‘Fukushima’ Decontamination Through Electron Tracking Compton Camera-ETCC

By Jezreel Smith | Mar 23, 2017 07:14 PM EDT

Scientists have constructed an Electron Tracking Compton Camera (ETCC) to detect nuclear gamma rays quantitatively that has shown to measure contamination, such as in Fukushima. The study was headed by Toru Tanimori at Kyoto University.

Tanimori and his research team have discovered that gamma-ray imaging spectroscopy is more versatile and robust providing a clearer image. According to Science Daily, ETCC is a device that works as an imaging spectroscopy and can help on the decontamination of Fukushima. ETCC can help in easy response to nuclear emergencies, as stated by Tanimori.

ETCC will not only help in Fukushima decontamination but also the eventual dismantling of nuclear reactors. The device can also detect the location and mechanism on how radiation is being released. Tanimori added that the current methods for measuring gamma rays do not accurately specify the source of radiation.

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A clear image is very important in the Fukushima decontamination. The key to developing clear image is taking the image's color including the direction and energy of gamma rays. The ETCC makes true images of the gamma rays that also reflect quantitative imaging. Quantitative imaging distribution can be used to relatively measure ground dosage levels suggesting that gamma rays spread in the air that makes decontamination at risk.

Meanwhile, according to World Nuclear, the Fukushima nuclear accident happened on March 11, 2011, due to a major earthquake followed by a tsunami. The nuclear accident disabled the power supply and cooling of three Daichi reactors. Luckily, there have been no deaths or cases of morbidity-induced radiation from the accident.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster has shown that nuclear reactors are potentially dangerous owing that 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes by the government. Currently, the decontamination is still ongoing and thus, researchers and scientists from Japan and other countries are into developing means to accomplish the process faster. The new discovery is a gateway to further the decontamination process through its practical benefits compared to other methods.

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