IAEA promotes hexacopter drone to measure radiation levels around Fukushima

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Levels of contamination in and around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are continuing to rise since the March 11th nuclear disaster.  In the town of Marumori, officials measured 10 fallen cedar tree quills; the average cesium level was 26,684 becquerels per kilogram as of June 2012, but in 2013 measurements recorded some 42,759 becquerels per kilogram in fallen quills from the same area.

The International Atomic Agency revealed a new six-engine “hexacopter” drone this week, which is hoped will be used to monitor radiation levels around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in areas too dangerous for humans to enter.

The drone carries several radiation meters and a built-in camera.  It is also capable of autonomous flights if data about the topography and buildings is pre-programmed in.

Currently, officials are using an unmanned helicopter designed by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency to monitor radiation levels above evacuation zones.

IAEA officials said they hope the aircraft will be available in two years after test flights are completed.

Source: The Japan Times

Source: NHK

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  1. Radioactive cesium levels in forest soil rise over time since 2011
    December 16, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

    Levels of radioactive cesium in soil and on the ground of two forests in northeastern Japan have risen over time since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, according to results of a recent survey.

    In forests about 60 km and 120 km north of the Fukushima plant, cesium is believed to be accumulating in the soil as cesium-contaminated leaves fall to the ground and decompose.

    In a forest about 60 km north of the Fukushima plant, the average cesium level of 10 samples of fallen quills was 26,684 becquerels per kilogram in June 2012, but rose to 42,759 becquerels a year later. And the level in soil up to 10 centimeters deep increased from 721 becquerels to 3,225 becquerels.

    In a forest about 120 km north of the Fukushima plant, the level climbed about 50 percent to 3,611 becquerels among fallen quills and by 2.5-fold to 620 becquerels in soil.

  2. Since the IAEA promotes nuclear energy and thinks it’s so safe, why doesn’t the IAEA management and staff personally measure the radiation at Fukushima.

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