I read about plants such as the hemp plant that neutralise radioactivity in the soil a few years back. Well with all that is going on I decided to search for more information on this. So take heart and do enjoy the below information. And do watch the below clip its not long..
Phytoremediation: Using Plants to Clean Soil of radioactive and other waste
On the morning of April 26, 1986, a small town in the former Soviet Union was the site of a nuclear explosion that literally shook the earth. The historic accident at Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Reactor 4 in the Ukraine caused severe radioactive contamination. Families within a 30-km zone of the power plant were evacuated, and in the months that followed, extensive contamination was discovered in areas up to 100 km from the site. Scientists are hopeful that plants may play a key role in cleaning up some of the contamination.
In 1989, three years after the explosion, the Soviet government asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assess the radiological and health situation in the area surrounding the power plant. Among the most significant findings were radioactive emissions and toxic metals–including iodine, cesium-137, strontium, and plutonium–concentrated in the soil, plants, and animals. Such substances are potentially harmful to human health. For example, although iodine tends to disappear within a few weeks of exposure, it can be inhaled or ingested and then accumulated in the thyroid gland, where it delivers high doses of radiation as it decays. Since 1991, the Canadian Nuclear Association has noted a marked increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer in the area surrounding the nuclear accident. Cesium-137, radioactive cesium with a mass number of 137, can enter the food chain and deliver an internal dose of radiation before it is eliminated metabolically.
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.
To prevent further spread of these toxins, it was determined that livestock should be allowed to feed only on uncontaminated plants and on plants not tending to accumulate toxic metals within their tissues. Then a soil cleanup method was employed using green plants to remove toxins from the soil. This technique is phytoremediation, a term coined by Dr. Ilya Raskin of Rutgers University’s Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment, who was a member of the original task force sent by the IAEA to examine food safety at the Chernobyl site. Phytoremediation is a process that takes advantage of the fact that green plants can extract and concentrate certain elements within their ecosystem. For example, some plants can grow in metal-laden soils, extract certain metals through their root systems, and accumulate them in their tissues without being damaged. In this way, pollutants are either removed from the soil and groundwater or rendered harmless.
Today, many researchers, institutes, and companies are funding scientific efforts to test different plants’ effectiveness at removing a wide range of contaminants. Raskin favors Brassica juncea and Brassica carinata, two members of the mustard family, for phytoremediation. In laboratory tests with metals loaded onto artificial soil (a mix of sand and vermiculite), these plants appeared to be the best at removing large quantities of chromium, lead, copper, and nickel. Several members of this family are edible and yield additional products such as birdseed, mustard oil, and erucic acid, which is used in margarine and cooking oil. Researchers at the DuPont Company have found that corn, Zea mays, can take up incredibly high levels of lead. Z. mays, a monocot in the Poaceae or grass family, is the most important cultivated cereal next to wheat and rice, yielding such products as corn meal, corn flour, cornflakes, cooking oil, beer, and animal feed. Phytokinetics, a company in Logan, Utah, is testing plants for their ability to remove organic contaminants such as gasoline from soil and water. Applied Natural Sciences in Hamilton, Ohio, is taking a slightly different route by using trees to clean up deeper soils, a process they call “treemediation.” University researchers from the UK reported in the May 1999 issue of Nature Biotechnology that transgenic tobacco plants can play a role in cleaning up explosives.
n February 1996, Phytotech, Inc., a Princeton, NJ-based company, reported that it had developed transgenic strains of sunflowers, Helianthus sp., that could remove as much as 95% of toxic contaminants in as little as 24 hours. Subsequently, Helianthus was planted on a styrofoam raft at one end of a contaminated pond near Chernobyl, and in twelve days the cesium concentrations within its roots were reportedly 8,000 times that of the water, while the strontium concentrations were 2,000 times that of the water. Helianthus is in the composite, or Asteraceae, family and has edible seeds. It also produces an oil that is used for cooking, in margarine, and as a paint additive. H. tuberosus was used by Native Americans as a carbohydrate source for diabetics.
