The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone

"The enormity and unprecedented nature of this combined natural and human-made disaster will require a massive and completely novel approach to management and remediation.  And with this comes a never before seen opportunity for collaboration, research and wisdom."

These are the words of Paul Stamets, mycologist. His short essay explains how an ecological approach can use mushrooms and native deciduous trees to literally "suck up" the radioactivity from a nuclear fallout area which eventually leads to capturing with intent to refine the radioactive mushrooms  into ash and thus trap in glass or other materials, rendering it inactive. He admits he doesn't know how long the process would take, but he does suggest at least "decades, even centuries." It could take that long in any case. In the meanwhile, a National Park / Study Center to learn more about the interdependence between the natural world and the effect of radioactivity. Further this area could provide a mutually beneficial environment to continue learning about the nuances within this relationship. His TED talk on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world follows:

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At around 9 minutes in, he gets into the "radioactive energy mushroom solution," but the entire talk is wonderfully enlightening and includes ideas of permaculture as a method to heal at least some of the damage for which we can be directly blamed. With all due respect to those in charge of paving the way for continued interest in nuclear energy, we must also consider ideas for solutions to the eventual, truly inevitable nuclear reactor meltdown.

We've seen an increase in frequency of violent natural disasters over the last ten years; much of this is cyclical; certainly the earth has suffered many natural disasters over its lifetime. But one can't help but wonder if the intensity combined with the increased  frequency of such disasters is at minimum a byproduct of the sheer quantities of oil being siphoned without reservation. And now so many people want to reduce our dependence on crude oil and turn to alternative sources of "clean" energy, in effect: nuclear. For some reason, not solar, not wind, not water, but nuclear is the poster child for "clean energy," except there's not one clean thing about it.

Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for over thirty years. Over this time, he has discovered and coauthored four new species of mushrooms, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. Photo credit: still from TED talk