GO MONITOR keeps track of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant

GO MONITOR, the monitoring service operated by Airbus Defence and Space, has been keeping track every month since September 2008 of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.
In August 2010, it began monitoring the plant daily following the announcement that loading of nuclear fuel into the reactor was underway.

FORMOSAT-2 Satellite Image - Bushehr nuclear plant mapping

Bushehr nuclear plant mapping
with a FORMOSAT-2 satellite image

Nuclear plant fired up

Loading of nuclear fuel starting on 21 August 2010 signalled the activation of the 1,000 megawatt plant, with 80 tonnes of fuel transferred to the reactor building and into the core.

It will take another 2 to 3 months for the reactor to ramp up to 500 megawatts and start sending electricity to Iranian towns. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expects the plant to be connected to the civil grid in December 2010.

GO Monitor Website

GO MONITOR web site

GO MONITOR team on the case

The Bushehr nuclear power plant is one of 60 sites tracked by GO MONITOR.
The GO MONITOR team optimizes tasking of a constellation of high- and very-high-resolution optical and radar satellites to guarantee image acquisition as required by service subscribers.

Its domain experts then analyse imagery, produce illustrated reports, post data on a secure site and send out e-mail alerts to subscribers.

Bushehr nuclear plant

Bushehr nuclear plant

Three change alert levels

As soon as the loading of fuel into the reactor core was announced, subscribers asked to switch from monthly monitoring to daily image acquisition, with three change-detection alert levels:

  • Red for new activity
  • Orange for regular activity
  • Green for no activity

Subscribers’ interest initially focused on the presence of vehicles at the site, and on any traces of smoke or new construction work. From 21 August 2010, attention turned to movements of the portal crane alongside the reactor building.

GOMONITOR illustrated report

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GO MONITOR, online alerting and intelligence

GO MONITOR is an online satellite change-detection service. The acquisition period and frequency (daily, weekly or monthly) and area of interest are defined with the customer. Subscribers receive confidential reports rapidly.

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Monitoring of a nuclear power plant

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