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Scientists of FEFU and the Institute of Chemistry have found a way to purify seawater from cesium-137 - EastRussia | Far East

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Scientists of FEFU and the Institute of Chemistry have found a way to purify sea water from cesium-137

FEFU scientists and the Institute of Chemistry of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have developed a new technology for extracting cesium-137 from sea water, which uses sorbents based on nickel-potassium ferrocyanide and natural chitosan from shells of marine animals, the university press service reported on Tuesday.

“We have proposed a new method - at the moment it is optimal and allows you to concentrate cesium with efficiency up to 99%. The sorbent consists of natural chitosan made from shells of marine animals (crabs, shrimps and others) and nickel-potassium ferrocyanide substance, reacting with which cesium forms an insoluble precipitate, ”says FEFU post-graduate student Edward Tokar. Reportedly, the technology was tested during an oceanic expedition organized by the Swiss Polar Institute. During the voyage from German Bremenhafen to Cape Town (South Africa), the radioactivity of the waters of the North Sea, English Channel, Bay of Biscay and the coast of Africa was investigated. With the help of a new sorbent, sites with high cesium content over the coast of Great Britain, at Cape Ag (France), north of Cape Town and other areas were identified. The same research scientists plan to conduct during the Pacific Expedition, scheduled for 2018 year.

Most of the under construction and existing nuclear power plants in the APR are located in the coastal zone and use sea water for direct cooling, which creates the threat of release of radioactive substances into the ocean. Extraction of cesium-137 from seawater is an important technological task of radioecological monitoring in the region.