Microbial interactions with actinides and long-lived fission products

Renshaw, Joanna C. and Lloyd, Jonathon R. and Livens, Francis R. (2007) Microbial interactions with actinides and long-lived fission products. Comptes Rendus Chimie, 10 (10-11). pp. 1067-1077. ISSN 1631-0748

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Microorganisms have the potential to interact with a wide range of radioactive materials (both in solution and in insoluble phases) through the production of a diverse range of metabolites and biomolecules. Such interactions can significantly alter the chemical speciation of radionuclides and so impact their reactivity and solubility in the environment. Much research has focussed on microbially mediated redox transformations, which can alter the redox chemistry of actinides and technetium through direct and indirect mechanisms, significantly affecting their environmental solubility and mobility. Recent studies have investigated the possible exploitation of these transformations to remediate uranium-contaminated land. This review examines the influence of microbial transformations on the biogeochemistry of actinide ions and technetium.