the art of fire book*
Permies likes fungi and the farmer likes The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone Myco-remediation of the Japanese Landscape permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login
permies » forums » growies » fungi
Bookmark "The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone Myco-remediation of the Japanese Landscape" Watch "The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone Myco-remediation of the Japanese Landscape" New topic
Author

The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone Myco-remediation of the Japanese Landscape

Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
[url=http://coalitionforpositivechange.com/stamets-fallout-mycoremediation.pdf"]http://coalitionforpositivechange.com/stamets-fallout-mycoremediation.pdf

The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone Myco-remediation of the Japanese Landscape After Radioactive Fallout
Many people have written me and asked more or less the same question: “What would you do to help heal the Japanese landscape around the failing nuclear reactors?”
The enormity and unprecedented nature of this combined natural and human-made disaster will require a massive and completely novel approach to management and remediation. And with this comes a never before seen opportunity for collaboration, research and wisdom.
The nuclear fallout will make continued human habitation in close proximity to the reactors untenable. The earthquake and tsunami created enormous debris fields near the nuclear reactors. Since much of this debris is wood, and many fungi useful in mycoremediation are wood decomposers and build the foundation of forest ecosystems, I have the following suggestions:
1) Evacuate the region around the reactors.
2) Establish a high-level, diversified remediation team including foresters, mycologists, nuclear and radiation experts, government officials, and citizens.
3) Establish a fenced off Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone.
4) Chip the wood debris from the destroyed buildings and trees and spread throughout areas suffering from high levels of radioactive contamination.
5) Mulch the landscape with the chipped wood debris to a minimum depth of 12-24 inches.
6) Plant native deciduous and conifer trees, along with hyper-accumulating mycorrhizal mushrooms, particularly Gomphidius glutinosus, Craterellus tubaeformis, and Laccaria amethystina (all native to pines). G. glutinosus has been reported to absorb – via the mycelium – and concentrate radioactive Cesium 137 more than 10,000-fold over ambient background levels. Many other mycorrhizal mushroom species also hyper-accumulate.
7) Wait until mushrooms form and then harvest them under Radioactive HAZMAT protocols.
Continuously remove the mushrooms, which have now concentrated the radioactivity, particularly Cesium 137, to an incinerator. Burning the mushroom will
result in radioactive ash. This ash can be further refined and the resulting concentrates vitrified (placed into glass) or stored using other state-of-the-art storage technologies.
Gomphidius glutinosus hyper-accumulates radioactive Cesium 137
By sampling other mushroom-forming fungi for their selective ability to hyper-accumulate radioactivity, we can learn a great deal while helping the ecosystem recover. Not only will some mushroom species hyper-accumulate radioactive compounds, but research has also shown that some mycorrhizal fungi bind and sequester radioactive elements so they remain immobilized for extended periods of time. Surprisingly, we learned from the Chernobyl disaster that many species of melanin-producing fungi have their growth stimulated by radiation.
The knowledge gained through this collaborative process would not only benefit the areas affected by the current crisis, but would also help with preparedness and future remediation responses.
How long would this remediation effort take? I have no clear idea but suggest this may require decades. However, a forested national park could emerge –The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone – and eventually benefit future generations with its many ecological and cultural attributes.
I do not know of any other practical remedy. I do know that we have an unprecedented opportunity to work together toward solutions that make sense.
For references, see the selected list below and please consult my latest book, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley or [url=http://www.fungi.com]www.fungi.com ). Utilizing search engines of the scientific literature will also reveal more corroborative references.
Paul Stamets
Selected Bibliography on Fungal Interactions with Radiation
Berreck, M. and K. Haselwandter, 2003. “Radiocesium Contamination of Wild-Growing Medicinal Mushrooms in Ukraine” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 5:61-86.
Biello, D., 2007. “Do Fungi Eat Radiation?” Science News, May 23.
Epik, O., and G. Yaprak. 2003. “The mushrooms as bioindicators of radiocesium in forest ecosystem.” Proceedings of the Fifth General Conference of the Balkan Physical Union, Vrnjaãka Banja, Serbia and Montenegro, August 25-29.
Fomina. M., J. M. Charnock, S. Hillier, R. Alvarez, F. Livens, and G. M. Gadd, 2008. “Role of fungi in the biogeochemical fate of depleted uranium”. Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 9, R375-R377, Elsevier Ltd.
( http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S0960982208003096 )
Ekaterina D, R. Bryan, X. Huang, T. Moadel, A. D. Schweitzer, P.Aisen, J. D. Nosanchuk, A. Casadevall, 2007. “Ionizing Radiation Changes the Electronic Properties of Melanin and Enhances the Growth of Melanized Fungi”. PLoS One.
( http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0000457 )
Gadd, G.M., ed., 2001. Fungi in Bioremediation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Gadd, G.M., ed., 2006. Fungi in Biogeochemical Cycles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Singh, H., 2006. Mycoremediation. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey.
Stamets, Paul, 2005. Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California.
Stijve, T. & M. Poretti, 1990. “Radioactivity in Mushrooms” Issue 28, vol 8, no. 3, pp. 5-9. Mushroom, The Journal, Moscow, Idaho.
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
Wow, mushrooms thriving on the radiation inside the chernobyl reactors!

