Microbial degradation of low-level radioactive waste in repository conditions

Minna Vikman (Corresponding author), Kaisa Marjamaa, Merja Itävaara, Mikko Nykyri, Joe Small, Nina Paaso

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

Abstract

In Finland low-level radioactive waste (LLW), arising from the operation of nuclear power plants, includes in addition to scrap metals considerable amounts of paper sheets, cardboard, cotton gloves and plastics. The microbiological degradation of cellulosic materials in anoxic conditions can result in gas generation and can also accelerate corrosion, deteriorate the performance of multi-barrier systems, and enhance the mobility of radionuclides from the repository to the surrounding environment. 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. The GGE has been monitored for generated gas, water chemistry and microbiology. The aim of our study was to examine microbial communities in the GGE using molecular technologies including quantitative PCR and high-throughput sequencing.Heterogeneous chemical conditions in the GGE created optimal niches for microbial action and gas generation, which started approximately after one year of operation. Our results demonstrate that LLW is converted methane and carbon dioxide as a successive action of complex microbial consortia. The function of most relevant microbial groups influencing the gas generation will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGoldschmidt 2017 Abstracts
PublisherEuropean Association of Geochemistry
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventGoldschmidt 2017: Annual international conference on geochemistry and related subjects - Paris, France
Duration: 13 Aug 201718 Aug 2017

Conference

ConferenceGoldschmidt 2017
CountryFrance
CityParis
Period13/08/1718/08/17

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Keywords

  • radioactive waste
  • biodegradation
  • LLW
  • nuclear waste
  • repository

Cite this

Vikman, M., Marjamaa, K., Itävaara, M., Nykyri, M., Small, J., & Paaso, N. (2017). Microbial degradation of low-level radioactive waste in repository conditions. In Goldschmidt 2017 Abstracts European Association of Geochemistry. https://goldschmidt.info/2017/abstracts/abstractView?id=2017002551