Changes at the Gachin uranium mine in 2010.

Remote Sensing of Uranium Mining in Southern Iran

The Gachin Salt Plug is one of several salt domes along the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. The Gachin uranium mine, mill and processing complex is located near the centre of the plug. A series of studies for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency demonstrated the use of satellite imagery, together with advanced techniques in nuclear safeguards monitoring, to detect changes occurring at the mine and in the surrounding area. Repeat coverage and automated analyses of this type can provide ongoing monitoring and cuing, alerting analysts to changes occurring across a broad area and/or outside of their main area of interest.

Services provided:

  • Compilation and change analysis of a Landsat time series over southern Iran
  • Verification and interpretation of detected changes over Gachin Mine using available high resolution imagery

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Interpretation of mining activities based on hyperspectral identification of ore and tailings piles.

Materials Tracking using Hyperspectral Analysis

In 2004-2009, Borstad Associates scientists offered training courses in hyperspectral analysis to image analysts at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. One type of analysis involved the tracking of mine ore from its excavation site to various ore piles located throughout the minesite. Based on the hyperspectral signatures, ore piles that appeared white or greyish in ordinary imagery could be distinguished from one another, permitting remote interpretation of activities at the mine.

Other topics covered

  • Preprocessing of hyperspectral imagery, including artifact correction and atmospheric correction
  • Materials identification
  • Supervised and unsupervised classification
  • Data fusion

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Thermal plumes at Bruce Nuclear Plant, Ontario.

Thermal Plumes from Nuclear Power Plants

In a 2001 demonstration study for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Borstad Associates showed that the operational status of nuclear power plants can be interpreted from Landsat thermal imagery of their discharge plumes. In this example of the Bruce Nuclear Plant in Ontario, the changing status of the two power generators at A and B can be determined from the intensity of their thermal discharge plumes.

A series of studies to 2009 documented thermal discharges from nuclear power plants elsewhere in Canada, Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil and Taiwan.

Services provided:

  • Thermal calibration of Landsat 5 imagery and comparison with in situ water temperature
  • Interpretation of thermal patterns

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