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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Japan to develop drones to monitor radiation
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) June 12, 2012


Japan's atomic energy authority and the country's space agency Tuesday announced a joint project to develop a drone to measure radioactivity in the environment after last year's nuclear disaster.

Japan has been forced to invent or improve systems for measuring radioactive contamination since a 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami in March 2011 sparked the world's worst nuclear crisis in a generation at the Fukushima atomic plant.

Remote-controlled helicopters have been used but are not suitable for remote and mountainous territory as they have to fly low and the operator has to be able to see the aircraft, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said.

But unmanned aircraft could fly at higher altitudes over potentially contaminated areas, resolving the issue.

The plan is to develop a 2.6-metre-long aircraft with a 4.2-metre wingspan.

Radiation from Fukushima, in northeastern Japan, was scattered over a large area and spread as far as several hundred kilometres from the power station by wind and rain.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes around the plant and swathes of the area remain badly polluted. The clean-up is proceeding slowly, amid warnings that some towns could be uninhabitable for three decades.

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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Japan agency sorry for comparing radiation to wife
Tokyo (AFP) June 5, 2012
A government-backed nuclear research agency has apologised for comparing radioactive material on its website to an "angry wife" in a quarrel with her husband, news reports said Tuesday. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has already dropped the link from its homepage after the comparison triggered an outpouring of criticism, Kyodo News and other media reported. On the page, the agency tried ... read more


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