Comida: A Radionuclide Food Chain Model for Acute Fallout Deposition

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A dynamic food chain model and computer code, named “COMIDA”, has been developed to estimate radionuclide concentrations in agricultural food products following an acute fallout event. COMIDA estimates yearly harvest concentrations for five human crop types (Bq kg −1 crop per Bq m −2 deposited) and integrated concentrations for four animal products (Bq d kg −1 animal product per Bq m −2) for a unit deposition that occurs on any user-specified day of the year. COMIDA is structurally very similar to the PATHWAY model and includes the same seasonal transport processes and discrete events for soil and vegetation compartments. Animal product assimilation is modeled using simpler equilibrium models. Differential transport and ingrowth of up to three radioactive progeny are also evaluated. Benchmark results between COMIDA and PATHWAY for monthly fallout events show very similar seasonal agreement for integrated concentrations in milk and beef. Benchmark results between COMIDA and four international steady-state models show good agreement for deposition events that occur during the middle of the growing season. COMIDA will be implemented in the new Department of Energy version of the MELCOR Accident Consequence Code System for evaluation of accidental releases from nuclear power plants.

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