Coffee Hour with Guido Cervone: Citizen Science During Nuclear Emergency: Analysis of The Fukushima-Dahichi Nuclear Accident

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 3:30pm
Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m. The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m

About the talk

The 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident resulted in a series of controlled and accidental releases of radioactive Cesium in the environment. The citizen science Safecast project was started immediately after the accident to map radiation using off the shelf instruments, and generated over 60 million observations since April 2011. A robust methodology is presented to calibrate contributed Safecast radiation measurements acquired between 2011 and 2016 in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan. The Safecast data are calibrated using official observations acquired by the U.S. Department of Energy at the time of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi power plant nuclear accident.

The methodology performs a series of interpolations between the official and contributed datasets at specific temporal windows and at corresponding spatial locations. The coefficients found for all the different temporal windows are aggregated and interpolated using quadratic regressions to generate time dependent calibration function. Normal background radiation, decay rates and missing values are taken into account during the analysis.

Results show that the official Safecast static transformation function overestimates the official measurements because it fails to capture the presence of two different Cesium isotopes and their changing magnitudes with time. A model is created to predict the ratio of the isotopes from the time of the accident through 2020. The proposed time dependent calibration takes into account this Cesium isotopes ratio, and it is shown to reduce the error between official and contributed data. The proposed calibration is needed through 2020, after which date the errors introduced by ignoring the presence of different isotopes will become negligible.

About the speaker

Guido CervoneGuido Cervone is Associate Director for the Institute for CyberScience and Associate Professor of Geoinformatics at the Pennsylvania State University.  He serves as co-Chair for the Research Computing CyberInfrastructure Executive Committee (RCCI). He also holds the appointments of Affiliate Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Adjunct Faculty at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Columbia University.  He serves as program co-chair for the Natural Hazards focus group of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and Chair for the Education and Outreach advisory board of NCAR.

He received the Ph.D. in Computational Science and Informatics in 2005, and M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science in 2000 and 1998.  His expertise is in geoinformatics, machine learning and remote sensing, and his research focuses on the development and application of computational algorithms for the analysis of remote sensing, numerical modeling and social media spatio-temporal “Big Data.” The main problem domains are related to environmental hazards and renewable energy forecasting.

Contact us

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Coffee Hour