Could Mushrooms Remediate Japan's Nuclear Contamination?

Paul Stamets is famous for his assertions that mushrooms can help heal the world. From myco-pesticides to cleaning up oil spills, he argues that mushrooms are nature's ultimate recyclers and colonizers, and as such can help to meet many of the environmental challenges we face. Writing over at Permaculture Magazine, he sets out an eight-point plan for how we can use mushrooms to clean up radioactive contamination around the stricken Fukushima power plant in Japan. Unlike with an oil spill, they won't actually break up the contamination, says Stamets, but rather hyper-accumulate radioactivity so they can be collected and disposed of safely by encasing them in glass or other protective materials. Eventually, says Stamets, the result will be a new national park in the area surrounding the plant. How long will it take? He has absolutely no idea. So what do readers think—worth a try, or pie in the sky?

Tags: Biodiversity | Japan | Nuclear Power | Permaculture