"ORNL-5528." "Dist. Categories UC-11, UC-41, UC-79p." "Health and Safety Research Division." "Date published: November 1979." "Operated by Union Carbide Corporation for the United States Department of Energy." Includes bibliographical references (pages 42-47). Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Contract Number: W-7405-ENG-26
A description is given of the capabilities of several models to predict accurately either pollutant concentrations in environmental media or radiological dose to human organs. The models are discussed in three sections: aquatic or surface water transport models, atmospheric transport models, and terrestrial and aquatic food chain models. Using data published primarily by model users, model predictions are compared to observations. This procedure is infeasible for food chain models and, therefore, the uncertainty embodied in the models input parameters, rather than the model output, is estimated. Aquatic transport models are divided into one-dimensional, longitudinal-vertical, and longitudinal-horizontal models. Several conclusions were made about the ability of the Gaussian plume atmospheric dispersion model to predict accurately downwind air concentrations from releases under several sets of conditions. It is concluded that no validation study has been conducted to test the predictions of either aquatic or terrestrial food chain models. Using the aquatic pathway from water to fish to an adult for p137sCs as an example, a 95% one-tailed confidence limit interval for the predicted exposure is calculated by examining the distributions of the input parameters. Such an interval is found to be 16 times the value of the median exposure. A similar one-tailed limit for the air-grass-cow-milk-thyroid for p131sI and infants was 5.6 times the median dose. Of the three model types discussed in this report, the aquatic transport models appear to do the best job of predicting observed concentrations. However, this conclusion is based on many fewer aquatic validation data than were availaable for atmospheric model validation. (JGB).