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Saey P.R.J.,Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation | Saey P.R.J.,Vienna University of Technology | Schlosser C.,Institute Atmospharische Radioaktivitat | Achim P.,CEA DAM Ile-de-France | And 17 more authors.
Pure and Applied Geophysics | Year: 2010

Activity concentration data from ambient radioxenon measurements in ground level air, which were carried out in Europe in the framework of the International Noble Gas Experiment (INGE) in support of the development and build-up of a radioxenon monitoring network for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty verification regime are presented and discussed. Six measurement stations provided data from 5 years of measurements performed between 2003 and 2008: Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen, Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Dubna (Russian Federation), Schauinsland Mountain (Germany), Bruyères-le-Châtel and Marseille (both France). The noble gas systems used within the INGE are designed to continuously measure low concentrations of the four radioxenon isotopes which are most relevant for detection of nuclear explosions: 131mXe, 133mXe, 133Xe and 135Xe with a time resolution less than or equal to 24 h and a minimum detectable concentration of 133Xe less than 1 mBq/m3. This European cluster of six stations is particularly interesting because it is highly influenced by a high density of nuclear power reactors and some radiopharmaceutical production facilities. The activity concentrations at the European INGE stations are studied to characterise the influence of civilian releases, to be able to distinguish them from possible nuclear explosions. It was found that the mean activity concentration of the most frequently detected isotope, 133Xe, was 5-20 mBq/m3 within Central Europe where most nuclear installations are situated (Bruyères-le-Châtel and Schauinsland), 1. 4-2. 4 mBq/m3 just outside that region (Stockholm, Dubna and Marseille) and 0. 2 mBq/m3 in the remote polar station of Spitsbergen. No seasonal trends could be observed from the data. Two interesting events have been examined and their source regions have been identified using atmospheric backtracking methods that deploy Lagrangian particle dispersion modelling and inversion techniques. The results are consistent with known releases of a radiopharmaceutical facility. © 2010 Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland.

Plastino W.,Third University of Rome | Plenteda R.,Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation | Azzari G.,Third University of Rome | Becker A.,Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation | And 2 more authors.
Pure and Applied Geophysics | Year: 2010

Understanding radioxenon time series and being able to distinguish anthropogenic from nuclear explosion signals are fundamental issues for the technical verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Every radioxenon event categorisation methodology must take into account the background at each monitoring site to uncover anomalies that may be related to nuclear explosions. Feedback induced by local meteorological patterns on the equipment and on the sampling procedures has been included in the analysis to improve a possible event categorisation scheme. The occurrence probability of radioxenon outliers has been estimated with a time series approach characterising and avoiding the influence of local meteorological patterns. A power spectrum estimator for radioxenon and meteorological time series was selected; the randomness of the radioxenon residual time series has been tested for white noise by Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Ljung-Box tests. This methodological approach was applied to radioxenon data collected at two monitoring sites located at St. John's, Canada and Charlottesville, USA, equipped with two different noble gas systems. It shows different feedback with local meteorological patterns and randomness for the radioxenon data recorded at the selected sites of St. John's and Charlottesville as well as a different occurrence probability of the outliers in the normalized radioxenon original and residual time series. © 2009 Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland.

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