Thousands of sunflowers planted at Joenji temple in Fukushima, northern Japan, to help fight the radiation from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, have blossomed.
A volunteer group Make A Wish Upon Flowers had planted the sunflowers in the temple’s vicinity and had urged the public to plant sunflowers to prevent spread of radiation through soil as well as help decontaminate soil from radioactive materials.
Though Japanese scientists are carrying out tests to prove their usefulness in fighting radiation, sunflowers were also used near Chernobyl to extract radioactive Cesium (Cs) from contaminated ponds nearby after the 1986 nuclear accident, Reuters reported.
In early July, the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation and five other non-governmental organizations surveyed four locations in Fukushima city, outside the nuclear evacuation zone, and found soil radiation above levels.
The March 11 earthquake and Tsunami waves in Japan devastated Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, leading to leakage of radioactive water into the ocean, spread of radiation in air and soil.
It is as if an invisible snow had fallen on Fukushima and continued to fall, covering the area, said Koyu Abe, a Zen priest from Joenji temple whose volunteer group continues to plant sunflower seedlings.