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Microbial Occurrence in Bentonite-Based Buffer Materials of a Final Disposal Site for Low Level Radioactive Waste in Taiwan

[+] Author Affiliations
Fong-In Chou, Chia-Chin Li, Tzung-Yuang Chen

National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

Hsiao-Wei Wen

National Chung Hsing University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

Paper No. ICEM2010-40284, pp. 229-236; 8 pages
  • ASME 2010 13th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • ASME 2010 13th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Volume 1
  • Tsukuba, Japan, October 3–7, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5452-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3888-4
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


This research addresses the potential of microbial implications in bentonite for use as a buffer and backfill material in final disposal site for low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) in Taiwan, where has a special island-type climate. Microbe activities naturally present in this site were analyzed, and buffer materials (BM) consisted of 100%, 70% or 50% bentonite were prepared for laboratory studies. A total of 39 microbial strains were isolated, and the predominant strains included four bacterial, one yeast and four fungal strains. Growth inhibition was not detected in any tested strain cultured in a radiation field with a dose rate of 0.2 Gy/h. Most of the isolated strains grew under a dose rate of 1.4 Gy/h. The D10 values of the tested strains ranged from 0.16 to 2.05 kGy. The mycelia of tested fungal strains could spread over 5 cm during six months of inoculation in BM. The spreading activity of the tested bacteria was less than that of the fungi. Moreover, biofilms were observed on the surfaces of the BM. Since a large and diverse population of microbes is present in Taiwan, microbes may contribute to the mobilization of radionuclides in the disposal site.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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