Microbial degradation of LLW under repository conditions- case TVO

Minna Vikman (Corresponding author), Kaisa Marjamaa, Merja Itävaara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific


In Finland major part of the low level radioactive waste (LLW) is composed of protective plastic
sheets, clothing, tools, and towels used during maintenance work. This miscellaneous maintenance
waste is compacted in steel drums and deposited 60‐110 meters below ground level. The Gas
Generation Experiment GGE has been established in 1997 to examine gas generation from LLW in
TVO's final disposal repository for operational LLW and ILW in Olkiluoto, Finland. Since 1999 gas
generation has been rather constant and released gas was mainly composed of methane. The results
obtained by qPCR also revealed that methanogens formed major part of the microbial population in
GGE. In addition to anaerobic degradation of organic matter there are also other processes that
influence the gas formation, such as corrosion of steel and sulphate reduction by bacteria.
Considerable heterogeneity in chemical conditions has been detected in different locations of GGE
which can be also seen as differences in microbiological activity and diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMIND (the Microbiology In Nuclear waste Disposal) Project Annual Meeting 1. Extended Abstracts
Subtitle of host publicationBook of Abstracts
PublisherEuropean Union
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventMicrobiology In Nuclear waste Disposal, Project Annual Meeting 1 - Granada, Spain
Duration: 1 Apr 20162 Apr 2016


ConferenceMicrobiology In Nuclear waste Disposal, Project Annual Meeting 1
Abbreviated titleMIND


  • nuclear waste
  • LLW
  • biodegradability

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