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Bacteria a potential threat to nuclear waste repositories

My last post was about mummy burial sites, so now let’s talk about nuclear waste repositories.  There are so many kinds of built environments to chase microbes in.

This report is about some microbiology being done in a deep geological repository that is a model site for nuclear waste storage.   The work seems mostly culture-based, in bioreactors and is focused on understanding metabolic pathways that might influence long-term storage of nuWendlandAntiNuclearProtest7clear waste.  The most obvious concern is microbial degradation of storage vessels.  But one possible beneficial effect of microbes might be to breakdown gases that would otherwise build up to dangerous levels.

 

Maybe we’ll need some built-to-order probiotics to go down there with the nuclear waste?

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David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter

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