Date of Award

Summer 7-22-2021



Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Sciences (MSCB)



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Daniel Ferreira

Committee Member

Bharat Baruah

Committee Member

Altug Poyraz


The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Powerplant was struck by an earthquake and a tsunami resulting in the meltdown of four of the six reactor cores operating at the plant. As a result, nuclear waste was released from the plant, contaminating the soil in the region. Most of the contamination was sequestered within the few inches of the soil but unluckily the contamination, radiocesium formed a non-exchangeable bond. The Japanese government bagged this soil and has stored it in fields surrounding the exclusion zone. Long-term storage facilities have not been determined. This is a study of the available resources to determine if, in fact, the soil can be chemically treated to the point that it can be stored in a normal hazardous waste facility. The study proposes to utilize a ligand to capture the cesium with a higher binding affinity and remove it from the equilibrium by precipitation possibly forcing the exchange of the “non-exchangeable” ion.