Microbial Transformations of Plutonium and Other Actinides in Radioactive (Transuranic-TRU) Wastes

And this is being dumped in land and sea ……

Mining Awareness +

Microorganisms have been detected in TRU wastes, Pu-contaminated soils, low-level radioactive wastes, backfill materials, natural analog sites, and waste-repository sites slated for high-level wastes. Seventy percent of the TRU waste consists of cellulose and other biodegradable organic compounds. Biodegradation of cellulose under the hypersaline conditions such as in the WIPP repository can produce CO2 and methane gas, as well as affect the solubility of actinides. Microbially produced gases could have significant ramifications for the long-term stability of the repository (up to 10,000 years).” (A. J. Francis, Brookhaven National Lab, 2003)

A decade later, WIPP in May of 2014 at around 15 years…
WIPP 22 May 2014

Transuranic elements, such as plutonium, are radioactive metals and are subject to both corrosion and reactions with other metals, as well as changes due to radioactive disintegrations. Microbial corrosion is an important part of the reason that radioactive waste cannot be buried and facilities cannot be…

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