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Progress in Nuclear Energy
Volume 145, 2022, 104121

Atmospheric dispersion modeling and radiological environmental impact assessment for normal operation of a proposed pressurized water reactor in the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia

Ibrahim Alrammaha, Ismael Mohammed Mohammed Saeedb, M.H.A. Mharebc,d, Mohammed Alotibye

General Directorate of RDI National Planning, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh, 11442, Saudi Arabia.


As a licensing requirement, constructing a new nuclear power plant (NPP) requires performing a radiological environmental impact assessment (REIA) which includes the study of the radioactive releases' effects on the surrounding environment and population. These discharges could be aerial: from chimneys (stacks), evaporation, erosion, re-suspension; or could be liquid discharges: into rivers, lakes, estuaries or coastal waters. This work presents an REIA study for a pressurized water reactor (PWR) assumed to be installed in Umm Huwayd in the Eastern Coast of Saudi Arabia. HYSPLIT tool is utilized to estimate the air concentration and ground deposition of certain released radionuclides such as: 137Cs and 131I. It is also used to analyze the exposure dose's spatial distribution around the nominated site according to direction and distance. The radionuclide dispersion profiles for each of the four weather seasons were examined. The results revealed that the radionuclides dispersion profile is controlled by the weather parameters that varies from season to season. Around the nominated site, Umm Huwayd, the maximum estimated air concentration for 131I radionuclide was 5.6 × 10−6 Bq m−3, and the annual air deposition for 137Cs at the selected site had a peak value of 3.3 × 10−9 Bq m−2.

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