Current Status and Future Prospects

Based on the success in the field test on city buses in Fukushima City, the region of this field test has been extended to other major cities in Fukushima Prefecture since January 2013, i.e., Koriyama City, Iwaki City and Aizuwakamatsu City. Five KURAMA-II in-vehicle units are deployed for this test, and the results are

Fig. 7.7 Results of field tests on city buses are released to the public on a weekly basis. Averaged data are shown in every one-eighth grid square defined by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications

summarized and released to the public from the website [8] on a weekly basis (Fig. 7.7). In Fukushima City, around 30 additional KURAMA-II units will soon be deployed for minute mapping as well as the follow-up survey of distribution of air dose rate over the course of time.

The autonomous operation feature of KURAMA-II enables extended measurements of air dose rate with less effort. MEXT conducted a carborne survey for a month in March 2012 in which 100 KURAMA-II were leased to municipalities in eastern Japan [9]. KURAMA-II were placed in sedan cars of municipalities and the cars were driven around by ordinary staff members of the municipalities who did not have special training in radiation measurement. The survey was successful and proved the performance and scalability of the KURAMA-II system. Now this survey is conducted periodically by MEXT and the nuclear regulatory agency (NSR), which is the successor of the radiation monitoring of the present incident (Fig. 7.8). CompactRIO is designed for applications in harsh environments and limited space. Therefore, KURAMA-II can be used for other than carborne surveys (Fig. 7.9). For example, KURAMA-II is loaded on a motorcycle: this is intended not only for attachment to motorcycles used for mail delivery, but also for monitoring in regions where conventional cars cannot be driven, such as the narrow paths between rice fields or those through forests. Also, KURAMA-II with a DGPS unit is about to be used for precise mapping by walking in rice fields, orchards, parks,

and playgrounds in Fukushima Prefecture.

Fig. 7.8 Map of air dose rates on roads measured by KURAMA-II in periodic survey conducted by NSR between August and October 2012 [10]

Fig. 7.9 KURAMA-II for bicycle survey (left and middle) and walking survey (right). All are the basically the same hardware and software configuration with different installations. In the case of the walking survey, the existing GPS part is replaced with DGPS for better precision of positioning the measurements

Acknowledgments The author is grateful to Dr. Mizuno, Mr. Abe, Mr. Koyama, and staff members of the KURAMA operation team at the Fukushima prefectural government for the continuous support for field tests of KURAMA in Fukushima. The author thanks Dr. Ito of ICR, Kyoto University, Prof. Maeno of Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, and staff members of the KURAMA field test team of RRI, Kyoto University for their contribution to the test operation in Fukushima. The development of KURAMA-II is adopted by “Japan recovery grant program” from National Instruments Japan. Field tests of KURAMA-II on city buses are supported by Fukushima Kotsu Co. Ltd., Shin Joban Kotsu Co. Ltd., and Aizu Noriai Jidosha Co. Ltd. The author is indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Takahashi and the staff members at Matsushimaya Inn, Fukushima, for their heartwarming hospitality during the activities in Fukushima regardless of their severe circumstances resulting from the earthquake and the following nuclear accident.

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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