Sunday, July 17, 2011

'Hope for a Radioactive-Free Future'

UPDATE 11/15/11: Just read in the Oct 17 issue of The New Yorker that while sunflowers can leach some of the radiation out of contaminated soil, Japanese scientists have since concluded that those that were planted in former rice fields near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have had little effect.

Here's an interesting story by Matthew Battles in Fast Company...

A young Japanese entrepreneur is trying to convince people to sow sunflower seeds in Fukushima Prefecture, intending the plants to cleanse the soil of radioactive contamination. Project leader Shinji Handa has sold some 10,000 packets of sunflower seeds at 500 yen ($6) to people throughout Japan, ostensibly to produce seeds that will be sent to Fukushima to create a sunflower maze.
Given the scope of the Fukushima disaster, planting sunflowers may seem quixotic at best, but the principle behind it is sound. Many plants have evolved mechanisms to adapt to high levels of toxins and even radiation, taking up heavy metals and radioactive isotopes and sequestering them in disposable parts like stems and leaves. Scientists last year reported on several varieties of domestic plants, including sunflowers, that are thriving around Chernobyl, gradually reducing contamination levels in the soil...
Click here to read the rest.

1 comment:

benjamin said...

Hey ! ^^
Great blog ^^
Since you seem to be living in Japan I have a question.
Actually I would like to know if you or readers of this blog are interested in writing about the way you have personnally experienced the Northeastern Japan Earthquake (if you haven't but you know people who have experienced the earthquake in Japan, it'd be great if you coud let him/her know about this).
Tokyo Room Finder Short Essay Contest is an online project to gather heart-warming experiences following the earthquake in Japan. We strongly believe that sharing those experiences will give people hope and revitalize Japan.
We also offer 2 tickets for Tokyo Disney Resort to each of the winners.

For more details :