In 1998, Phytotech, along with Consolidated Growers and Processors (CGP) and the Ukraine’s Institute of Bast Crops, planted industrial hemp, Cannabis sp., for the purpose of removing contaminants near the Chernobyl site. Cannabis is in the Cannabidaceae family and is valuable for its fiber, which is used in ropes and other products. This industrial variety of hemp, incidentally, has only trace amounts of THC, the chemical that produces the “high” in a plant of the same genus commonly known as marijuana.
Overall, phytoremediation has great potential for cleaning up toxic metals, pesticides, solvents, gasoline, and explosives. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that more than 30,000 sites in the United States alone require hazardous waste treatment. Restoring these areas and their soil, as well as disposing of the wastes, are costly projects, but the costs are expected to be reduced drastically if plants provide the phytoremediation results everyone is hoping for.
Meanwhile, of the original four reactors at Chernobyl, Reactors 1 and 3 are still operating today, providing 6,000 jobs and about 6% of the Ukraine’s electricity. Reactor 2 was closed after a fire in 1991; the construction of Reactors 5 and 6 came to a grinding halt after the explosion.
References, Websites, and Further Reading
“Sunflowers Bloom in Tests to Remove Radioactive Metals from Soil and Water,” Wall Street Journal, 29 February 1996.
International Atomic Energy Association
Environmental Protection Agency research and scientists page
From Plants Sites & Parks magazine, May/June 1996: Attacking the Root of the Problem.
Central Oregon Green Pages: Hemp “Eats” Chernobyl Waste
Stern, Introductory Plant Biology, 8th Edition
Chapter 2: The Nature of Life
Isotopes and radioactivity, p. 17
Chapter 5 : Roots and Soils
Phytoremediation, p. 79
Chapter 7: Leaves
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), p. 123
Chapter 24: Flowering Plants and Civilization
The Mustard Family (Brassicaceae), pp. 442-43
The Sunflower Family (Asteraceae), pp. 453-54
The Grass Family (Poaceae), pp. 454-56
Chapter 25: Ecology
Ecosystems, pp. 464-66
Food web diagram, p. 465
Herbivores, pp. 466-67
While on this subject …have a look at this..
I have been meaning to share this with you guys for ages.
The below article is by Marvin Resnikoff, Senior Associate at Radioactive Waste Management Associates. It throws some light on the science behind what has/is happening at Fukushima and it gives an idea about the gravity of the situation by comparing the radioactive leak potential with the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in ww2.
Posted: March 15, 2011 11:03 AM
The slow motion events occurring at Japan’s (or GE’s) Fukushima reactor cannot be sugar-coated. It is a doomsday scenario unfolding.
Nuclear reactors are not the same as coal/oil/gas electricity plants. Unlike conventional plants, they cannot be turned off. So while brave workers were tending to Units 1, 2 and 3 reactors, attempting against all odds to keep the reactor from overheating, the fuel pool at Unit 4 was left untended; without makeup water to cool them, the fuel rods overheated. Above 1800 oF, an exothermic reaction, a fire, took place with the zirconium cladding around the uranium pellets. Zirconium burned, forming zirconium oxide and hydrogen gas, which then exploded and released radioactive cesium, a semi-volatile metal, to the atmosphere.
Near the plant, the radiation levels dangerously escalated to 400 milliseiverts/hour (or 40 rems/hour in U.S. parlance). Considering background is on the order of 1 milliseivert per YEAR, this means a yearly background dose every 9 seconds. Put plainly, workers at the Fukushima reactors are putting their lives in immediate jeopardy.
What is a fuel pool?
Each year a commercial reactor operates, approximately 30 tons of fuel are irradiated. Every year or year and a half, this fuel is moved to a fuel pool for safe storage. Under 20 feet of circulating and replenished water, the fuel is stored. Water shields the radioactivity and cools the fuel, which still gives off heat. If water is not resupplied, which apparently was the case at unit 4, the water levels decline, the fuel is uncovered and it overheats, leading to a hydrogen explosion.
How much cesium-137 is contained in a fuel pool?
The amount of cesium contained in the fuel pool is typically measured in curies or becquerels, but these assessments are meaningless unless you are a physicist. An easier way to look at it is in relation to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II, where 100,000 Japanese where killed. Cesium is a semi-volatile material that has been detected in the air downwind of the Fukushima reactors. How many Hiroshima bombs worth of cesium-137 are contained in the fuel pool?
