+ A

Radon sensors required

Feb 06,2017
The Korean Peninsula had long been considered a relatively safe area from earthquakes. But on Sept. 12, 2016, Gyeongju city was hit by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, the strongest since records began in 1978. As of 3 p.m. on Nov. 19, there had been a total of 523 aftershocks of the Gyeongju earthquake. Many Koreans panicked and worried that a stronger earthquake could hit Korea, where little earthquake prevention measures are in place.

What’s more important than building a prompt alert system after an earthquake occurs is to establish a system to accurately predict earthquakes. There are various ways to predict earthquakes. Many researchers believe that one of the most objective and scientific methods is to observe the movement of radon gas, a method that has been used for over 60 years.

Studies on radon gas and earthquake prediction conducted in Japan, Italy, the United States, India, Iceland and Taiwan show that consistent monitoring of radon gas at appropriate locations can allow scientists to sensitively track the crustal movements related to earthquakes.

In order to improve the accuracy of all modeling, including earthquake prediction, data collected in the field is very important. It is evident that a model that uses data from 1,000 sensors is exponentially more accurate than one that uses 10 sensors.

Therefore, a less expensive radon sensor with the same sensitivity of the models sold in other countries has been developed in Korea, and high-efficiency earthquake monitoring systems using this sensor should be made.

Korea’s outstanding IT technologies could also help by building a real-time remote monitoring system.

People’s trust in safety is gained from the most objective science. Let’s hope that the high efficiency radon sensor technology matured through years of endeavor will earn the trust of the people.