Japanese satellites launched for environmental monitoring around nuclear plants

Japan has launched two Earth Observation satellites last week to monitor environmental damage near the damaged nuclear plants in Fukushima and Chernobyl, officials said.

The two satellites, Hodoyoshi-3 and Hodoyoshi-4, have been developed by the University of Tokyo for around 300 million yen (about $2.9 million) each. They will take images of the two nuclear power plants and the surrounding environment to be combined with ground-based data including radiation levels.

"I hope that the data will help Japan and Ukraine correctly acknowledge the impact on the environment near the two plants," project leader Shinichi Nakasuka, from the University of Tokyo, said.