In work for the State of Nevada, we estimated that 10 tons of irradiated (what the industry calls “spent”) nuclear fuel was equivalent to 240 times the amount of cesium-137 released by the Hiroshima bomb. Ten tons is the amount of irradiated fuel that would be contained in a shipping container or cask used to transport the fuel. Why so much more cesium than the Hiroshima bomb? Because an atomic explosion occurs in milliseconds, but a nuclear reactor operates continuously for years. Many more fissions means much more fission products, including cesium You do the math. If Unit 4 operated for 35 years and produced 30 tons of irradiated fuel per year and each ton is equivalent to 24 times the amount of cesium-137 produced by the Hiroshima bomb, then each fuel pool could contain on the order of 24,000 times the amount of cesium-137 produced by the Hiroshima bomb, if all the produced irradiated fuel remains in the fuel pool..
This is not to say all this material will be released to the atmosphere or ocean. This is the maximum cesium-137 possible inventory at each Fukushima reactor. Each fuel pool at each Fukushima reactor also contains approximately the same amount of strontium-90 and other cancer causing materials. In addition to the fuel pools at each Fukushima reactor, a larger common fuel pool sits at ground level between two reactors in a building with windows. The damage the tsunami caused to this independent fuel pool has not been discussed by the media.
Iodine, cesium and other radionuclides can be carried downwind and inhaled. Radionuclides that land in the sea may be taken up by fish and eaten. When these cancer-causing materials are taken into the body by inhalation or ingestion, they concentrate in different organs. Cesium concentrates in muscle, strontium (like calcium) in bones, iodine in the thyroid. Once in the body, these radioactive materials continue to decay, releasing harmful gamma and beta radiation. Plutonium, also present, gives off alpha radiation. Rearranging the DNA in the human body leads to cancer. To put this in another way, a BWR reactor boils water to produce electricity by generating cancer-causing materials.
Take this out of the nuclear realm. Imagine another harmful poison, botulism. Imagine a botulism reactor, reproducing botuli fast enough to produce heat and steam to turn turbines. Then imagine having to contain these billions of botuli so the public is not harmed. This is essentially the friendly atom that has now come full circle in Japan and that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will relicense for an additional 20 years at Vermont Yankee and at 30 other Fukushima-type reactors in the United States. Fortunately, the State of Vermont has taken matters into its own hands and has decided not to allow Vermont Yankee to run past 2012..
Peace Is Doable
p.s We have been hearing the word meltdown alot. For those of you who are not sure here is a dictionary definition:
Severe overheating of a nuclear reactor core, resulting in melting of the core and escape of radiation.
I recently read an article which talked about the fear mongering taking place in relation to conspiracy theories.
I think in general human life is very fear orientated.
Fear is not necessarily a bad thing. Fear can enslave you.. and free you too.. It just depends on how the individual or group or nation etc choose to use it. Just like any other emotion.. balance being the key.
The information is just information..it may ring true to you or may not.. Your thoughts on the theory or news does not make it right or wrong..
I agree that there is sometimes accessive fear mongering around certain conspiracy “theories” and the people who take on board these theories/ information and spread it from a fear based, “drama queen” stance.
I also believe that most of humanity is living in a climate of fear because of “valid” reasons. Striking an emotionally poised response under such a climate is not always an easy task …
Living in a “financially poorer” European country than England for example gives me a bit of an extra insight in certain ways.
Many people here in Spain are living in financial hardship, not knowing how they will pay their next month’s rent/mortgage/bills ..
I visited a friend a few days ago and I was saddened that she had only enough money to buy salad and vegetables for her child who is ill. None for the rest of the family.. Everyone else had a small portion of chips and a thin sliver of ham for their meal.. Many other friends and acquaintances get by on next to nothing..
On a positive note, the majority of these friends and acquaintances who grow much of their own food, have simple lifestyles and very few belongings are the ones who seem to be doing ok, despite a tiny budget. 🙂
As a parent I can understand how such situations could build into rage and fear at society and the system for the average European, city dweller who is not used to a frugal lifestyle and does not have land to grow their own food.
Anyway this article made me think about sharing my own strategy on facing f ear from all that is going on in our world according to the conspiracy theorists, alternative media and mainstream media.
