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Japan satellites to monitor Fukushima, Chernobyl

Russia: Two Japanese satellites will be launched from Russia late Thursday to monitor environmental damage near the crippled nuclear plants in Fukushima and Chernobyl, officials said.

The Ukrainian-designed Dnepr rocket carrying 33 satellites, including the two, will lift off from a space centre in the Urals region. The University of Tokyo developed the two satellites — the Hodoyoshi-3 and Hodoyoshi-4 — on a relatively slim budget of 300 million yen (about $2.9 million) each.

"The satellites have a number of missions and monitoring the two nuclear plants is part of them," said project leader Shinichi Nakasuka, a professor at the Japanese state-run university.

Under the plan, the two satellites will capture imagery of the two nuclear power plants and their surroundings, including radiation levels, from instruments near the two plants. The two satellites will also monitor river levels globally, and 22 countries such as Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Bangladesh will receive the data as part of efforts to avoid damage from major floods.

Source: Zee News