Microbial community structure and dynamics during radioactive waste disposal

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster

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Safe disposal of radioactive waste is a critical challenge to ensure the safety for future generations of humans and the biosphere in general. Deep geological disposal has been considered in many countries as a potential safe long-term solution. A combination of engineered and natural barriers between the waste and the environment should prevent the radionuclides from reaching the surface in such concentrations that they could present an unacceptable risk for man and the environment. In Belgium, Boom Clay has suitable physico-chemical characteristics to serve as natural barrier for the disposal of radioactive waste, hence Boom Clay is studied in detail. One important aspect herein is the study of the geochemical environment within the Boom Clay, in particular the pore water composition and its pH and Eh, as this determines the speciation of radionuclides and hence their (im)mobility behavior. Microbial activity may affect this geochemical environment, as microbial reactions may change the pore water composition and hence may affect the mobility of radionuclides. Therefore, it is necessary to study the effect of microbial activity on the pore water composition of the Boom Clay in different conditions representative for geological disposal: natural conditions, influence of oxidation, high pH, increased temperature or increased salinity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020
EventPoster session presented at 2020 PhD Day - SCK CEN, Mol, Belgium
Duration: 13 Nov 202013 Nov 2020


ConferencePoster session presented at 2020 PhD Day
Internet address


  • Nuclear Waste
  • Disposal
  • Host rock
  • pore water
  • Microbial communities


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