Technology to clean radioactive contaminated soil

Japanese researchers say they have developed technology to clean soil contaminated by radioactive fallout from accidents at nuclear power plants.

Waseda University Professor Masahiko Matsukata and his team developed the technology.

The technology involves removing the contaminated particles of soil by adding a special chemical to high-pressure water that is used to clean the soil.

The researchers say their technology needs less electricity and chemicals than conventional methods, reducing costs by more than two-thirds.

Large volumes of soil affected by the fallout from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident have been removed during decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture.

The government aims to bring the soil to intermediate storage facilities and lower the concentration of pollutants or recycle it so that the amount of soil for final disposal will be reduced.

The Waseda team plans to use soil from such intermediate storage facilities in testing its technology before it can put it to practical use.

Matsukata said the team has proven that its technology can reduce the volume of contaminated dirt at low costs. He said he aims to further test the technology and put it into practice in the affected areas.