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/2095/full
Franklin Stone


Joined: Jun 09, 2010
Posts: 152
The potential radiation harvesting effects of melanin in fungi are quite interesting.

I have noticed with oyster mushrooms (growing both wild and in captivity) that the caps can exhibit a great deal of color difference, depending on growing conditions:

Warm weather causes the oyster mushrooms to be paler, almost white, while cool weather tends to cause them to grow a darker color. (Could the extra melanin help them harvest more thermal energy?)

Oyster mushrooms exposed to direct sunlight or bright fluorescent lights also tend to be much darker than those grown in low-light conditions. (I assume that the extra melanin protects the mushrooms from damage, much like a tan does in people?)
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3112
Location: woodland, washington
    
  58
the only problem I immediately see with Stamets' forest idea is the critters involved.  they aren't likely to pay a fence much heed and could easily spread the nastiness far and wide.  best suggestion I've heard so far, though.


find religion! church
kiva! hyvä! iloinen! pikkumaatila
get stung! beehives
be hospitable! host-a-hive
be antisocial! facespace
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
tel jetson wrote:
the only problem I immediately see with Stamets' forest idea is the critters involved.  they aren't likely to pay a fence much heed and could easily spread the nastiness far and wide.  best suggestion I've heard so far, though.


Yes.  Japan have a variety of wild boars called 'inoshishi' that thrive in wild and semi-wild places.  You can smell their scent, find their tracks and droppings if you walk mountain roads in Japan. 



Wild boars throughout eastern europe are still toxic due to chernobyl.  There are laws to prevent humans from eating them.  I suppose they may be eating mushrooms, and furthering bioaccumulation.  Surely a population would spring up in a re-wilding forest.  The herd could be culled where they leave the boundary of the contaminated zone, and toxins sequestered.  Like wild pigs everywhere, they usually don't get along with farming communities, regardless of their level of radioactivity. 





tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3112
Location: woodland, washington
    
  58
hadn't considered larger animals like that.  I was thinking more about birds and rodents &c.  boars would be relatively easy to see, but smaller critters would be much more numerous and difficult to track.
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
Mice and birds will be predated upon by hawks and foxes...and the toxins go higher up the food chain. 

I don't even want to think about the possibility of roving bands of radioactive monkeys, they are troublesome enough as it is. 

In adapting Stamet's proposal to agricultural lands, I wonder if rice straw is a suitable growing medium for the mushroom species he is speaking of (Gomphidius glutinosus, Craterellus tubaeformis, and Laccaria amethystina (all native to pines)?

