeholders attended a roundtable discussion.
Spatiotemporal variation of radionuclide dispersion from nuclear power plant accidents using FLEXPART mini-ensemble modeling, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 7719-7739
The objective of our study is to comprehensively assess the timing of radioactive material transportation and deposition, along with the associated population exposure in the designated region. We employed diverse meteorological inputs, emission specifics, and simulation codes, aiming to quantify the level of uncertainty.