3 October 2007 at 12:32:07 PM
The creation of quantities of long-lived radioactive waste is the most formidable problem facing the nuclear power industry today.
Now a team at the University of Pretoria (UP) is working on a solution that harnesses Mother Nature herself to minimise radioactive waste created in the pebble bed nuclear reactor system.
Rather than using existing physical-chemical processes to break down the waste - which can generate more waste - professor of chemical engineering at UP, Evans Chirwa, is working on a solution that relies on natural processes using bacteria or other microbial processes to break down the radionuclides. "Micro-organisms have evolved mechanisms for survival in hostile environments over billions of years," says Chirwa. "They can withstand 5 000 times more radiation than humans."
These tiny organisms are already being used to reduce toxic metals in the environment. For instance, they have been used to detoxify chromium, uranium and mercury. Scientists have also recently identified micro-organisms capable of using ionising radiation as an energy source.
Chirwa's team is specifically focused on SA's pebble bed modular reactor because though the system design is believed to be inherently safe, its design produces considerably more waste than conventional reactors.
Latest Blog Post by salon -Audio- Somervell County Water District Meeting - April 20, 2017
You! Leave a Comment! You Know you Want To!
You must be a registered member to comment on the blog.
Your first post is held pending approval to make sure you're not a spammer bot
Or you can login!
New poster comments are moderated,
meaning they won't show up until approved... or not. Be
patient-we have lives outside this blog, so it might take awhile You
want to be rude? totally stupid? inappropriate? Racist? Bigoted? Flame war baiter? Your
post may be deleted. Spammers or people posting pretend interest
comments but really wanting to hawk their latest book or sell stuff or
govt propaganda flacks won't see their posts published. Comments do not
necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the site owner(salon).
If you have a problem with logging in or registering, please speak up right away. Love your comments. Oh, except spammers
More on commenting
Click Here for Main Page
Audio- Somervell County Water District Meeting - April 20, 2017
Making Fun of Donald Trump on his 100 day baloney
So... Somervell County Hospital District wants to know about pending litigation (April 2017)
Hey, *CapNRon*, Ron Hankins, DO YOUR JOB and QUIT BEING A HYPOCRITE!
Video-Somervell County Hospital District Regular Meeting March 30, 2017
Hahah, Trump thought being president would be easier than his old life