JAXA New Radiation Detection Camera Ready

April 2, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Fears surrounding the nuclear catastrophe that occurred last year at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan don’t seem to fade away from the hearts of millions.

Following the mishap, voices were heard aloud across the globe against the use of nuclear energy – regardless of it being used for good or bad.

Now the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has developed a new space technology based camera, which enables seeing radioactive contamination around the emergency evacuation zone.

The radioactive detection camera uses a planar type camera, which could trap the whole 180 degree footage from many levels above. It was used to observe scattered radioactive particles in the Fukushima prefecture, and results proved to be more accurate than those estimated earlier with existing devices.

The camera works by detecting the emitted gamma rays from radioactive particles.

The technology has been adapted from an X-ray observation satellite, ASTRO-H, and has operated successfully with radiations from Cesium 137 and Cesium 134.

Testing of the Super-wide Angle Compton Camera was done with the participation of researchers at JAXA, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and Tokyo Electric Power Company.

The next phase of research includes development of devices for decontamination work at disaster hit areas.

However, areas surrounding the Fukushima plant haven’t yet been absolved from radiation threats. The Japanese government has defined a “No-go Zone” that stretches 12 miles from the spot where the nuclear mishap occurred.

Let’s just hope science has a solution  to this grave situation.

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