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Belarusian R&D for rehabilitating territories around Fukushima nuclear power plant

GOMEL, 27 September (BelTA) – R&D products of Belarusian scientists are used to rehabilitate territories polluted by the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, BelTA learned from Shuichi Okumoto, an employee of the EM Research Organization (EMRO), Japan. Shuichi Okumoto took part in the international scientific conference Radiobiology: Challenges of the 21st Century in Gomel on 27 September. The conference is timed to the 30th anniversary of the Radiobiology Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. 

In particular, special microorganisms are used to slow down the transition of cesium from soil to plants. In the past the Radiobiology Institute found out that due to certain peculiarities in interaction between soil microorganisms and radionuclides it is possible to reduce the bioavailability of radionuclides for plants. “Thanks to the Belarusian technology we have been able to reduce the transition of cesium into plants and increase the yield of agricultural crops,” noted the Japanese scientist. 

The Radiobiology: Challenges of the 21st Century conference is scheduled for 27-29 September. Representatives of scientific circles of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, and Japan, specialists and heads of government agencies, members of permanent commissions of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus are taking part in the conference. Participants of the conference are busy analyzing various approaches to the long-term rehabilitation of polluted territories, the realization of countermeasures to fight environmental pollution long after the nuclear accidents at the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plants as well as the Semipalatinsk nuclear weapons testing ground. Reports will be delivered to outline modern systems for responding to emergencies in radiation pollution territories. Ways of extending human life and improving living standards in conditions of the man-caused increased background of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation are discussed. 

The Radiobiology Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus is the country’s leading radiobiology research institution. It was established in 1987 to tackle the scientific problems involved in the alleviation of consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. Upon instructions of the Belarus president to focus the scientific potential for dealing with Chernobyl catastrophe consequences in Gomel, the Radiobiology Institute moved from Minsk to Gomel in 2003.