Saturday, March 26, 2011

An Interesting Inverse Problem

[ The folks at University of Washington know about this opportunity ]

In the fog of data coming out of the Fukushima plant and the numerous sensor networks (government, university and citizen centered), one faces the interesting inverse problem of figuring out the specific failure mechanism of each of the reactors depending on whether the plume goes over a specific sensor and location. Forward simulations at Texas A&M provides some clues to determine the where and what for a specific sample obtained in Seattle at University of Washington. Not only is the inverse problem about plume trajectory determination but it goes further and provides a clue on the actual failure of the nuclear system. Today, it looks we may have a chance of figuring out what's in Unit 3 with its attendant grey and black smokes.

Back in the days of nuclear testing, this sort of inverse problem was generally solved by nuclear States to watch out what type of devices others were implementing. Nowadays, this task is also taken up by entities such as the CTBT organization. However, in the case of accidents, this task can be taken up other entities.

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