Creating a 3D Contamination Map of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Site

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) successfully developed a way to 3D scan and visualise the radiation data from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster by combining a Compton camera, radiation meter and Kaarta Stencil 2 mobile mapping system.

The Fukushima disaster in 2011 was the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl accident in 1986. All three reactor units had core meltdowns resulting from loss of coolant and generator failure to run the pumps. There were breaches, hydrogen explosions and other incidents. Since then there have been ongoing efforts to decontaminate the three nuclear reactors located at the site. This decommissioning work is anticipated to last for decades.

In the decommissioning work, it is critical to understand radiation distribution to effectively reduce radiation exposure and decontaminate the area. Contaminated areas must be identified in three-dimensions to accurately understand the distribution. The main problem is that conventional methods such as radiation meters or gamma cameras provide only point or surface measurements. It is very difficult to understand pollution distribution in three dimensions from such discrete measurements due to measurement time required and low data density.

Read more in GIM International article.

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