It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Sunflowers Used To Clean Radioactive Soil In Japan

page: 1
5

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 01:55 PM
link   


Volunteers are being asked to grow sunflowers this year, then send the seeds to the stricken area where they will be planted next year to help get rid of radioactive contaminants in the plant's fallout zone.

The campaign, launched by young entrepreneurs and civil servants in Fukushima prefecture last month, aims to cover large areas in yellow blossoms as a symbol of hope and reconstruction and to lure back tourists.

So a a new spin on flower power eh? What makes the sunflower so effective by comparison? Or is it the aesthetic properties that may offer some 'sightly' relief? I have never heard of this application.
It seems sunflowers are good at absorbing heavy metals from soil, through a process called rhizofiltration. * *

"This is different from donations because people will grow the flowers, and a mother can tell her children that it is like an act of prayer for the reconstruction of the northeast," Handa said.

Sounds like a type of healing process for the people of the regions too.
Source

Peace,
spec




posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 01:59 PM
link   
An afterthought, what happens to the plant material after it absorbs the radiation? Is the material radioactive and then require proper handling/disposing? I can't find anything on that part.

spec



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:08 PM
link   
reply to post by speculativeoptimist
 


en.wikipedia.org...




Process: This process is very similar to phytoextraction in that it removes contaminants by trapping them into harvestable plant biomass. Both phytoextraction and rhizofiltration follow the same basic path to remediation. First, plants are put in contact with the contamination. They absorb contaminants through their root systems and store them in root biomass and/or transport them up into the stems and/or leaves. The plants continue to absorb contaminants until they are harvested. The plants are then replaced to continue the growth/harvest cycle until satisfactory levels of contaminant are achieved. Both processes are also aimed more toward concentrating and precipitating heavy metals than organic contaminants. The major difference between rhizofiltration and phytoextraction is that rhizofiltration is used for treatment in aquatic environments, while phytoextraction deals with soil remediation.





This treatment method has its limits. Any contaminant that is below the rooting depth will not be extracted. The plants used may not be able to grow in highly contaminated areas. Most importantly, it can take years to reach regulatory levels. This results in long-term maintenance. Also, most contaminated sites are polluted with many different kinds of contaminants. There can be a combination of metals and organics, in which treatment through rhizofiltration will not suffice.[5] Plants grown on polluted water and soils become a potential threat to human and animal health, and therefore, careful attention must be paid to the harvesting process and only non-fodder crop should be chosen for the rhizofiltration remediation method


edit on 24-6-2011 by jvm222 because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-6-2011 by jvm222 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:14 PM
link   
this makes me very glad that I grow a garden full of sunflowers this year. With things going in the direction that they are in the US...we might want to consider adopting it as a national flower and grow them in our victory gardens. Well...until its deemed a crime.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by irsuccubus
this makes me very glad that I grow a garden full of sunflowers this year. With things going in the direction that they are in the US...we might want to consider adopting it as a national flower and grow them in our victory gardens. Well...until its deemed a crime.
Once the plants bloom, do we have to call a hazmat team to dispose of them?


Originally posted by jvm222
en.wikipedia.org...

Plants grown on polluted water and soils become a potential threat to human and animal health, and therefore, careful attention must be paid to the harvesting process
It moves the contaminants from the soil and concentrates them in the plants, which could render the plants hazardous. It would be interesting to know what to do with the plants. It does sound like it might help clean up the soil a bit though.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:39 PM
link   
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


hmmmm...weaponized sunflowers...interesting concept.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:43 PM
link   
reply to post by irsuccubus
 

Yea, I got some too irsuccubus, and they get to be huge, up to 8 ft!! I am curious what kind of mutation, if any, the radioactive substance could cause to sunflowers.
Thanks for the reply..

spec



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:43 PM
link   
Sounds great but what about the birds that will want to eat the seeds come summertime? Will they add bird netting over the fields to discourage them eating the seeds?

Also bees pollinate them so the bees would be in even bigger trouble there...



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:44 PM
link   
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 

I suppose burning the saturated palnt material would be a no no, so I don't know what they do with it. I just hope none of the sseds ever make it to market!


Peace,
spec



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:48 PM
link   
reply to post by MzMorbid
 

Excellent point Mz, talk about spread the love!

Apparently these toxic substances entered the food chain via grazers, such as cows and other livestock, that fed on plants grown in contaminated soils. The toxins then accumulated and concentrated in the meat and milk products eventually consumed by humans. Additionally, wild foods, such as berries and mushrooms, are expected to continue showing elevated cesium levels over the next few decades

www.mhhe.com...

