Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Memorias de investigación
Evaluation of a pilot scale system for radioactive water decontamination
Research Areas
  • Water treatment,
  • Molecular biology,
  • Microbiology,
  • Biotechnology,
  • Radioactive pollution,
  • Nuclear thermic stations and fusion
Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of microorganisms in the spent nuclear fuel pools (SNFPs) of nuclear power plants and that those microorganisms can colonize the stainless steel pools walls forming biofilms. Additionally, it has been observed the ability of these biofilms to retain radionuclides which suggest the possibility of using them for radioactive water decontamination purposes. The aim in the present study was to develop a decontamination system on a pilot scale, in order to assess whether the process could be scalable to an industrial level. For this purpose stainless steel bioreactors were installed in the Cofrentes Nuclear Power Plant (Valencia, Spain) next to the SNFPs to receive water directly from the pools allowing in situ analysis of radiation removal. Stainless steel and titanium balls were introduced into the bioreactors and were removed after different time periods. Biofilms developed on the balls were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and epifluorescence microscopy. Biofilms ability to retain radionuclides was determined by gamma spectrometry. The main radionuclides retained were Co-60 and Mn-54. A radionuclide retention process mechanism related to biofilms formation-detachment is suggested. It has been assessed that the scalable process developed can be economically profitable.
Spanish Society for Microbiology (SEM) International Meeting on New Strategies in Bioremediation Processes (BioRemid-2017)
Entity Nationality
Granada (Spain), March 9-10, 2017
  • Autor: Ana Maria Garcia Ruiz (UPM)
  • Autor: Julio Belnchón (Iberdrola, S.A.)
  • Autor: Diego Alejandro Moreno Gomez (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Bioingeniería y Materiales (BIO-MAT)
  • Departamento: Física Aplicada e Ingeniería de Materiales
S2i 2020 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNPACTO (IPT-020000-2010-22)