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Artificial intelligence (AI) can show where radioactive fallout would spread

In Case of a Nuclear Emergency, This New AI Shows Where Radioactive Fallout Will Spread   Head upwind. Science Alert, DAVID NIELD 4 JUL 2018

One of the areas where artificial intelligence really excels is in working out scenarios with a huge number of complex variables – like how radiation might spread after an accident at a nuclear power plant.

This is the focus of a new AI system developed in Japan, and it’s showing us more accurately than ever before where the safest (and most dangerous) points could be following a meltdown. Spoiler: stay upwind.

While it’s obviously better if nuclear plants don’t fail in the first place, knowing which way the fallout will travel can be crucial in organising emergency responses and keeping people safe. It can quite literally save lives – and a lot of them.

The new AI, developed by a team from the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo, is able to factor in accident variables and prevailing weather patterns to work out where the threat of radiation could be worst, up to 33 hours in advance.

“Our new tool was first trained using years of weather-related data to predict where radioactivity would be distributed if it were released from a particular point,” says one of the team, Takao Yoshikane.

“In subsequent testing, it could predict the direction of dispersion with at least 85 percent accuracy, with this rising to 95 percent in winter when there are more predictable weather patterns.”

You can see the model in action below:

……..The new prediction model can provide useful information about which areas will be worst affected and need evacuating, and which areas have a lower risk – in these areas the residents might just get warnings about being careful what they eat and drink.

With the high temperatures associated with nuclear disaster, radioactive material can travel up to 2,000 metres (6,562 feet) into the air, the scientists report – reaching winds in the upper troposphere that can spread fallout all across the world.

At the lowest level, sea breezes and mountain valley winds can spread fallout locally. All these variables need to be accounted for to get a model that works………


July 6, 2018 - Posted by | Japan, technology

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