- GREAT, GREAT, GREAT! THIS IS ALMOST THE WORST IDEA
IN THE WORLD!
- I'll point out the problem just in case it isn't obvious
- Sunflowers To Clean Up Radioactive Soil
- The Yomiuri Shimbun
- Japanese researchers who study space agriculture believe
growing sunflowers will remove radioactive cesium from contaminated soil
around the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant, and are planning a project
to plant as many of the yellow flowers as possible this year.
- They have invited people to sow sunflower seeds near
the Fukushima Prefecture power station, hoping the sunflower will become
a symbol of recovery in the areas affected by the nuclear crisis.
- After the sunflowers are harvested, they will be decomposed
with bacteria, according to a plan by a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
group led by Prof. Masamichi Yamashita.
- After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, sunflowers
and rape blossoms were used to decontaminate soil in Ukraine. Radioactive
cesium is similar to kalium, a commonly used fertilizer. If kalium is not
present, sunflowers will absorb cesium instead.
- If the harvested sunflowers are disposed of by burning
them, radioactive cesium could be dispersed through smoke, which is why
the researchers are considering using hyperthermophilic aerobic bacteria--used
to produce compost--to decompose the plants.
- *** The decomposing process will reduce the sunflowers
to about 1 percent of their previous volume, which will slash the amount
of radioactive waste that needs to be dealt with. NO, IT WON'T!
IT WILL MERELY CONCENTRATE IT into flower detritus so it can move up the
food chain more easily!
- The group has gathered about 300 kilograms of sunflower
seeds and has also asked Thailand, a major producer of sunflower seeds,
for cooperation in the project.
- They also plan to ask high schools in and near the 30-kilometer
zone around the Fukushima plant to grow sunflowers on their school grounds.
Kanagawa prefectural Hiratsuka Agricultural High School has agreed to produce
- "We're still in the process of planning for the
decomposition facility and some other things. Looking toward the autumn
harvest, we'd like as many people as possible to join the project,"
- For details about the project, see <http://surc.isas.jaxa.jp/space_agriculture/>http://surc.isas.jaxa.jp/space_agriculture/
- (in Japanese) Apr. 23, 2011