The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March damaged several of their power plants, releasing large amounts of radioactive material into the water and into the soil around the Fukushima reactor. Now a group of citizens have started a campaign to plant sunflowers in order to clean contaminants from the fallout zone.

The seeds will be sold to volunteers, who will plant them in as many places as possible around the power plant. The flowers that grow in the contaminated soil will hopefully suck up the cesium. They will be picked and disposed of safely, but in the meanwhile, they will create a brilliant yellow landscape that may even be visible from space. As they grow, they will help to absorb cesium from the soil.

It’s not clear if this will work, but the general idea correlates with other findings about plants and pollution. Sunflowers and other plants were used to help clean up radiation after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine. In Natural News, Sally Oaken quotes project leader Shinji Handa as saying, "This is different from donations because people will grow the flowers, and a mother can tell her children that it is like an act of prayer for the reconstruction of the northeast. I also hope the project will give momentum to attract tourists back to Fukushima with sunflower seeds in their hands. I would like to make a maze using sunflowers so that children can play in it."

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