Cleaning Uranium Waste with Bacteria

Nuclear bombs can kill people even if they’re not used. In the US alone, the Department of Energy estimates that more than 2,500 billion litres of groundwater are contaminated with uranium as a consequence of nuclear weapons production. In Uranium ‘pearls’ before slime, scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory say they discovered that some common bacteria could convert deadly heavy metal into less threatening nano-spheres. In fact, these bacteria can convert soluble radioactive uranium into a non-toxic solid form called uraninite. Still, more research needs to be done before using these bacteria on a large scale, but it’s a step in the good direction. Read more for additional references and photos showing how Shewanella oneidensis can help us to decontaminate groundwater at nuclear waste sites — via Slashdot

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