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The nuclear legacy today of fukushima

Abstract

© 2020 Annual Reviews Inc.. All rights reserved. The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) following the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent tsunami in March 2011 changed people's perceptions regarding nuclear power generation in Japan and worldwide. The failure to prevent the accident and the response to it had an enormous impact specifically on the communities close to the site but also across Japan and globally. In this review, I discuss radiation detection technologies, their use and limits in the immediate assessment and response, and improvements since then. In particular, I examine recent developments in radiation detection and imaging systems that, in combination with the enormous advances in computer vision, provide new means to detect, map, and visualize radiation using manned and unmanned deployment platforms. In addition to smarter and more adaptable technologies to prevent and minimize the impact of such events, an important outcome of this accident is the need for informed and resilient citizens who are empowered by knowledge and technologies to make rational decisions. The accident at FDNPS leaves a legacy concerning the importance of historical information, technologies, and resilience as well as challenges regarding powerful technologies that can provide substantial benefits to human society but that are also associated with risks of which we must be aware.

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