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DSSS: Model-Based Decision Support Systems for Environmental Emergency Management: Post-Chernobyl and Fukushima Case Studies

More Information:  Mark Zheleznyak is an environmental modeling and software executive, who holds a Ph.D. in Computational Fluid Mechanics from the Taras Shevchenko National University in Kiev.  Since 1986, he has conducted research in environmental modeling with applications for assessing the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and other environmental problems. He has over 20 years of teaching experience as a lecturer at the Kiev National University and supervisor of Ph.D. students.  Mark also contributes to the Ukrainian Center of Environmental and Water Projects as Director of Research and Development, and has headed the working groups of several IAEA and EU projects, including the project on prediction of exposure doses following the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident in Japan.  In 2004, Mark was awarded the Ukrainian State Prize in Science and Technology, the country’s highest honor, for his work on computerized systems for decision support in the effort to mitigate the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. In 2006, he received the President of Ukraine Medal “For Merits,” Level III.


The 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP), Ukraine, caused a significant radioactive contamination of the Dnieper River basin, and, in particular, the Pripyat River watershed.  The ChNPP is situated approximately 30 km from the confluence of the Pripyat River with the Kiev Reservoir of the Dnieper River.  137Cs and 90Sr radioactive contamination of the floodplain territory in the vicinity of the ChNPP and the surrounding watersheds (includingthose in Russia and Belarus) have caused radioactive contamination of the water supply andagricultural products. Radionuclides have migrated into the Kiev Reservoir, and, consequently,downstream along the cascade of six Dnieper reservoirs toward the Black Sea.

In this presentation, the author will provide an overview of the results of long-term monitoringand modeling of radioactive contamination in the Dnieper River, including the spatial and temporaldistribution of 137Cs and 90Sr in water and bottom sediments, and an evaluation of the physical–chemical parameters of these radionuclides.  He will also discuss the results from numerical simulations of radionuclide transport along the cascade of the Dnieper River Reservoirs.  These simulations were conducted using 1D, 2D and 3D models (developed at IMMS) of aquatic radionuclide transport, as part of the real-time online decision support system for modeling offsite nuclear emergency—RODOS (  As a case study, the author will analyze the results from the environmental risk assessment of the radionuclide dispersion in surface water and groundwater, along with the health risks of the Chernobyl accident.

Upon the request of the European Commission (March 2011), the RODOS system was modified to make operational predictions of radionuclide concentrations in the air, fallout density on the surface, and radionuclide concentration in marine water and marine biota, as well as to assess the exposure doses for the population within the area affected by the Fukushima NuclearPower Plant accident, Japan.  As another case study, the author will demonstrate the results of simulations, using the RODOS system, of the consequences of the post-Fukushima accident, including the atmospheric fallout and marine radionuclide transport.

The author will also briefly present the results from numerical simulations of environmental emergencies caused by coastal inundation and erosion triggered by storm surges, as well as river flooding under current and changing climate conditions.  Finally, the author will summarize the current needs for improving modeling and monitoring of flow and radioactive transport, especially for environmental emergency management and remediation of soil, surface water, and groundwater.