UK invests £500k to research Fukushima clean up

A team of researchers have been granted £516,000 to support research in cleaning up the Fukushima nuclear accident. The government-funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) made the investment. […]

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A team of researchers have been granted £516,000 to support research in cleaning up the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The government-funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) made the investment.

Scientists at the University of Sheffield and Imperial College London will collaborate with Japanese universities “to develop viable processes to immobilise radioactive ion exchange materials”.

The Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011 triggered a tsunami, which led to the partial melt down of three boiling water reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Since the accident water has been used to cool the cores and reactor buildings resulting in 3,760 tons of contaminated water per day, according to the EPSRC.

Professor Neil Hyatt, Director of the Immobilisation Science Laboratory at Sheffield University, said: “We are delighted to be leading these important projects which will take innovation in radioactive waste treatment developed here in the UK and apply it to the challenge of decommissioning the Fukushima site.

“Working as a team, we will be able to take a significant step to addressing the problems of water decontamination and radioactive waste management on the Fukushima site during the next few years”.

The research will also look at the decommissioning of Sellafield, Hanford and other nuclear sites.

EPSRC recently invested £11 million in climate change technologies.