Nuclear waste-eating bacteria discovered

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Locust, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Locust Registered Member

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  3. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    Misleading title. The bacteria don't eat nuclear waste, they eat "isosaccharinic acid", which can result due to some chemical reactions at the storage site. This acid, in turn, can react with the radio-nucleotides in a way that makes it easier for them to leach away from the storage area. So the bacteria eat the substance which can lead to a containment breach of the radioactive waste, but do not eat the radioactive waste itself.
     
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  5. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Whoever wrote the article completely misunderstood the science.
     
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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    And spent fuel is better utilized in a molten sodium reactor.
     
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    explain please

    ......
    a few years ago, I read an article that claimed that the french and/or russians had a way of reprocessing "spent fuel", but that the procedure had diminishing returns after a few reprocessings.

    Seem familiar?
    details?
     
  9. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    france has been reprocessing spent fuel for decades. shipped it to japan to extract plutonium.

    "On 23 January 1998, a shipment of high-level radioactive waste destined for Japan left France on the British-flagged ship Pacific Swan. It was the third shipment in a long-standing reprocessing agreement between Japan, France, and the United Kingdom.3 This ship was operated by Pacific Nuclear Fuels, a company run by British Nuclear Fuel Ltd. (BNFL), Cogema (France's nuclear power company), and 10 Japanese nuclear utilities; the ship specialized in marine transportation of radioactive substances. It was carrying 60 canisters of vitrified nuclear waste, each of which weighed about half a ton, destined for storage at a facility in Rokkasho, a village in Aomori prefecture in northeastern Japan. Its route was kept secret prior to departure, having been openly opposed by governments in the Caribbean and the Pacific.": http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/208/international_nuclear_waste_transportation.html

    it goes the other direction too: http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Japan_to_reimport_nuclear_fuel_from_France_source_999.html
    http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2011/ph241/dunn1/

    possibly not the wisest course. http://www.nci.org/i/ib10499.htm
     
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    http://transatomicpower.com

    http://transatomicpower.com/company.php
    Transatomic Power intends to commercialize these reactors in a few years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  11. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

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    I think you may have that backwards. AFAIUT, Japan ships their used fuel to France to turn into new MOX fuel and then France ships the rest of the waste back as vitified materials and ships back the MOX too.
     
  12. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

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    Or in a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor.
     
  13. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

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    Typical "spent" fuel (previously used fission fuel (PUFF)) is about 96% unspent fuel and 4% waste. The unspent fuel parts have half-lives of 10,000 years or more. The "waste" part decays so fast it is as safe as the dirt it came from in about 300 years. Throwing away the PUFF is truly a waste. It should be reused/recycled (reprocessed) for its fuel content.

    Reprocessing the PUFF as fuel for light water reactors (called MOX) is a dirty process and the PUFF can only be reprocessed a small number of times. Using the unspent fuel in fast neutron reactors (frequently liquid SODIUM (metal) cooled) will allow much more of the unspent fuel to be used. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors can also burn up all of the unspent fuel but uses a more inherently stable, walk away safe thermal neutron reaction. But LFTRs use the PUFF extraced fuel as an additive, not the main fuel which is thorium.
     
  14. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    That's exactly what we should expect from ANY news article coming from India!
     
  15. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    wt*...that's racist man. India is a great nation and the recent first ever spacecraft sent to Mars success that cost only 80 million dollars, just shows on how amazing India and Indian culture is. So don't diss.

    ---

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a type of radiotrophic fungus that uses melatonin to convert gamma radiation to chemical energy. I guess my question is, does it absorb the gamma radiation? Can it be used as a shield against gamma radiation propagation?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  16. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    I think you need to backtrack on that statement Read Only.

    Here's an interesting fact:
    https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Radiotrophic_Fungi
     
  17. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    It might have that function.
    Pigeon droppings are particularly rich in the fungus, so wearing a coat covered in pigeon droppings could eventually replace the radioactivity protection suit.

    The article suggests that it eats radioactive waste, which is misleading but not completely baseless.
    It is resistant to, and may use some of the energy from, radioactive sources
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  18. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    it was the other way for a while (as per my cites), i believe it is now going the way you state.
     
  19. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    No, Captain and youreyes. No apology nor backtracking warranted. If you read enough news articles from India you will shortly learn that they are often horrible when it comes to reporting FACTS. The reporters frequently misunderstand what they are dealing with and misrepresent the truth. It may be simple mistranslations or something similar but it is VERY frequent. It has nothing to do with their scientific achievements or other endeavors.
     
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, I've no doubt you are right. Though I must admit you get just the same sensationalism and ignorance in many broadsheet papers in the UK, I'm sorry to say.
     
  21. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I also took it that Read Only was merely commenting on the prevalence of sensationalist journalism in India, which can be fairly innocuous, the way Rudyard Kipling illustrated 19th c. Indian interest in popular fables. But like the sensationalism you mention in the UK, and joined at the hip thanks to the Rupert Murdochs of the world, the US feeds probably about 40% of the public with tripe. I understood that RO noticed the Indian title was written by a sensationalist, since the text of the article never claims that the bacteria eat the waste, merely that they may help keep it sequestered by keeping it relatively insoluble by water. Having said that, it would be interesting to know if there are common dialects in India in which the word "eat" parallels a word similar to "sequester". But I doubt it, since most of them probably speak English better than most of us in the USA do! (Millions of English folks are nodding, the Welsh are guffawing, the Irish are scowling and the Scottish are probably shrugging, as if to say: What, me worry? That leaves the South Africans to check their pronunciation of "Al-lew-MINIUM", and our friends from Down Under to decide if "bike" really rhymes with "cake").

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  22. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member

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    And Berk rhymes with Runt.
     

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