Researchers have developed a new AI system that can predict where radioactive materials would spread in the event of a nuclear event.

A team of researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo in Japan has reportedly created a new AI system that can accurately predict the spread of nuclear fallout over 30 hours in advance. The technology could have significant benefits in communities located near nuclear power plants to help save lives by limiting the impact of expected fallouts.

“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,” Takao Yoshikane from The University of Tokyo, said in a statement.

“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.”

Radioactive materials are extremely damaging not just to the environment but the health of people as well. During fallout incidents, the only way to keep people safe is to evacuate them immediately. However, preventing people from being exposed to radioactivity is difficult when authorities can’t predict where the nuclear fallout will settle.

The artificial intelligence system developed by the Japanese researchers reportedly takes several factors into consideration when making its predictions like the weather forecast on the expected wind patterns. The system uses machine learning to analyze this wind pattern data and predict the route of the nuclear emissions.

“The fact that the accuracy of this approach did not decrease when predicting over 30 hours into the future is extremely important in disaster scenarios,” Yoshikane went on to say.

“This gives authorities time to arrange evacuation plans in the most badly affected areas, and to issue guidance to people in specific areas about avoiding eating fresh produce and taking potassium iodide, which can limit the absorption of ingested radioactive isotopes by the body.”

Do you think more needs to be done to create a more stable nuclear evacuation protocol for countries that are at risk?

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