The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has developed software to project radiation levels after cleanup operations in areas contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The software, unveiled at a Fukushima Prefecture-sponsored decontamination workshop on Oct. 31, will be will be released free of charge to local governments, and is expected to help them boost the efficiency of their cleanup operations.
Once a user inputs the necessary information for a given area -- including local geographic features and building types as well as radiation readings taken at ground level or in the air -- the program displays a map of per-hour radiation doses one meter above the ground across that area.
The user can then specify which parts of the area will be decontaminated and the "decontamination coefficient" -- a constant determined by the type of terrain, which affects the ratio of decontamination.
The software will crunch the numbers and deliver a full-color map of projected radiation levels after cleanup.
As long as the local governments know how deep the soil is at a given site and how much cleanup costs per unit of surface area, the software can help them estimate the extent of decontamination needed and how big the bill will be.