HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Microbial janitors tackle nuclear clean-up problems

Microbial janitors are helping their human counterparts with nuclear clean-up. Researchers plan to coax naturally occurring microbes to clean radioactively contaminated walls and ceilings at a shut down reactor in the United Kingdom.

Researchers from the Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) in partnership with British Nuclear Fuels, plc (BNFL) are launching a yearlong test of a microbial decontamination technology at a nuclear reactor at the Sellafield reprocessing plant in the UK. The technology will be used to remove surface contamination on a concrete wall at the reactor in a proof-of-concept test run.

The microbes' job is to eat and be merry -- it's the corrosive microbial by-product that does the researchers' work. As the microbes metabolize an elemental sulfur nutrient source, they create sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid etches the concrete surface and loosens the contaminated layers. When enough concrete has been loosened, researchers put the kibosh on the microbial feeding frenzy by dropping the humidity, causing the microbes to die off (the microbes cannot survive in ambient humidity). Then they vacuum the degraded concrete bits off the walls, ceiling or floor, and dispose of it.

Currently, a common treatment for radioactively contaminated concrete involves chipping it away until workers reach 'clean' concrete. This means the workers, hot and sweaty in full anti-contamination suits and respirators, are being exposed to radiation as they work. And they still have a substantial pile of radioactively contaminated concrete rubble and dust to dispose of when they're done.

In some cases, radiation fields may be too high for human exposure, even for a few minutes, or the configuration of the space may not allow safe human access at all. Then, the only alternative for facility operators may be to fill the room with cement, do nothing, or demolish the entire building and treat all th
'"/>

Contact: Deborah Hill
dahill@inel.gov
208-526-4723
DOE/Idaho National Laboratory
17-Aug-1999


Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Related biology news :

1. Microbial fuel cell cleans, generates electricity from domestic wastewater
2. Microbial biofilm yields community genomes, metabolic clues
3. Microbial forensics: An overview (news briefing and symposium)
4. Microbial activity key component of global environmental change
5. Microbial transport at Yellowstone: by land, sea or air?
6. Microbial hydrocarbon cracking
7. Breakthrough On Microbial Disease Published In Science
8. ASM Calls For Focus On Microbial Pollution Of Nations Water Supply
9. New Anti-Microbial Agent Destroys Anthrax
10. Anti-Microbial Agent Kills Influenza Virus
11. New Microbial Insecticide As Potent As Bt

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: