Japan to Deploy Satellites to Track Fukushima and Chernobyl Environmental Damages
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 20, 2014 3:37 PM EST
Japan is set to deploy into outer space two satellites that will specifically monitor the environmental damages made around the crippled Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclear power plants. The lift off will occur from a Russian space centre in the Ural region.
The No.4 reactor building (top) and the building housing the commonly spent fuel pool are seen at Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, in this aerial view taken by Kyodo, November 18, 2013. TEPCO began on Monday removing 400 tonnes of the dangerous spent fuel in a hugely delicate and unprecedented year-long operation fraught with risk. Credit. REUTERS/Kyodo
Developed by the Kyoto University and to be launched by a Ukranian rocket, the two satellites will regularly snap images of the nuclear centres from outer space, as well as their surrounding areas.
"The satellites have a number of missions and monitoring the two nuclear plants is part of them," Shinichi Nakasuka, a professor at the Japanese state-run university and project leader, told AFP.
The two satellites are likewise equipped to regularly receive data, including radiation levels, from instruments near the two plants. "I hope that the data will help Japan and Ukraine correctly acknowledge the impact on the environment near the two plants," Nakasuka said.
The devices will also monitor the levels of global rivers worldwide. At least 22 countries, including Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Bangladesh will receive the data "as part of efforts to avoid damage from major floods," he added.
Reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant went into meltdown after a tsunami plunged into it, triggered by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake in March 2011. Chernobyl is the site of the world's worst civilian nuclear accident in 1986.
The Ukrainian rocket Dnepr, 34.3 metres high and with a diameter of 3 metres, will hurtle the two satellites into space. Originally intended as a ballistic missile called SS-18, it was re-utilised as a spatial vehicle.
The University of Tokyo developed the two satellites, Hodoyoshi-3 and Hodoyoshi-4, at $2.9 million each.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- Champions League Results: Barcelona Barely Escapes With A Win, Chelsea Fails To Hold On To The Lead [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Google Nexus 6 Release Date on Q4 2014 Confirmed by T-Mobile Featuring Wi-Fi Calling
- 2 Reasons Nexus 6 Release Date is Worth the Wait: Android L Data Encryption & Material Design
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. BlackBerry Passport — Specifications, Features, Release Date And Price Showdown
- 3 Signs Apple iPhone 6 Could be in Short Supply Following its Sept 19 Release Date
- Australia Actively Rallying Support For International Coalition Against ISIS
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Update: Pangu Devs Will Outrace Evad3rs in Rollout of iPhone 6, iPad Unlocker
- Micromax Canvas A1 Vs Spice Dream Uno Vs Karbonn Sparkle V: A Choice On Which Android Is The Best