OriginOil has announced that its research partner in Japan has received government funding approval for a program to use the company’s algae harvester to clean the radioactive waste from contaminated sites in Fukushima where the March 2011 nuclear accident occurred.
Certain plants and algae have the capability of absorbing metals such as cesium and strontium. Radioisotopes of these metals have long half-lives and can cause radiation sickness leading to death. A recent test by the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), a strain of microalgae successfully removed nearly 90% of all radioactive material from cesium-contaminated water.
Dr. Takaaki Maekawa, President of the Research Institute of Tsukuba Bio-tech (RITB), has confirmed receiving grant approval from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) to build one-acre sites to prove biofuels production and toxic remediation using algae. Dr. Maekawa has made plans to employ OriginOil algae harvesting technology in programs funded by this grant and by private investors, potentially expanding to 100 sites or more.