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NEDO, Fukushima Pref. Sign Cooperation Pact on Robot Tests

“To revitalize Fukushima Prefecture”, signing of a technological cooperation agreement with NEDO (organization for the development of new energies and industrial technologies), for tests of drones and robots ; construction of a huge site of 50 hectares straddling the municipalities of Minamisoma and Namie …

 

Screenshot from 2017-11-25 16-37-16
 
Koriyama, Fukushima Pref., Nov. 22 (Jiji Press)–The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization on Wednesday concluded a cooperation pact with the Fukushima prefectural government on the development of technologies for demonstration tests for drones and robots.
The organization, better known as NEDO, aims to establish technologies to accurately measure the durability and safety of drones and robots, utilizing the Fukushima Robot Test Field, a planned large test site over 50 hectares that straddles the city of Minamisoma and the town of Namie in a coastal region in the northeastern Japan prefecture.
The Fukushima government is building the site as part of efforts to revitalize the coastal region, devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The test site will partly enter into service in fiscal 2018.
Various demonstration tests will be conducted there, such as one to check a robot’s capabilities to conduct underwater inspections of old dams using a 7-meter-deep pool.
NEDO plans to develop technology to check whether drones can fly stably in strong wind. For this, the central government-linked organization will use a wind tunnel facility to be set up in the site.
 
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November 25, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Paper sludge that polluted sea cleans up soil in Fukushima

Another one after so many others. Always nice to read so as to reduce the anxiety of the Fukushima people who have to live with that contamination.

But does it truly works? Or is it just another soothing story cooked by the ETHOS project whose only intent is to make people stay put in the contaminated areas, the costs of evacuation being too high…

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 A heap of sludge produced in papermaking

FUJI, Shizuoka Prefecture–Charcoal from paper mill sludge that once polluted the ocean here southwest of Tokyo could be used to restore contaminated land near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

An experiment in 2011 showed that the charcoal is effective in reducing radioactive substances in soil and preventing the absorption of cesium by plants, said research leader Ai Van Tran.

Tran, 68, a doctor in agricultural science, was conducting the research for the Corelex Group that includes Corelex Shin-ei Mfg. Co., which has the largest share of recycled toilet paper in Japan.

We would be delighted if our byproduct, which was once a source of environmental pollution, is useful in decontamination. It will also contribute to reducing the waste from papermaking, so it is killing two birds with one stone,” said Satoshi Kurosaki, the president of the Corelex Shin-ei.

In making recycled paper, about 30 percent of the raw material remains as sludge. In 2002, the Corelex Group developed “blacklite,” a type of activated carbon produced by burning paper sludge. It has a variety of useful properties such as soil conditioning, deodorizing, underfloor humidity control, melting snow and more.

The company produces blacklite from the paper sludge generated at a paper mill in Hokkaido, and it is used at golf courses and farms on the island.

After the radioactive fallout from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant contaminated a vast area, the team, led by Tran, suggested conducting a trial to use the absorbent property of blacklite to decontaminate the soil.

Between May and October 2011, the company rented about 1,000 square meters of rice fields in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture. It is one of the most heavily contaminated areas. The team grew rice in soil containing blacklite, and compared the amount of radioactivity in the rice with crops grown on soil with no blacklite.

The result was clear.

The rice harvested from the paddies that contained blacklite had just one-35th of the amount of radioactive cesium that was found in the rice grown on untreated soil. The cesium concentration in the treated soil was about half that in the untreated soil.

Also, the rice in the paddies with blacklite showed much better growth than the other crop.

As the ingredients of blacklite is industrial waste, it only costs about 500 yen ($4.80) for a 30-liter bag.

The enormous amount of soil removed from the surface of the ground in Fukushima Prefecture in the decontamination effort has been bagged and piled up at a temporary storage site. It is waiting to be transferred to an interim storage facility, which is still under construction.

It is expected to take a significant amount of time to process this soil and concerns have been raised over radiation leakage in the meantime.

Tran, who is originally from Vietnam, and his team have acquired the patent for a new method to contain radiation by mixing contaminated soil with blacklite and then sealing it in a tank made of concrete.

It is believed that the soil is gradually decontaminated when an ion exchange process occurs between the mineral in blacklite and the radioactive cesium in the soil.

Tran’s paper on his team’s experiments attracted attention in the United States, and he has been invited to speak at an international conference on nuclear chemistry scheduled for December in Texas.

The research is still in its early stages, but the Corelex Group has contacted the economy ministry to ask whether blacklite can be used in the decontamination project in Fukushima in the future.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201610260012.html

 

October 27, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment