Or at least they’ll try to.
Japan decided to try phytoremediation to clean the soils of the radioactive elements spread by Fukushima 1.
Phytoremediation means cleaning the soil with vegetals. Experiments about that have been held in Europe after Tchernobyl, involving broccolinis and sunflowers, and the JAXA (yes, the aerospacial agency, don’t ask me why THEY are involved in this project) launched the “operation sunflowers”.
Plants absorb nutriments in the soil and sunflowers being huge plants, they absorb a big quantity of nutriments. Of course cesium (the major problem in Japan) is not a nutriment but it looks like potassium and thus can be assimilated by the plants (and human body, hence the problem with its existence…).
The radioactive sunflowers will be “disassembled” by bacterias and the remnant minerals drown in cement and dealt with like any other radioactive waste. The goal is to reach (at least) 5000 Bq by kilogramme of soil in agricultural lands and 1000 Bq by kilogramme in places where children live.
Yamaguchi Tatsuya announced a few days ago that DASH Mura was being cleaned that way since June and that he personnaly took part in the operation twice for the time being, collecting soil samples and sowing seeds. DASH Mura is located only 25 kilometres far from Fukushima 1, in the evacuated zone. I’ve been quite often asked why I got so sensitive over the fate of a place I never visited (only by foreigners who did not know the show, I must say…), but from a certain point of view, I’ve been going to DASH Mura almost once a week for the last few years. That is far more than my visiting my own family in the countryside. To a certain extent, DASH Mura is the inaka I have in Japan, as it certainly is the case for many city-dwellers too.
After the disaster, when TOKIO announced “we will revive DASH Mura”, I believed them. I am a scientist, I knew it would not be easy. Even now, I see more problems uprising (I mean, that’s not only agricultural land up there, what about the forest ?). But I still believe. Of course they will do it.