Innovation Alert # 2-- The Ultimate Fukushima Challenge

Can we discover a way to neutralize radiation at Fukushima so that Reactors 1-4 can be rendered non-toxic and safe, and similarly render neutral and harmless other areas contaminated by emissions from Fukushima including the Pacific Ocean? This could potentially be a Holy Grail Solution not only for the Japanese authorities struggling with Fukushima but for the rest of the world wrestling with how to treat and manage radioactive waste. It is an ideal challenge for a new approach to harvest crowd intelligence for humanity— a Global Explorers Mind.

Step # 1—Define the “Core Discovery Puzzle” (CDP) As described in Piloting Through Chaos—The Explorer’s Mind the first step in the process is to define the “Core Discovery Puzzle(CDP)” in the language of the domain experts themselves, in this case nuclear engineers. Here is a simplified explanation:

Radiation is produced by releases of energy from the nucleus of certain elements such as Tritium, Cesium, Strontium, Uranium, Plutonium, Xenon, and other elements. This radiation is highly destructive to living cells because it damages DNA, induces mutations, generates free radicals, and other harmful effects. Hence the CDP is how to stabilize the nucleus. In other words, can we discover a way to render the nucleus either completely inert, or to block or to significantly retard (or dramatically increase) the process of decay, so that the nucleus becomes stable? Under these conditions the above elements will remain in a “pure” non-isotopic state. Some experiments have shown that bombarding these isotopic elements with gamma radiation can actually educe the radiation. However, this method is not practical or cost effective for Fukushima, at least at the moment. Is it possible to devise a practical method which can be applied immediately and cost effectively?





Step # 2—“Democratizing the CDP”—A Challenge to the Idiegogo Campaign

The history of science is replete with the contributions of “creative amateurs” who without advanced degrees conceived breakthroughs of enormous significance for humanity. Pasteur was not a physician but a biochemist; Albert Einstein worked as a clerk in a patent office; many breakthroughs in astronomy are attributed to unheralded imaginative amateurs. The key is to create a communication bridge-- a special language built on imagery, metaphor, and stories— between Sponsors or Seekers and Solution Providers. How many brilliant minds might be motivated to devise practical solutions for Fukushima if we can level the playing field by: 1. translating the complex issues into terms that anyone can readily understand 2. packaging the creative responses so they can be rapidly grasped and 3. priming the problem holders on the front lines at Fukushima to be open to fresh ideas and different perspectives?

The Challenge: Can you help us depict the above CDP by an analogy, image, picture, story, or metaphor that is so clear and simple that any bright eight-year old will understand it? 

Hint # 1: The nucleus will naturally degrade on its own. It “seeks” a lower energy state under the laws of thermodynamics, which is why it is throws off particles or waves of energy. We can influence it with a physical event from the outside—ie. bombarding it with gamma rays. But can you think of any process or example where something regains an “internal harmony” without outside interference? It no longer “needs” to look outward to add or subtract anything? It simply “discovers” or “attains” its own internal balance, harmony, and stability. Nature and the world’s wisdom traditions may afford some clues, and there may also be “lead users” in even remote industrial applications. (See the work of Professor Eric Von Hippel of MIT’s Sloane School)

Crowd Intelligence—We welcome your ideas and input. An Explorers’ Wheel begins to spin and to gain momentum with the inquiry around the CDP. Even if you believe your “solution(s)” are farfetched, please don’t censor yourself. It may turn out that your “lead” will inspire a fellow explorer, and by “chance” a breakthrough will emerge. Remember the origin of the word “discover” is the Latin “discoupire” ie. to “uncover.” The breakthrough may exist already somewhere in the crowd. It is just a matter of giving it a voice. Chance favors the prepared mind.

Some interesting lines for further exploration;

* Transmutation by biochemical reactions--

* Esoteric solutions--

Please send your ideas and suggestions either to the Idiegogo Campaign, or This blog is based on a conversation and acknowledges with appreciation the contributions of Dick Wullaert, Ph.D. President Bioguard Industries, Inc(