Atmospheric dispersion and impact modeling systems: How are they perceived as support tools for nuclear crises management?
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Need to clarify how efficiently use ADIM data regarding crisis management practices. This paper focuses on the use of Atmospheric Dispersion and Impact Assessment Modeling (ADIAM) in nuclear emergency management. As a complement to field measurements, these tools participate in emergency decision support regarding the assessment of impacted areas and population protection countermeasures. This paper aims to study how this expertise is used during crisis situation and question the notion of "decision support".Semi-structured interviews have been conducted in 2012-2013 with representatives of the French civilian protection community taking part in the emergency response. Analysis is based on a conceptual framework that assesses how individuals and group of individuals make sense and react to a situation in difficult conditions.Results suggest that if ADIAM systems are used as main emergency support tools by scientific organization to assess areas affected by the release and their potential health impact, their use as a support to civilian protection decision makers is still seeking its place regarding current organization and practices. Results suggest that the main challenge in further integration of ADIAM cartographic results to support population protection decisions needs to take into consideration efforts of the nuclear crisis organization to preserve the balance between different stakeholders' expertise. We argue that in this context, ADIAM cartographic results may find their place as a communication support between scientific advisors and decision makers contributing to favor a shared radiological situation assessment.