Associate Professor Noriyuki Kumazawa of the Faculty of Engineering, Ibaraki University, and others have developed a technology to suppress the transfer of radioactive cesium to plants, etc. in collaboration with the Kumagai Gumi Group and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)."Bentonite," which is a type of clay mineral that adsorbs cesium, is sprayed on the foliage soil on the slopes of the forest to suppress the reabsorption of cesium into plants.Furthermore, using a charge-controlled polyion complex (a polymer with opposite charges self-assembled by electrostatic force), the migration of bentonite that has adsorbed cesium to the lowlands is made using rainfall and the flow of rainwater. prevent.
By using the power of nature to suppress the migration of radioactive cesium, decontamination can be performed without destroying the forest ecosystem.Since the raw materials used are used on a daily basis and can be procured in large quantities without harm, we aim to popularize them as a low-cost method that can gently regenerate satoyama while protecting the forest.Associate Professor Kumazawa hopes that "if we develop this technology that can efficiently decontaminate cesium in forests, we can regain the satoyama as a living area."
In March 2016, the government announced a policy to expand the decontamination area, which had been mainly targeted at forests in the vicinity of living areas such as residences, to Satoyama.As a result, there is growing interest in technology that suppresses the transfer of cesium to plants, etc., as one of the measures for satoyama regeneration.