Experimental trees that can absorb radionuclides have been planted in the Chornobyl exclusion zone, reported the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine.
According to preliminary information, Paulownia Clone In vitro 112, or simply Paulownia, reaches 20 meters high in five years and, hence, absorbs radioactive elements faster than other plants.
“The ability of Paulownia to concentrate radionuclides can be used to clean the soil and to enhance the barrier function of the exclusion zone and ensure safety for people,” said Sergei Kireev, Ecocenter Director General.
100 seedlings of trees in total have been planted on four sites with different levels of contamination.
The studies are planned to be conducted within the next five years.
“Since Paulownia belongs to fast-growing trees, we can assume that the plants will show an increased level of accumulated radionuclides,” noted Mr. Kireev.
This type of Paulownia was created artificially.