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Ukraine, Japan to monitor Chernobyl and Fukushima from space

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Ukraine and Japan have agreed to launch a joint satellite project to track the state of crippled Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear plants, sites of the world's greatest nuclear disasters.

"We have agreed on cooperation in the space sector to monitor the regions surrounding Chernobyl and Fukushima," Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kozhara.

The project aims to put into orbit by 2014 eight miniature satellites to gather information on the effects of radioactive fallout on the areas adjacent to the plants.

According to the Japanese foreign ministry, it will be a joint project of Tokyo University and the Ukrainian state space agency with launches of Japanese-developed satellites by Ukrainian carrier rockets.

In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant in northeast Japan. Cleanup after the disaster is expected to take around four decades.

While no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the meltdown at the reactors, large areas around the plant had to be evacuated, with tens of thousands of people still unable to return.

Satellites in the joint program are expected to weigh about 60 kilograms and span 50 centimeters in diameter, the Japanese delegation confirmed Monday. They will take satellite images every two hours from an altitude of about 600 kilometers.

They will also receive signals from sensors installed on the ground to collect information from areas where radiation levels exceed the norm.

On Sunday, Kishida visited Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 tragedy, as part of his trip to Ukraine to compare notes on relief efforts following Japan's own disaster at Fukushima.

"Yesterday at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, I was impressed with the fact that even after 27 years since the accident Ukraine still continues to struggle with the consequences of the disaster," Japan's minister told journalists, as translated into Ukrainian.

The explosion at reactor number four of the Chernobyl power plant in the early hours of April 26, 1986 sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread from the Soviet Union across Europe.

According to official Ukrainian figures, more than 25,000 of the cleanup workers from then-Soviet Ukraine, Russia and Belarus have died since the disaster.

The two catastrophes are the world's only nuclear disasters to have been categorised as level seven on the United Nations' seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

© (C) 2103 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

10 Comments
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While no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the meltdown at the reactors...

Yeah right.

“Yesterday at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, I was impressed with the fact that even after 27 years since the accident Ukraine still continues to struggle with the consequences of the disaster,”

"Impressed" shouldn't be the word to use...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'd like to monitor them from space too, with all my family and friends. Probably safest place to observe this mess.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“We have agreed on cooperation in the space sector to monitor the regions surrounding Chernobyl and Fukushima,” Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

Hope this isn't your only strategy, Space Boy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is all very well and good if its part of a multi-level approach.. Personally I feel much more emphasis needed to be placed on monitoring of the response and management on the ground of lack there of,

Latest predicable failure that any competent management would have more quickly and clearly addressed is simply checking levels of water in storage.. I mean day one stuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is the point,,,"Oh, look at Chernobyl and Fukushima, there is radiation covering the land,,,Wow!: Currently, in Europe, the entire continent, England, France, Italy, etc. the death rate from cancer is 50%,,,it used to be 33%. That means since Chernobyl, cancer rates rose from 33% to 50%. This is a significant increase of cancer deaths due to radiation. I say, just freeze the ground and pour tons of concrete over the entire city. Maybe it is America's karma from dropping the atomic bombs in Hiroshima,,God is speaking by using the radioactive mouth of Fukushima. God is saying, here you go American coastal waters, taste some of your own karmic medicine.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So that was the result of the trip, then? To spend a shed-load on satellites to tell you what you already know: the situation is dire! I'd spend that money on secure tanks and tsunami defences (i.e. moving the tanks inland by a long way) but that's just me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

reminds me of a lyric in the Joy Division song "Ceremony"

This is why events unnerve me, They find it all, a different story, Notice whom for wheels are turning, Turn again and turn towards this time,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No, no, NO. You need to get much closer than that. Much closer. Ah, but not 'too' close otherwise it will kill you. Can we and our loved ones monitor them from space too, until you sort it out? Tickets please.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They are not paying much attention to what is happening on the ground, to they might as watch from space. Same result.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ukraine is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States but Japan is not a member of the British Commonwealth.They have a common interest which is to repair the damages caused by nuclear disasters in their respective countries.This is how diplomatic ties are formed.So be it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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