Japanese scientists work to protect crops from irradiated soil

March 5, 2015 1:39 PM

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It's been four years since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster -- a lifetime in the fast-paced 21st century. But for slow-decaying cesium-134 and cesium-137, two of the dangerous radioisotopes that escaped and leached into the environment during the meltdown, four years is nothing.

Cesium isotopes are water soluble and thus readily absorbed by plants. Unsurprisingly, the radioisotopes offer no nutritional benefit to their hosts, and in fact retard plant growth.

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