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1 NRC Meteorologists Role in Support of the Headquarters Operations Center During an International Event Kevin Quinlan Physical Scientist, NRO U.S. Nuclear.

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Presentation on theme: "1 NRC Meteorologists Role in Support of the Headquarters Operations Center During an International Event Kevin Quinlan Physical Scientist, NRO U.S. Nuclear."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 NRC Meteorologists Role in Support of the Headquarters Operations Center During an International Event Kevin Quinlan Physical Scientist, NRO U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission June , 2011 Oak Brook, IL Nuclear Utility Meteorological Data Users Group (NUMUG)

2 Purpose of Presentation To explain the typical role of an NRC Meteorologist in the Headquarters Operations Center (HOC). To describe the unique challenges of the meteorologists while supporting an international event. 2

3 Outline of Presentation Typical role of an NRC Meteorologists in the HOC Summary of Events in Japan Initiation of Meteorological Support Unique Challenges of International Support Creating and Verifying Weather Forecasts Determining Wind Speed and Direction at time of Large Releases 3

4 Typical Role of HOC Meteorologist Gather available meteorological observations and forecast data Update RASCAL file with most up-to-date forecast and observation data Provide short and long-term forecasts to the Protective Measures Team (PMT) lead Evaluate the presence or absence of local meteorological phenomenon 4

5 Location of Events and Information Sources 5 Fukushima City Sendai Fukushima Dai-ichi Fukushima Dai-ni Onahama Tokyo

6 Summary of Events Friday March 11 2:36 pm local Magnitude 9.0 earthquake 231 miles northeast of Tokyo. Quake is fifth largest in the world (since 1900). Earthquake generated a 14m Tsunami Earthquake Automatic Shutdown of the 3 Operating Units at Fukushima Dai-ichi Offsite Power Lost Initial indications were that Emergency Diesels operated 14m Tsunami (less than 1 hour later) All Emergency Back-up Power Lost 8-10 hours later Station Batteries Depleted 6

7 7 Initiation of Support by NRC HOC The U.S. NRC Headquarters Operations Center (HOC) was activated to provide 24 hour support to the American Embassy in Japan and American citizens and servicemen in the region. Within the HOC organization, the NRC Meteorologists support the PMT, whose role is to advise the Executive Team (ET) on –the potential consequences of an event –the status of protective actions underway –any conditions that might impede necessary protective actions

8 Unique Challenges of International Support Determining availability of near real-time onsite met data Identify offsite sources of met data Familiarization of foreign country on-line data resources Familiarization with local and regional topographic settings Language barriers and time zone conversions Determining operating status of nearby observation stations Establish international agency contacts through liaisons 8

9 9 Initial Sources of Observation Data Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) hourly recording stations in Sendai, Onahama, and Fukushima City Source: Adapted from Japan Meteorological Agency Sendai Onahama Fukushima Dai-ichi Fukushima City

10 10 Initial Sources of Observation Data (Cont.) Hourly Observations for Sendai Meteorological Observatory Source: Japan Meteorological Agency

11 11 Initial Sources of Forecast Data Short-term forecasts from the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC) –5 km resolution Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) model simulations initialized from Global Forecast System (GFS) data. 45-km resolution GFS output JMA forecasts for Sendai, Onahama, and Fukushima City Forecast and observation websites –Weather Underground, Weather Channel, Wind Finder

12 Updating Forecasts Received forecast from NARAC every 6 – 12 hours Compared hourly WRF output against other available sources for consistency Updated RASCAL file to add new forecast data Created visual forecast tools (e.g., wind roses, directional arrows) 12

13 13 Example of Visual Forecast Tool

14 Long Range Forecast Tools 14 Daily forecast from JMA (Above). Hourly forecast from Wind Finder based off GFS (Right). 45-km GFS output from Wind Finder (Below).

15 Onsite Data from Fukushima Dai-ni 15 Wind Dir  Wind Speed  Note: Observations typically in 10-minute intervals Source: Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)

16 16 Onsite Data from Fukushima Dai-ni vs. NARAC WRF output (March 16-24) Wind Direction

17 17 Onsite Data from Fukushima Dai-ni vs. NARAC WRF output (March 16-24) Wind Speed

18 Large Release Events 18 Source of Radiation Data: TEPCO

19 Aerial Monitoring Flight Data 19 Source:

20 Determining Wind Speed and Direction at time of Large Releases NRC Meteorologists asked to determine the wind speed and direction during the timeframe of the largest releases. Gap in RASCAL meteorological data file between 3/13/11 at 1000 JST and 3/14/11 at 1700 JST (total of 31 hours) NRC staff used available hourly data from Weather Underground for Sendai to fill in part of the gap. 20

21 21 NWSENNWSEN

22 22

23 Summary of Meteorologist Support Presented with a variety of challenges outside of normal responsibilities –Determining functioning observation sites –Determining availability of onsite met data –Language barriers –Working with HOC international liaisons to answer inquiries Supported PMT Lead and Dose Analysts with current forecasts and recent historical data Collected, graphed, and analyzed radiation and meteorological data from multiple sources 23

24 Summary (Cont.) Meteorologists role in support of HOC was just one of many moving parts. Many sources of public information were provided by government entities. NRC is committed to a systematic and methodical review of Fukushima events and response. 24

25 Thank You! Questions? 25

26 Online Resources Weather Underground Weather Channel Wind Finder Japan Meteorological Agency DOE Blog TEPCO 26


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