Monday, August 1, 2011

How to Help Japan with Mushrooms

Paul Stamets is a mushroom lover. He studies mushrooms.

He recently published a paper where he discuses who to reclaim the land around the reactors in Japan. These are the 8 tasks he suggests:

1) Evacuate the region around the reactors.
2) Establish a high-level, diversified remediation team including foresters, mycologists,
nuclear and radiation experts, government officials, and citizens.
3) Establish a fenced off Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone.
4) Chip the wood debris from the destroyed buildings and trees and spread throughout
areas suffering from high levels of radioactive contamination.
5) Mulch the landscape with the chipped wood debris to a minimum depth of 12-24
inches.
6) Plant native deciduous and conifer trees, along with hyper-accumulating mycorrhizal
mushrooms, particularly Gomphidius glutinosus, Craterellus tubaeformis, and
Laccaria amethystina (all native to pines). G. glutinosus has been reported to absorb
– via the mycelium – and concentrate radioactive Cesium 137 more than 10,000-fold
over ambient background levels. Many other mycorrhizal mushroom species also
hyper-accumulate.
7) Wait until mushrooms form and then harvest them under Radioactive HAZMAT
protocols.
8) Continuously remove the mushrooms, which have now concentrated the
radioactivity, particularly Cesium 137, to an incinerator. Burning the mushroom will result in radioactive ash. This ash can be further refined and the resulting
concentrates vitrified (placed into glass) or stored using other state-of-the-art
storage technologies

If you want to read the whole paper you can find it here.
You can find more information by the author of this paper at TED.
You can also find his website, where he sells boxes that grow old growth forests.

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