On March 11, 2011, now two years ago, the magnitude 9.0 Great East Japan earth quake, Tohoku, hit off the Fukushima coast of Japan. This was one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history and the most powerful one known to have hit Japan. The ensuing tsunami devastated a huge area resulting in some 25,000 persons confirmed dead or missing. The perfect storm was complete when the tsunami then found the four-reactor, Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Station directly in its destructive path.
Some 2 million people were evacuated from a fifty mile radius of the area and evaluation and cleanup began. A tremendous effort has been made, by many nationalities, since this time to restore this damaged plant and surrounding area and to return a great deal of the residents to their homes and farm lands.
While most of the outcome of this unprecedented natural and manmade disaster was negative, both in Japan and worldwide, there have been some extremely valuable lessons learned and new emergency recovery technologies and systems developed to cope with the aftermath of this disaster.
This paper describes new technology developed to selectively remove radioactive materials dangerous to workers, local citizens, and the natural environment from seawater used to cool the damaged reactors at Fukushima.
As always, the mother of invention is necessity.