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Japan satellites to monitor Fukushima, Chernobyl

This picture taken on April 15, 2014 shows a facility to pump up underground water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plantTwo 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 at 1911 GMT 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.

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