I also wonder if they will grow on Cryptomeria a.k.a. Sugi a.k.a. Japanese Cedar, though it isn't a cedar, but rather a cypress.  Sugi is the dominant native conifer in Japan that has been monocropped in neglected tree farms over much of the nation. 
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3112
Location: woodland, washington
    
  58
my guess is that even if those three don't do well with rice straw, there are a whole lot of other species that will, and chances seem good that some of them hyper-accumulate the right stuff.  any way you cut it, it's going to involve a lot of people risking exposure and a lot of time to sort everything out.

the folks displaced from around Chernobyl had a fairly large area to absorb them.  that isn't really the case this time around.
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
tel jetson wrote:
the folks displaced from around Chernobyl had a fairly large area to absorb them.  that isn't really the case this time around.


For better or worse, the prevailing winds have carried most of it over the ocean...  Fukushima is fairly sparsely populated and mountainous.  Ibaraki a bit more populous, though considerably less contamination.  The big problem is that these areas are major suppliers of vegetables to Tokyo and also drinking water supply.  Fortunately, levels of iodine in tapwater and the air have already dropped within 'safe' limits - whatever that means.  Iodine has half life of 8 days, but cesium & strontium are 30 years.  Plutonium & uranium 24,000. 

Our friend Obama-san farms the land that his family has farmed for 26 generations in Fukushima.  He runs a co-operative of mostly elderly folks that grow organic and he drives to market in Tokyo once or twice a week.  Great guy with a lot of passion for natural farming.  He must be devastated right now.  Anything I can do to help give these folks a ray of hope through the radioactive clouds I will try and do. 
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3112
Location: woodland, washington
    
  58
do you think there's any truth to the claims that miso offers some protection?  I would imagine it would need to be imported from clean areas.
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
tel jetson wrote:
do you think there's any truth to the claims that miso offers some protection?  I would imagine it would need to be imported from clean areas.


Absolutely.  At the very least, sea salt contains trace amounts of iodine.  Plus, it is usually eaten with kombu or wakame seaweeds, which have higher amounts of iodine.  Fish & other seafood may also help, though some of those have heavy metals.  If there is any people on earth that are not deficient in iodine, it is the Japanese.  Plus, they are mostly thin, which is a plus as toxins are stored in fat. 

Real miso is aged in casks, so they should have at least a year's supply of clean stuff, but after that?

I know a survivor of Hiroshima.  He attributes his health to miso, seaweed and otherwise traditional diet. 
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3112
Location: woodland, washington
    
  58
so I guess add Aspergillus oryzae and the yeast involved to the list of fungi that could help out.
Jonathan Byron


Joined: Apr 16, 2011
Posts: 225
    
    1
tel jetson wrote:
do you think there's any truth to the claims that miso offers some protection?  I would imagine it would need to be imported from clean areas.


Kojic acid in miso offers some radioprotection:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=kojic%20radioprotection

A partial listing of other natural radioprotectant compounds includes many of the anti-oxidants:
delta and gama-Tocotrienol (vitamin E)
alpha-lipoic acid
ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
caffeine
genistein
melatonin
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
We could try to concentrate the cesium, or we could flush it out to sea. The ocean is vast, and cesium is heavy and will fall to the bottom. After the cesium is dissolved in the ocean it will make such a small difference that it will be undetectable. The cesium only does damage when it is concentrated.
Tony Elswick


Joined: Aug 10, 2011
Posts: 73
does burning the mushrooms re-release the radioactive components into the air possibly contaminating other bioregions?

I really like your suggestions:

Currently I am working on cloning Pluerotus Ostreatus to compost plastics.  I am trying to isolate the rhizomorph sections and produce a fast strain and grow it on substrate with oil, i'll take the best growing fruits and start F2 generations.... do you think I can keep going and create a compost bin for plastics or do you think the oyster mushrooms will hit a limit on how fast they can digest those insidious hydrocarbons?
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
Tony,

If you figure out how to compost plastics with fungi, please let us know. I was amazed how much I shrank my green bin (compost collection) contribution when I started to compost. I really like mushrooms, and the idea that plastic is not forever. Thanks.

-CK
 
 
subject: The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone Myco-remediation of the Japanese Landscape
 
cast iron skillet 49er

more from paul wheaton's glorious empire of web junk: cast iron skillet diatomaceous earth sepp holzer raised garden beds raising chickens lawn care flea control missoula electric heaters permaculture videos permaculture books