And the bees? Man, give em' a break huh?

spec



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:59 PM
link   

Originally posted by speculativeoptimist
I suppose burning the saturated palnt material would be a no no, so I don't know what they do with it. I just hope none of the sseds ever make it to market!
You suppose correctly, burning would be a no-no, and there is some concern that might happen in some cases if people don't know any better.


Originally posted by irsuccubus
hmmmm...weaponized sunflowers...interesting concept.
Not weaponized, but they are considered radioactive waste if grown in an area where the soil is contaminated:

findarticles.com...


This sunflower project is one of many international efforts at phytoremediation-the use of plants to absorb pollutants from air, water, and soil...

The plants preferentially absorb cesium and strontium from a mixture of metals, he notes. The plants don't metabolize the radionuclides, but the cesium stays in the roots and most of the strontium moves to the shoots. The company disposes of the plants as radioactive waste ....
So they are doing this near Chernobyl and the plants are considered radioactive waste.

Just what the world needs, more radioactive waste.


Maybe someday they'll come up with a method of disposing of radioactive waste, but I'm not holding my breath. It seems to just be piling up and nobody seems to know what to do with it.

edit on 24-6-2011 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:15 PM
link   
reply to post by speculativeoptimist
 


Actually, thinking more about it; a lot of times animals tend to have an intuition to not eat things that are bad for them so hopefully they might find something amiss and avoid those toxic flowers.

I'd still hope there'd be preventative measures taken to ensure the animals/bugs don't feed on them.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:40 PM
link   
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 



Maybe someday they'll come up with a method of disposing of radioactive waste, but I'm not holding my breath. It seems to just be piling up and nobody seems to know what to do with it.

There is a fascinating and disturbing doc about disposal of nuclear waste in Russia called into eternity.

WIKI
Full Doc

We have got to figure a better way..

spec

edit on 24-6-2011 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:54 PM
link   

Originally posted by MzMorbid
Actually, thinking more about it; a lot of times animals tend to have an intuition to not eat things that are bad for them so hopefully they might find something amiss and avoid those toxic flowers.
Some animals can detect radiation if the levels of radiation are high enough. At low doses it's pretty much odorless, colorless, tasteless. At high enough doses, even humans can detect it, but if a human detects a dose that high, it means they are only a few hours from death. Researchers were able to wake up rats with radiation:

www.time.com...

When Hunt and crew had a rat sleeping peacefully, they recorded its heartbeats on an electrocardiograph (300-350 beats per min.). Then they squirted it with a beam of silent, invisible, 250,000-volt X rays. In about 12 sec., the rat woke up, sometimes going into a violent "state of alarm." Its heartbeat would speed up too. But if the radiation continued for long, the rat would go to sleep again, like a human grown accustomed to a steady night-time sound.

The sources I found so far mentioned concentrated toxins in the roots and stems/shoots of the sunflower plant, but so far I haven't seen any mention of the seeds accumulating toxins, so eating the seeds MIGHT be a possibility though I haven't confirmed that yet. But anything that eats the stalks where the radiation is concentrated from a site near Fukushima or Chernobyl probably wouldn't fare too well. Since the rats just went back to sleep after the radiation woke them up, I'm not sure how much they will avoid eating radioactive stuff. So they can sense it, but I don't know if they know to avoid eating it, the researchers didn't really test that. It seems to me like they will eat just about anything.



posted on Jun, 27 2011 @ 12:34 PM
link   
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Poor rat, what a rude awakening huh?! I would think you are correct Arbitrageur, animals would be able to detect it and then avoid it. It is interesting that I can't find any info on the plant material after they have done their job, and how much radiation they contain, and how they dispose of it. I also am curious if by processing the radiation, it is reduced within the plant at all, or does it remain unchanged.
I also wonder how the birds and insects react to the seeds. Check these things out:
Nuclear Radiation Giant Tailed Stag Beetle of Bikini




Unlike any other insects on the planet, this carnivorous and extremely poisonous (tetradotoxin) species of beetle is highly radioactive due to the series of nuclear weapons testing conducted by the United States in the 1940s and 1950s at Bikini Atoll (located in the central Pacific; one of the 29 atolls and five single islands that form the Republic of the Marshall Islands).

Source

Peace,
spec



new topics

top topics



 
5

log in

join