Tuesday 18 October 2011

Sunflowers no help for decontamination efforts

I reported in an earlier blog post that growing sunflowers on Fukushima’s radioactive soil may help to decontaminate it. Well, unfortunately, this has not happened.

The Japanese Daily Yomiuri reports that in spite of their reputation for absorbing radioactive caesium, they have had little effect on cleaning up the soil around the damaged nuclear plant.

The experiment on removing caesium started in May in farmland totalling 7,000 square metres in Iitatemura and other locations in Fukushima Prefecture. Following the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, a large amount of radioactive substances were released, contaminating the areas around the plant. Four soil decontamination treatments were trialled, the least effective of which was the use of plants. The most effective was scraping away the topsoil, but this is very expensive and leaves a large amount of radioactive soil which needs to be properly disposed of.

Read more here.