Radioactive contamination of the soil in the Fukushima area as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is one of the most serious problems in Japan but it was still uncertain what kinds of materials actually bind the radioactive cesium nuclides which are responsible for the radiation. Due to such uncertainty, research and development of effective actions for decontamination have not progressed.
Associate Professor Kogure’s laboratory in the Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo and researchers in Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) have successfully identified the cesium-fixing fine particles in soil samples from Iitate, Fukushima, and determined the distribution of the radiation in these particles, mainly using a variety of electron microscopic techniques.
This research result will make a great contribution, for example, to prediction of the long-term future spread and movement of radioactive materials, finding the new recipes for soil decontamination, and the development of compaction and/or storage methods of the large amounts of waste produced by the decontamination process in the Fukushima area.
Source: University of Tokyo