Large-scale CT system to be main feature of Fukushima Prefecture research center

The government will conduct research and development to build a large-scale computed tomography (CT) system for industrial products at the International Education and Research Center, which is scheduled to fully open in Fukushima Prefecture in fiscal 2024.

The envisioned system will be able to X-ray large sections of automobiles and aircraft to reproduce 3D models, eliminating the need for disassembly.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The center will be used as a research facility to conduct simulations for performance tests, and the system is scheduled to be put into practical use in fiscal 2030.

As part of reconstruction efforts after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the center will be located in the prefecture’s coastal area. It is envisioned that cutting-edge research in such fields as medical science, drug development and radiation science will take place there.

According to government officials, the CT system will be a main feature of the center.

Items normally have to be disassembled into smaller parts before undergoing an industrial CT scan, but the planned system will be able to take X-rays of products that are several meters long.

The Fukushima center will collaborate with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, the largest research facility in Europe that has a similar system.

A supercomputer will create 3D images of items for use in analyzing the manufacturing process and confirming their strength via simulations.

“We want the facility to contribute to the manufacturing industry, a sector in which Japanese companies excel,” said an official in charge.