Geek Trivia: Which Plant Is Used For Nuclear Catastrophe Remediation?


A closeup image of a sunflower head
L. Shyamal/Wikipedia

Reply: Sunflowers

Phytoremediation is the method of utilizing crops to revive stability to an setting broken by pure or man-made occasions. A subset of the broad class of phytoremediation is rhizofiltration, whereby the foundation programs of crops are used to filter, through the motion of water within the soil and the uptake of water by the crops, poisonous substances and extra vitamins held within the soil.

Among the many varied crops used for rhizofiltration, sunflowers have confirmed to be notably efficient on the process. They develop quickly and so they’re very tall; their top and mass necessitate a powerful and broad root system. Additional, sunflowers have confirmed to be notably environment friendly at drawing heavy metals and radioactive isotopes up into their biomass. By planting hundreds of sunflowers on the web site of radioactive disasters (corresponding to Chernobyl and Fukushima), radioactive materials could be harvested from the bottom with out large excavation efforts. The ensuing sunflower crops are then handled as radioactive waste and dealt with just like the soil can be (however way more effectively).

That is additionally, uncoincidentally, why the sunflower is the worldwide image for nuclear disarmament.

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