Algae holds promise for nuclear clean-up
Common freshwater algae might hold a key to cleaning up after disasters such as Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident, scientists said yesterday at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California.
The algae, called Closterium moniliferum, are members of the desmid order, known to microbiologists for their distinctive shapes, said Minna Krejci, a materials scientist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. But the crescent-shaped C. moniliferum caught Krejci’s eye because of its unusual ability to remove strontium from water, depositing it in crystals that form in subcellular structures known as vacuoles — an knack that could include the radioactive isotope strontium-90.
Anyone remember the strontium 90 level counts announced daily on the radio back in the 50s & 60s when all the nuclear testing was going on?