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On the approximations underpinning fast nuclear cloud models

by Matthew J Krupcale, Pablo D Moresco, Vincent J Jodoin
Publication Type
ORNL Report
Publication Date

Fast nuclear cloud models have been used for many decades to predict cloud rise and growth following a nuclear detonation for both emergency response and debris collections mission planning. We present derivations and discussions of the approximations made by such fast nuclear cloud models in common use. In particular, the models we discuss all fundamentally rely on an empirical entrainment parameter to inexpensively model the cloud rise and growth of a buoyant bubble due to entrainment of an ambient air mass on its surface. We show the particular circumstances under which these models are equivalent as well as apply a virtual mass correction throughout them. Aside from some minor differences in representation and the use of the Boussinesq approximation, these models are all very similar and necessitate the specification of an entrainment parameter to accurately determine the cloud rise.