Coordination group for nuclear emergency response activities

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Vienna, Austria, 31 October - 4 November 2011

CBS/CG-NERA/Doc. 7(2)


Agenda item: 7

Original: ENGLISH

Revision of WMO Technical Document 778

(Submitted by Masami Sakamoto)

Summary and purpose of document

This document is a proposal to revise WMO-TD/No.778 entitled “DOCUMENTATION ON RSMC SUPPORT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE”, which includes some inappropriate descriptions.

Action Proposed

The meeting is invited to discuss a revision of WMO-TD/No.778. The items proposed here include;

  1. The regulation on the 12 hourly update of the standard product (2.4) should be removed, if it is not useful.

  2. A discrepancy among WMO-TD 778 (2.2.2, and 4.1) and the GDPFS Manual (WMO no.485 Appendix II-7 1.(c)) regarding the default start release time requires an appropriate correction.

The meeting would adopt the revision if appropriate.

Annex: - A complete set of revised version of WMO-TD 778 Section 1 to 4.

  • …….

References: - WMO-TD/No.778.

  • GDPFS manual (WMO no.485)

WMO Technical Document No. 778 entitled “DOCUMENTATION ON RSMC SUPPORT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE” provides regulations and procedures regarding the Emergency Response Activities (ERA), and is an essential document not only for the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and the Regional Telecommunication Hub (RTH) but also for all users: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the National Meteorological Services. Services provided by the WMO RSMCs for ERA are basically based on the regulation presented in the document and the procedures of the services are described in it. Since the 24 and 48 deposition charts are added to the standard products and the minimum values for concentration and deposition were set in last meeting in Beijing, the meeting has to prepare a revision of WMO TD-778. Here are other items the meeting has to take into consideration, one of which came from the real time operation experience in RA-II this year.

  1. Removal of the 12 hourly update regulation

On the occasion of the major event of Fukushima in 2011, the RA-II centres of WMO (RSMC Beijing, Obninsk, and Tokyo) presented their operational standard products according to the regulations described in WMO no.485, WMO TD 778, and the request letters from IAEA. In the course of the 3 month service, the WMO secretariat and IAEA/IEC suggested that there was no need to update the products without requests from IAEA, while WMO TD-778 has a term:

WMO TD-778 Section 2:

“ 2.4 The Atmospheric Transport Model outputs will be updated and provided when significant new event-related information becomes available. As long as the emergency situation prevails (following IAEA confirmation), the models will be re-run with new meteorological data every 12 hours (00 UTC and 12 UTC data).”

When the 12 hourly update of the products described above is unnecessary, the term should be removed. This revision will prevent confusion among related organizations in WMO and will provide clearer understanding on the procedure in ERA.

  1. Revision of Section 2, which contradicts Section 4 and the GDPFS manual

As pointed out in the meeting in Beijing in May 2010, WMO TD-778 has a discrepancy between sections 2 and 4 on the default start release time.

WMO TD-778 Section 2:

“ If the information on the time of the release is unknown or uncertain, a default time for the release will be used (00 UTC or 12 UTC) and the date, both to be established through direct consultation among RSMC(s) (see Section 4).”

WMO TD-778 Section 4:

“ (c) Starting date/time: date/time specified at «START OF RELEASE» on request form or, if not available, then the «Date/Time of Request» specified at the top of the request form;”

Since the description in Section 4 is consistent with the description in Appendix II-7 of the GDPFS manual (WMO no. 485) below, Section 2 should be revised so that the all description would become in consistence.
WMO no. 485 Appendix II-7 1.

“(c) Starting date/time: date/time specified at “START OF RELEASE” on request form or, if not available, then the “date/time of request” specified at the top of the request form;”.

  1. Conclusion

Deposition charts by 24 and 48 hours are added to the standard products, and the minimum values for concentration and deposition were decided in last meeting. Therefore, a revision of WMO TD-778 is needed to provide information on the formal procedures for ERA to all concerned. WMO TD-778 contains other errors; for instance only two RMSCs are expected in each region (in Section 4) while there are three centres in RA-II since they started in 1997. Also word errors and spelling errors are found (e.g. “second per cubic meter“ used should be replaced with “Becquerel per cubic meter“ at 3.5.2).

As for Sections 1 to 4, WMO TD-778 should be replaced with the revised version proposed (Annex) after the discussion at the meeting, since the version provides all correction necessary.

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