Infoscience

Conference paper

The Fukushima Inverse Problem

Knowing what amount of radioactive material was released from Fukushima in March 2011 and at what time instants is crucial to assess the risk, the pollution, and to understand the scope of the consequences. Moreover, it could be used in forward simulations to obtain accurate maps of deposition. But these data are often not publicly available. We propose to estimate the emission waveforms by solving an inverse problem. Previous approaches have relied on a detailed expert guess of how the releases appeared, and they produce a solution strongly biased by this guess. If we plant a nonexistent peak in the guess, the solution also exhibits a nonexistent peak. We pro- pose a method that solves the Fukushima inverse problem blindly. Using atmospheric dispersion models and worldwide radioactivity measurements together with sparse regularization, the method correctly reconstructs the times of major events during the accident, and gives plausible estimates of the released quantities of Xenon.

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