OriginOil has announced that its research partner in Japan has received government funding approval for a program to use the company’s algae harvester to clean the radioactive waste from contaminated sites in Fukushima where the March 2011 nuclear accident occurred.
Certain plants and algae have the capability of absorbing metals such as cesium and strontium [see AlgaeObserver post on Closterium moniliferum]. Radioisotopes of these metals have long half-lives and can cause radiation sickness leading to death. Tests with algae have removed nearly 90% of radioactive material from cesium contaminated water.
The Research Institute of Tsukuba Bio-tech has received grant approval to build one-acre sites to validate the use of algae in bio-remediation. Of the two initial sites one will be a control site and the other will use OriginOil’s technology. If successful the process will be expanded to as many as 100 sites.