The Japanese government, who hid and hid the SPEEDI simulation data that mostly correctly predicted the radioactive material dispersion in the early, crucial days of the accident (March 11 to about March 25, first 2 weeks) and as the result exposed tens of millions to external and now internal radiation that might have been avoided, now says they will use the SPEEDI to figure out the amount of external radiation for the residents in Fukushima Prefecture.
Are the Fukushima residents supposed to be grateful for that?
What about the rest of Tohoku and Kanto, where the high-radiation "hot spots" have been cropping up all over the place?
More than 3 months into the accident and with ever-accumulating radiation in people, many public and private institutions from the national government on down is eager to test the radiation levels. Yes, now let's collect the world-class data! (Sorry for being cynical.)
From Yomiuri Shinbun (11:29PM JST 6/28/2011):
The Japanese government's headquarters for the nuclear disaster countermeasures announced on June 28 that the SPEEDI system will be used for the survey of the Fukushima residents to determine the radiation exposure after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. The SPEEDI system is designed to forecast the dispersion of the radioactive materials.
The government will use SPEEDI to calculate the air radiation levels from March 12 to March 16 to help determine the external radiation exposure for the residents.
Many radiation monitoring stations did not work after the March 11 earthquake, and the air radiation levels were not known until March 17 when the portable monitoring stations were used to measure radiation.
The government will use SPEEDI to calculate the amount of radioactive materials released and create the hourly radiation contour maps, then calculate the personal external radiation level for each resident by figuring out where he/she was during that period.
The government thinks it will take about 2 weeks to create and publish the maps, and one month to calculate the individual radiation levels.
The Japanese taxpayers footed the bill for this costly system so that it could predict the radioactive material dispersion in case of a nuclear accident AND warn them in advance. Having failed miserably in that task (thanks to the government who supposedly feared panic and/or couldn't release the simulations because they were just, well, simulations), now it will be used to tell people how much radiation they have been exposed, after the fact.