A natural way to clean remove nuclear wastes is using freshwater pond algae! This natural and god gift hazard-free freshwater pond base plant is useful for removing strontium 90 (Sr-90), a major waste component from a nuclear waste. The question, however, will freshwater algae survive in sea water environment?
The amazing discovery is a result of hard works conducted by researchers from Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory.
The Sr-90 has a half-life of about 30 years, is chemically very similar to calcium, and, thus, is also similarly drawn to bone. Now calcium is present in far greater abundance than Sr-90 in nuclear waste, and is completely harmless. However Sr-90 bands together with calcium and is difficult to differentiate and oneâ€™s continuous exposure to this waste causes cumulative cancer risk.
According to the McCormick Northwestern School of Engineering and Applied Science’s professor in Materials Science and Manufacturing, Derk Joester, bright colored green algae or botanically known as Closterium moniliferum are often seen in ponds, and they have the capability to remove strontium present in the form of barium-strontium-sulfate crystals in nuclear wastes.
The cleaning process start by natural release of self-assembled biominerals by the single-celled algae, including non-radioactive strontium, and can intellectually differentiate it from calcium. Through concentration on Sr-90 in the form of solid crystals with very low solubility, the dangerous high-level waste could be then isolated from the rest and moved separately.
The interesting part come in when the algae start to separate strontium from calcium that occur when the crystals are formed inside the algae’s cells. These single cell algae will soak up the strontium, barium and calcium from their watery environment. The harmful Strontium will then sequestered together with barium in the form of crystals, which remain in the cells, while the calcium is excreted from the cells.
The experiements, however, were conducted using non-radioactive strontium, which has similar chemical form to the radioactive version.