If there is one thing that's clear in Japan these days, it's that radiation is hard to deal with.
The disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is now widely considered to be far worse than originally thought, with technicians working round the clock to control rising levels of radiation.
Which begs the question: How does one go about cleaning up radiation?
Typically, the process involves soap and water and a little elbow grease.
But leave it to a Hawaiin entrepreneur to jazz it up a bit.
Hank Wuh invented (by accident) a blue goo that, when you pour it onto a surface, turns into a gel, called DeconGel. You then peel off the gel, and when you do so it takes with it all particles that are foreign to the surface — including radioactive particles.
According to Popular Science, DeconGel is a safer alternative to water for cleaning up radiation. It hardens around contaminants first, and "workers can then remove the contaminants safely, without worrying about pollutants escaping into the air or seeping into surrounding soil."
Wuh donated 100 five-gallon pails of the blue goo to Japan, where officials are using it on everything from concrete walkways and parking lots to schools and retail shops, both inside and outside of the exclusion zone.
DeconGel can't altogether neutralize radioactivity, which would be, as CNN Money states, "the holy grail of cleanup." But it can certainly minimize disposal costs, which are usually exorbitant when you're talking tons of contaminated water.
Which happens to be precisely the hangup at Fukushima.
Justin McCurry writes today in the Christian Science Monitor: "Makeshift containers that are being used to store the water are almost full, and work has yet to be completed on a system to reprocess the liquid so that it can be reused to cool the reactors. On Thursday, Tepco said one water storage facility appeared to have sprung a leak."
It's nothing short of a catastrophe. But hopefully a little blue goo can help.