JDR Vol.11 No.2 pp. 236-245
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2016.p0236


Monitoring of the Recovery Process of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant from VHR SAR Images

Wen Liu*, Fumio Yamazaki*, and Tadashi Sasagawa**

*Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University
1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inageku, Chiba 263-8522, Japan

**PASCO Corporation
4-10-1 Nakano, Nakano-Ku, Tokyo 164-0001, Japan

October 10, 2015
December 10, 2015
Online released:
March 18, 2016
March 1, 2016
building damage, geometric features, WorldView-2, TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X

The Mw9.0 earthquake hitting the Tohoku area on Japan’s Pacific coast on March 11, 2011, triggered huge tsunamis and a Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant breakdown. Due to high radiation levels, plant damage could only be assessed from satellite images. Our study involves four very-high-resolution (VHR) TerraSAR-X/TanDEX-X SAR intensity images taken under different acquisition conditions and used to try and determine reactor building damage. Layover and radar shadow areas were specified first based on building footprint and height, then backscattering patterns in these areas were modeled by introducing sectional views of the target building. Criteria for detecting damage from individual SAR scenes were used to compare simulated backscattering patterns to actual SAR intensity images. Damage to other reactor buildings was then identified based on these criteria. Results were confirmed by comparisons to two optical VHR WorldView-2 images and ground photos.

Cite this article as:
W. Liu, F. Yamazaki, and T. Sasagawa, “Monitoring of the Recovery Process of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant from VHR SAR Images,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.11, No.2, pp. 236-245, 2016.
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Last updated on Jan. 19, 2019