Aug 16, 2011

Microorganism Used to Remove Radioactive Cesium

A research group for the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) has been studying the use of bacteria in the measurement and decontamination of radioactive cesium. The group cultured bacteria in soil and investigated its cesium accumulation ability, confirming that about one-tenth of the bacteria in the soil were able accumulate cesium.

The group then placed the cesium-accumulating bacteria into a dialysis tube, which was immersed it in an aqueous solution containing radioactive cesium. The concentration of radioactive cesium in the solution decreased over time, reaching 25 percent of the initial concentration at 32 hours. At this point, the radioactive cesium present in the cells was 7,500-fold higher than the initial concentration of the solution. Read on at JFS