Posts Tagged sunflowers

Sunflowers ineffective in radiation decontamination | Majirox News

Apparently, the sunflowers are not doing their thing. Too bad.

TOKYO majirox news — Sunflowers are virtually ineffective in soaking up radioactive cesium from contaminated soil, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries MAFF on Sept. 14.Ministry officials carried out the tests from May in areas near the radiation-spewing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.Ministry officials said that sunflowers absorbed almost no cesium from contaminated soil.MAFF discovered that of the numerous decontamination measures it has attempted in Fukushima prefecture, removing topsoil was the most effective.

via Sunflowers ineffective in radiation decontamination | Majirox News.

Speaking of topsoil,

Professor Tomoko Nakanishi of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences believes the contamination is mostly superficial.

Her early studies have shown that vast majority of radioactivity is held within the top 5cm of the soil.

As a result, she believes that relatively small quantities of radioactive Caesium 134 and 137 will be absorbed into the stalks of rice, and even fewer into their grains.

“Only the surface is contaminated,” she told me, “only the first 5cm is highly contaminated.”

Professor Takanishi concedes that consumers might not be convinced by these reassurances.

“If you don’t want to eat it,” she says, “just discard this year’s product but next year I’m really optimistic. It will be safe to eat.”

But if that conclusion is proved right, there still remains the challenge of clearing up large areas of poisoned soil.

Removing the top soil is one technique but it needs to be disposed of and the work is very expensive. Ploughing it deeper into the ground can dilute it but that too is a costly option.

Six months on, much of the science is still uncertain and it may be years before farmland can be convincingly declared safe.

via Inside Japan’s Nuclear Ghost Zone | BBC

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How to get rid of radioactive caesium?

Back in April, TEPCO was dropping bags of zeolite into the ocean. Also in April, the Japanese police arrested two people for selling medicine without a license. The headline says “fake radiation drug”, but the article says nothing about the efficacy of the product they were selling, “Premium Zeolite”. However, I doubt TEPCO would be dumping zeolite into the ocean or using it to purify its cooling water, if it did not absorb radioactive cesium. Nor would the Japanese Agricultural Ministry be burying it in rice fields in Iitate, Fukushima Pref. if they didn’t think there was a good chance it would do the trick. The Ministry’s experiment also included sunflowers, which were planted in many areas around Chernobyl after that disaster.

I notice the article assumes that if the medicine is not licensed, it must be harmful or a fake or both. The article authors asked no deeper questions.

Questions such as, were these people actually selling a zeolite product, and if so, is it as effective when taken internally as it is when used externally?

A friend of mine sent me the following info on zeolite and a zeolite product which is intended to be taken internally (it is actually a suspension of zeolite in water; it is not sold in Japan):

One of the few negatively charged minerals in nature, zeolite is formed from the fusion of volcanic lava and ocean water….

any old zeolite will not do; firstly, it is by its very nature full of contamination, ie positively charged particles attracted into its honeycomb structure – so it has to be very thoroughly cleaned – “activated” – which is a laborious & thus expensive process; secondly if it has not been micronized, the powder will just stay in the digestive tract. If it does not enter the bloodstream it can’t get to work on pulling out the toxins wherever they are sequestered throughout the body.

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Japan rice worries a blow to collective psyche | Reuters

The article below suggests that the recent news to test rice for radioactivity came as a shock to the nation. If so, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry will have been spared the shock as they were already anticipating this in May: Experiment to decontaminate farmland begins in Fukushima I have not seen any follow-up reports on the results of this experiment. Inquiring minds would like to know.

News that local governments around Japan will test rice for radioactive caesium came as a blow that rocked the nation’s collective psyche, threatening to make its beloved traditional staple the latest in a long list of forbidden foods.

Announcement of the testing last week came amid public fears over radiation in food in the wake of the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at the Fukushima plant in northeastern Japan, with excessive levels of radiation found in beef, vegetables, tea, milk, seafood and water.

via Japan rice worries a blow to collective psyche | Reuters.

And from the Breitbart May 28th article:

The farm ministry and the prefectural government have secured 3 hectares of rice paddies, vegetable fields and grassland for the program in which they plant sunflowers and amaranths in the fields to see their capabilities for absorbing radioactive cesium in the soil, they said.

In the paddies, they will use a mineral called zeolite to see its effect in absorbing cesium in mud, they said.

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Sunflowers to clean up radioactive soil : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Sunflowers. From Mystic Medusa

Rape flowers

Rape flowers may help absorb cesium. From wallpaperpimper

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

via Sunflowers to clean up radioactive soil : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri).

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