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Partners Advance Cesium Remediation

by Marc S. Reisch
August 6, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 32

Honeywell’s UOP division and Japan’s Showa Denko have developed a new method to remove radioactive cesium from contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was damaged by the tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011. The new method absorbs cesium with zeolite and insoluble ferrocyanide. Heat-treating the mixture traps and stabilizes the cesium in vitrified zeolite for long-term storage. The old formula, which also uses insoluble ferro­cyanide, is unstable and decomposes when heated. Union Showa, a joint venture between the two firms, has developed methods to remove strontium and cobalt as well.

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