Effects of neutralized schwertmannite from the disused yanahara mine as a new agricultural material for reducing the transfer of radiocesium from soil to crops

Teruhiko Ishikawa, Taro Harada, Fumio Akahori, Yasumasa Sakurai

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, agricultural fields in Fukushima Prefecture were subject to severe radioactive contamination. Given the fact that radiocesium is readily transferred along the food chain and potentially poses a radiation risk to humans, effective methods of lowering the transfer of radioactivity from soil to crops are needed. We examined the effect of neutralized schwertmannite (NS) produced in the disused Yanahara mine as a new agricultural material for reducing radiocesium uptake by crops. The application of NS to soil at 1% or 5% showed inhibitory effects on radiocesium accumulation in the harvests of four upland crops (sweet potato, radish, turnip, and Chinese cabbage) and rice. Substantial amounts of radiocesium were detected in brown rice and hulls following cultivation in soil with recommended levels of exchangeable potassium (> 200 mg kg-1). Decreased levels of radiocesium were observed in both tissues following the application of 5% NS, suggesting additional effects of NS application in potassium-rich soil. Our results indicated the efficacy of NS application and suggest its practical use in minimizing the radioactivity in crops cultivated in radiocesium-contaminated soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalJapan Agricultural Research Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Iron oxyhydroxysulfate
  • Radioactivity
  • Transfer factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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