A lot of the information can be alarming and frightening if one is not “armed” with a generally balanced emotional, mental and spiritual stance.
I have over the years developed besides other things an ability to step back/out of whatever life drama/news has descended.. It is a bit like switching off… whereby my rational mind goes on autopilot giving me time to discern, evaluate..to take stock of the situation… I do this if time is an issue.
If time is not an issue I still step back/out but just ponder at a more agreeable pace while I go about my daily business and take time to draw my conclusions..to take an accurate as possible stock of the situation..
I really like the below words as they too help me deal with this emotion:
“Fearlessness is the ability to remain soft and open, even under very difficult circumstances.
Most often, fear causes us to shut down to our own and others’ humanity.
We just want to get away, but the quickest way out is to stay.
If you can slow down a bit, you can see that fear rises, abides, and dissolves on its own.
Allowing this process is the mark of the spiritual warrior.
The coward turns attention toward fighting fear; the warrior accommodates it.”
When I was little my mother taught me a prayer.
Two very important lines in it were regards God’s attributes:
It was instilled in me in a way that I too should become like that..
When I was a teenager my father brought home some tea cups.
They were just ordinary white cups with a blue coat of arms with the following words on them:-
Be Just and Fear Not.
Drinking tea every morning out of one of these cups,
reading the “mantra” on it, as my hands clasped the warmth the cup emitted,
before stepping out in to the often cold English mornings and marching off to school was
a soul strengthening process.. (I did not like school.)
I am very grateful to my parents endeavours to educate me spiritually etc.. as it helped turn me into a fairly tough spirit with a just about respectable amount of fearlessness. 😉
Yes….tough enough to face the onslaught of a debilitating illness while in my early teens
Tough enough to actually get through uni despite being in constant pain…
Tough enough to face death threats due to my choice in partner..etc
These toughening up experiences also caused me to hold justice and fearlessness high in my adult value system…
Looking at societies and cultures etc you see how much manipulation goes on through lack of justice and the noose of fear.
So I have this need/hunger to know all that is going on around me so I can form my just/truthful conclusions according to my understanding fearlessly.. (However I do bear in mind that each individuals understanding is very limited as we know so little about life the universe etc).
Applying that to the world today, I don’t fear the information that is out there.. conspiracy theories and otherwise..
I choose not to be scared by it. I am more like a shadow observer..
It seems to me that people react to conspiracy theories in a number of ways. (Fear and alarm often lurks in the background )
Here are a few that I have observed:
1) Those who will not believe
2) Those who will believe without investigating further, deeper
3) Those who will bury their head in the sand
4) Those who will attack the bringer of the information because the information threatens their personal interest/s e.g status, monetary etc
5) Those who will attack the bringer of the information because the actual information is too off their radar or too scary to face
6) Those who will live breath conspiracy theories 24 hours in a state of fear panic and spreading panic
7) Those who will live breath conspiracy theories 24 hours in a state of relative peace..knowing this information may be important to take on board and share (very few do that)
8) Those who live regular lives but dip into the alternative news media/conspiracy theorists etc information whenever their circumstances permit.. bit like me 😉
I sure am glad that at least some folks are putting forward their ideas, their hunches as regular media is more or less owned by the very people who have herded humanity to its present position.. …
For example last week, I saw aeroplanes toeing and frowing across the sky and at one point their chemtrails formed such a dense cloud that it literally blocked out the sun.
I have seen a number of “conspiracy type videos on chemtrails” but one or two stand out and things add up, so I am mighty grateful that there are people who “lay down their jobs, careers, personal safety and security” to get the just version of events, out in the public arena for those who are willing to look and take on board.
I think people like Bill Ryan, David Icke do a great job. I don’t necessarily agree with all their material but it is food for thought.
Anyway friends, do not get “bogged down” with the challenging stuff 24 hours, week after week etc .. save your energy for when you really may need to dig deep… Like those in war torn zones etc…
All the best to you allxx
I wrote the above article yesterday and I was going to publish it last night, I did not as I was feeling a bit under the weather.. I was woken up this morning by a dream in which I heard a desperate scream. It was a child screaming “MUMMY!” I woke up really upset..
I was getting back to feeling ok when I went on the computer and saw the news..
Well…. my prayers and love for all who are waking upto pain and loss xxxxxx