Biotransformation of radioactive waste : microbial reduction of actinides and fission products

Lloyd, J. R. and Renshaw, Joanna and May, Iain and Livens, F. R. and Burke, I. T. and Mortimer, R. J. G. and Morris, K. (2005) Biotransformation of radioactive waste : microbial reduction of actinides and fission products. Journal of Nuclear and Radiochemical Sciences, 6 (1). pp. 17-20.

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Abstract

The microbial reduction of radionuclides has attracted recent interest as these transformations can play crucial roles in controlling the mobility of key redox active actinides and fission products in a range of environments and, if harnessed, may offer the basis of biotechnological processes for the remediation of radioactive waste. This review focuses on recent research on the reduction of radionuclides including U(VI), Np(V), Pu(IV), and Tc(VII). Rapid advances over the last decade have resulted in a detailed understanding of some of these transformations at a molecular level. Where known, the mechanisms of metal reduction are discussed, alongside the environmental impact of such transformations and possible biotechnological applications that could utilise these activities.